TEHRAN, Feb. 03 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Palestinian
Hamas movement's political bureau chief Khalid Mashaal has been warmly greeted
by Iranian officials who have frequently expressed their all-out support for the
Palestinians and its "legal representative" Hamas.
While inviting Mashaal to participate in a Majlis
(parliament) assembly on Tuesday, Iran's Speaker Ali Larijani voiced the support
of the country's officials and lawmakers for the Palestinians, promising Mashaal
that "(his) Majlis is earnestly keeping an eye on Palestine's issues."
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad(L)
hugs Palestinian Hamas movement's political bureau chief Khalid Mashaal as
he welcomes him for their meeting at the presidency in Tehran, Iran, Feb.
1, 2009. (Xinhua/AFP Photo) Photo Gallery>>>
On Monday, a rally was held in the Tehran University
to welcome Mashaal, who addressed the rally with a call for the continuation of
Iran's defense for Palestinians.
"We call on you to continue with the steps to support
the people of Gaza, because the battle is not over," Meshaal said, adding "we
still have a battle, the battle of lifting the siege of Gaza, the opening of the
The participants hailed Mashaal's speech with
cheering slogans and placards showing the support of the resistances in Gaza and
the condemnation against "crimes of the Zionist regime."
Chief of Hamas political bureau Khaled
Meshaal (2nd L in the front) greets audience during a rally in Tehran
University Feb. 2, 2009. A Palestinian Islamic Hamas movement delegation
led by Khalid Mashaal arrived in Iran on Sunday. (Xinhua/Che
While meeting with Mashaal, Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad also outlined his administration's willingness to meet the urgent
needs of Palestinians for the quick reconstruction of Gaza.
He also urged for helping the Palestinian people and
reopening of the crossroads leading to the Gaza Strip, while putting "the
Zionist regime" under political pressure in order to prevent continued Israeli
aggression on Gaza.
As a sign of political support for Gazans,
Ahmadinejad also urged the United Nations to bring Israeli leaders to justice
for "crimes against humanity and war crimes in Gaza."
Unearthing his inclination for Iran's never-ending
sympathy for the Palestinians, Hamas leader praised Tehran for playing a "big
role" in what he described as the "victory of Gaza's people."
Mashaal said the "people of Gaza ... have always
appreciated the political and spiritual support of Iranian leaders and nation."
Chief of Hamas political bureau Khaled
Meshaal (L) speaks during a rally in Tehran University Feb. 2, 2009. A
Palestinian Islamic Hamas movement delegation led by Khalid Mashaal
arrived in Iran on Sunday. (Xinhua/Che Ling) Photo Gallery>>>
"Iran has definitely played a big role in the victory
of the people of Gaza and is a partner in that victory," he told Ahmadinejad.
At a joint press conference with Mashaal, Iran's
Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Sunday that "now it was important to
relieve the sufferings of Gaza residents and restore the enclave destroyed
during the 22-day aggression by the Zionist regime."
Mottaki spoke for an immediate lifting of the Gaza
blockade and the reopening of the Gaza port and border crossings for the
delivery of humanitarian cargoes.
Mottaki also urged other countries to "take maximum
efforts to reconstruct Gaza and offer help to the needy people through the
legitimate Hamas government."
Praising Palestinians' "victory" in the 22-day war
against Israel, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seied Ali Khamenei also said in
a meeting with Mashaal on Sunday that Iran was prepared to help the oppressed
people of Gaza to reconstruct the territory.
The Iranian leader also urged the trial of "the
Zionist regime leaders" for committing "war crimes" against the people of Gaza
in the recent war.
Mashaal, for his part, lauded Iranian government and
people's support for the Palestinians and briefed Ayatollah Khamenei on the
developments during the 22-day Israeli onslaught on Gaza.
Mashaal arrived in Tehran on Sunday for talks with
senior Iranian officials on major regional and international issues. The visit
is a part of his regional tour that "previously took him to Egypt, Qatar, Syria
Iran never hesitated to pronounce its all-out support
for Hamas during the three-week unprecedented Israeli military offensive on
Gaza, during which about 1,400 Palestinians were killed and 5,500 others