A delegation from the Palestinian militant group Hamas received $22 million in cash from slain Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) commander Qassem Soleimani during a visit to Tehran in 2006, according to a senior Hamas official.
In an interview with Iran’s Arabic-language television network al-Alam on Sunday, Mahmoud al-Zahar, former foreign minister and senior Hamas leader, said he outlined some of the financial problems the Palestinian group faced during a meeting with Soleimani.
“The following day, I found $22 million in bags at the airport” as the delegation was about to leave Tehran, al-Zahar said.
“We had agreed on a higher amount, but we were only nine people, and we could not carry any more cash due to baggage allowance,” he added.
Over the past decade, Iranian demonstrators have voiced their opposition to Tehran’s foreign policies and outside funding, accusing the regime of squandering the country’s resources on proxy groups.
Soleimani, who headed the Quds Force, the overseas arms of the IRGC, was killed in a US airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport on January 3. There is increased concern about what Iran or its militias might do ahead of the first anniversary of Soleimani’s death.
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