TEHRAN (AFP) – Hardline Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Friday that the people of the Middle East are “capable of removing the Zionist regime from the world scene” in an annual Palestinian solidarity day address in Tehran.
“If the leaders of the region do not have the guts, then the people of the region are capable of removing the Zionist regime from the world scene,” the hardliner said as the crowd chanted “Death to America! Death to Israel!.”
Ahmadinejad said that direct peace talks which Western-backed Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas relaunched with Israel in Washington on Thursday after a 20-month hiatus were “doomed” to fail.
“What do they want to negotiate about? Who are they representing? What are they going to talk about?” the Iranian president said of the Palestinian leadership.
“Who gave them the right to sell piece of Palestinian land? The people of Palestine and the people of the region will not allow them to sell even an inch of Palestinian soil to the enemy.
“The negotiations are stillborn and doomed.”
Iran is implacably opposed to the new peace talks and has given strong support to the Islamist Hamas movement which controls Gaza and which carried out two shooting attacks against Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank in the run-up to their relaunch that killed four and wounded two.