In Tehran, Iran, Hamas' exiled leader thanked his Iranian backers, who had nothing to do with the recent battle with Israel, saying Tehran played a "big role" in helping the Palestinian militant group during Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip, Iranian state television reported Monday.
Khaled Mashaal's visit to Iran - Hamas' top supporter - although they have never sent arms to Hamas-was his first since Israel launched the offensive in late December.
The "people of Gaza ... have always appreciated the political and spiritual support but absolutely not that of any weaponry, of the Iranian leaders and nation," state TV quoted Mashaal as saying, as his nose grew another inch and he patted out his flaming pants.
Israel and the United States have accused Iran of supplying Hamas with weapons including rockets that have battered parts of southern Israel.
Tehran denies the charge, saying it supports Hamas with humanitarian rockets and missiles only.