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Friday, February 7, 2014

Iran Hosts Palestinian Islamic Jihad Leaders -- Top Iranian officials praise anti-Israel terror group -- By Adam Kredo, The Washington Free Beacon

Javad Zarif / APSenior Iranian leaders on Wednesday hosted a delegation of top officials from Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a deadly anti-Israel terror group that is sanctioned by the U.S. State Department.

The PIJ delegation arrived in Tehran on Wednesday to hold high-level meetings with leading Iranian lawmakers, as well as with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who also is leading nuclear negotiations with the West, according to regional reports and photographs.

Zarif expressed his support for PIJ’s “resistance” against Israel, which includes terror attacks, suicide bombings, and the murder of Jewish citizens.

“The resistance will undoubtedly succeed in defending the rights of Palestinians,” Zarif was quoted as saying by Iran’s state-run PressTV following a meeting with PIJ’s deputy secretary general Ziyad al Nakhalah.

Zarif was also photographed smiling and clasping hands with al Nakhalah, who the State Department officially recognized this year as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist.”

Terrorism experts warned that Iran’s nuclear diplomacy continues to be coupled with support for terror groups across the globe.

“This underscores the fact that despite the ongoing diplomacy between Iran and the U.S. over its nuclear program, Iran continues to sponsor terrorism around the world,” said Jonathan Schanzer, a former terrorism finance analyst at the U.S. Treasury Department. “PIJ is now perhaps the most dangerous actor in the Gaza Strip in light of the support it receives from the Iranian regime.”

Iranian lawmakers who met with the PIJ delegation praised the group’s efforts to destroy Israel.

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