TEHRAN, Iran — Iran welcomed Saturday a reconciliation deal between the two main Palestinian factions — the Palestine Liberation Organization and Hamas — which it said was against the "Zionist regime," a reference to Israel.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran salutes the reconciliation of the Palestinian groups against the Zionist regime . . . and against the excessive demands and aggressions of the Qods (Jerusalem) occupation regime," said foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham.
Under a Wednesday agreement, Abbas will head an "independent government" of technocrats, to be formed within five weeks.
That new interim administration would be charged with holding parliamentary and presidential elections within six months of taking office.
Israel has said it would not negotiate with a government backed by Hamas, the armed Islamist movement ruling Gaza, which is pledged to the destruction of the Jewish state and has always rejected peace talks.
Iran, which does not recognize Israel, traditionally supports Palestinian resistance movements.