Mideast meet will erode Palestinian rights: Iran

Iran said on Sunday a Middle East conference organized by the United States would result in an erosion of Palestinian rights because Washington had shown in the past that it was not an objective mediator.The United States aims to relaunch peace talks on Palestinian statehood at the November 27 conference in Annapolis, Maryland, that will bring together Arabs and Israelis.

Iran does not recognize Israel, backs Palestinian and Lebanese Islamic militant groups opposed to peace with the Jewish state and in October called for a boycott of the meeting.

“The organizers of this conference are Americans and past experience tells us that they cannot be objective and credible mediators and they are providing all out support for the Zionist regime,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini said, making a reference to Israel.

“The end result of all of these conferences leads to a further erosion of Palestinian rights,” he told a news conference.

The Arab League agreed on Friday to attend the meeting in the hope of promoting the creation of a Palestinian state and pushing for the return of occupied Syrian land.

“This conference, and whatever comes out of it, will not be fruitful if it does not safeguard the rights of Palestinians,” President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said, IRNA news agency reported.

“Attending this conference shows a lack of political intelligence … The names of those who give concessions to the Zionist occupiers by attending will not be remembered for goodness,” the president told a gathering of Iran’s Basij religious militia.

Iranian leaders have called for a referendum among all Palestinians — wherever they now live and whatever their religion or background — to decide on the fate of what is now Israel and the Palestinian areas.

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