Iran's Rowhani Reaches Out to Assad, Nasrallah

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- If anyone thought the new Iranian president might be more open to Israel, it's clear that's not the case.

Iranian President-elect Hassan Rowhani is picking up where his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, left off, affirming Iran's unflappable friendship with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Hezbollah chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah. 

Rowhani said together, they will defeat the "enemies in the region, especially the Zionist regime [Israel]."

"The great and resistant Syrian nation will go past the present stage and fully preserve its independence and territorial integrity," Rowhani said, Iran's official IRNA news agency reported Tuesday.

Rowhani also affirmed Iran's support for its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, and for Hamas, an offshoot of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, assuring Nasrallah they will continue to support both of them.

Sunni Islamic Hamas distanced itself from Shi'ite Iran when Hamas sided with Syrian rebels against Assad's regime, for which Iran is a main backer. Iran reduced its monthly funding to the group, prompting one senior official to say they'd paid a stiff price for that decision.

"I can say it is not like the past," Hamas Deputy Foreign Minister Gazi Hamad told Britain's The Telegraph. "I cannot give you an exact amount [but] for supporting the revolution, we lost very much."

According to the report, the two cut military cooperation and ended their previously close relationship that included weapons, military training and technical support for Hamas.

Rowhani may want to repair that breach and reconnect with the Islamist group that does not accept Israel's right to exist as a modern nation-state.

Meanwhile, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said Israel's position vis-à-vis Syria remains the same.

Nearly a dozen so-called "stray" mortars landed in Israel on Tuesday from Syria.

"We are continuing with the same policy we set. As soon as there is fire from Syrian territory that endangers us or enters our territory or violates our sovereignty, we identify the source and fire and destroy it," he said during a tour Tuesday of the Rafael Advanced Defense Systems plant in the north.

Meanwhile, the U.N. says an estimated 6,000 Syrians are fleeing the country every day.

U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres says these are numbers not seen since the Rwandan genocide in the mid-1990s.

"We have not seen a refugee outflow escalate at such a frightening rate since the Rwandan genocide almost 20 years ago," Guterres said in an open meeting before the Security Council.

The U.N. says it has registered close to 1.8 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and Syria.

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Tzippe Barrow

Tzippe Barrow

CBN News Internet Producer - Jerusalem

From her perch high atop the mountains surrounding Jerusalem, Tzippe Barrow helps provide a bird’s eye view of events unfolding in her country.

She and her husband made aliyah (immigrated to Israel) several years ago. Barrow hopes that providing a biblical perspective of today’s events in Israel will help people in the nations to better understand the centrality of this state and the Jewish people to God’s unfolding plan of redemption for all mankind.