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Last Updated: Saturday, 28 January 2006, 15:43 GMT
Iranian press hail Hamas's win

Conservative Iranian newspapers hail a new Islamist electoral breakthrough, in their first response to Hamas's surprise Palestinian poll win.

But reformist papers like Sharq and E'temad nudge Hamas to act wisely, suggesting it transform its guerrilla into a lawful police and security framework.

Kayhan (ultra-conservative)

Hamas'ss win in the Palestinian parliamentary elections completed the circle of Islamic victories in 2005-2006. Before Hamas, principle-ists achieved victories in Iranian, Afghan and Iraqi presidential and parliamentary elections, respectively, running on pro-religious and anti-Western platforms... [US President George W] Bush, who has always uttered Hamas and terrorism in the same breath, announced that he would accept the new situation and offered his co-operation. The Europeans also expressed their willingness to reassess their views...

The astounding victory of the Islamists in the Palestinian elections poses a kind of deadlock for the Arab countries, because they don't want Palestinians to run their own affairs. Some Arabic media have tried to taint this victory and create division among the Palestinians... But Palestinians have acted correctly so far. Fatah has accepted Hamas's win, and the Palestinian Authority has recognised Hamas'ss right to form a new government. The whole world understands the significance of this victory. Everyone realises that the Middle East is shaping around the Islamists.

Jomhuri-ye Eslami (hard-line)

The results of the Palestinian parliamentary elections reaffirmed the justified cries of an oppressed nation which has always tried to free itself from the yoke of the occupation. For Palestinians, the elections were another way of making themselves heard by the whole world... Hamas'ss victory delivered a major blow to the Zionists. It shocked and disappointed them... The Zionists, the Americans and the Europeans have no other option but to accept the will of the Palestinians. But this does not mean a final victory for the Palestinians. They will, undoubtedly, face future threats from the Zionists and their supporters. There are already talks about putting pressure on Hamas to abandon its armed struggle and recognize the Zionist regime. The Zionist regime aims to isolate and undermine Hamas, thereby forcing it to surrender.

Iran News (moderate)

Hamas's victory indicates the movement's favourable standing among the Palestinian nation and this will have wide-ranging repercussions at international and regional levels... Hamas won people's votes due to its opposition to Israel and Middle East peace process and if, as predicted by some analysts, it takes a U-turn politically and ideologically, there is a great chance that it would lose people's backing in the future. Election results were a major triumph for Hamas and good advantage should be taken of it in order to realise the rights of the oppressed Palestinian nation.

Sharq (reformist)

Experience shows that the success of any armed struggle depends greatly on being run by secret organisations which have no fixed base or centre of operation. Hamas is acutely aware of this fact... But the Hamas political leaders will realise that the clandestine operations will be meaningless after the organisation forms the new Palestinian government. They will have to attend parliamentary sessions and discuss the issues in such setting...

By forming the new Palestinian government, Hamas will have to abandon any military activity which falls outside of the normal government duties... In fact, Hamas'ss victory in the Palestinian parliamentary elections have not only shocked Israel, the West and Arab countries, but it has also astounded the movement itself... It is quite conceivable that Hamas might have to change from an armed movement to a political institution. As a ruling party and an elected government, it must redefine its military activities within a legitimate and lawful police and military framework.

E'temad (reformist)

The results of an election, calling for a change usually means the rejection of a ruling body or support for a group offering a different platform... The victory of Hamas was in fact a protest vote, rejecting the policies of the Palestinian National Authority and wanting an end to political and financial corruption... Fatah's loss in the elections was in fact a defeat for the US, Europe and Israel... But the US and Europe are forced to accept this Islamic movement within the framework of democracy. Hamas, for its part, faces a new and difficult situation. The victory can prove costly to Hamas, should it fail to act wisely.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaus abroad.


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