US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley (AP/Seth Wenig)

“Once again, Iran is showing its true colors,” Ambassador Haley asserted, adding that Iran must abide by UN resolutions or decide “whether it wants to be the leader of a jihadist terrorist movement.”

US Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Nikki Haley called remarks by Hamas’ leader in Gaza lauding its strong ties with Iran “a stunning admission” that illustrates Iranian violations of UN resolutions.

Iran is now “the largest backer financially and militarily” of Hamas, the Palestinian terror group’s leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, told reporters last week in his first meeting with the media since assuming his new position.

Sinwar also emphasized that recently renewed relations with Iran are “fantastic” and have returned to the “former era” of close ties between Hamas and the Islamic Republic.

“Once again, Iran is showing its true colors,” Haley asserted, adding that Iran must abide by UN resolutions or decide “whether it wants to be the leader of a jihadist terrorist movement.”

“It’s long past time for the international community to hold Iran to the same standard that all countries who actually value peace and security are held to,” she added.

The 55-year-old Sinwar, who spent two decades in Israeli prison after being convicted of masterminding the abduction and killing of two Israeli soldiers, has close ties with Hamas’ terror wing and takes a hard line toward Israel.

Sinwar was among more than 1,000 Palestinians released by Israel in 2011 in exchange for an Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, whom Hamas kidnapped in 2006.

Sinwar would not say how much aid Iran provides his group. Before the 2012 breakup, Iran provided an estimated $50 million a month to Hamas.

Sinwar stressed that the Iranian aid is for “rebuilding and accumulating” Hamas’ military powers for a larger fight against Israel that is meant to “liberate Palestine.”

“Thousands of people work every day to make rockets, (dig) tunnels and train frogmen,” he said. “The relationship with Iran is in this context.

Iran continues to be the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, the US in July in it its annual “Country Reports on Terrorism.”

The State Department said Iran was the planet’s “foremost” state sponsor of terrorism in 2016, a dubious distinction the country has held for many years.

It said Iran was firm in its backing of anti-Israel terror groups as well as proxies that have destabilized already devastating conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Yemen. It also said Iran continued to recruit in Afghanistan and Pakistan for Shiite militia members to fight in Syria and Iraq. Additionally, it said Iranian support for Lebanon’s Hezbollah was unchanged.

Iran has been designated a “state sponsor of terrorism” by the State Department and subjected to a variety of US sanctions since 1984. Many of the activities outlined in the report are identical to those detailed in previous reports, indicating that Iran’s belligerent policies and actions have remained unchanged over the years.

By: and AP