Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met on Thursday with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Tehran.
An official statement from the Iranian president’s office noted that Ahmadinejad said that the Islamic Republic of Iran is willing to provide any assistance to the Palestinians in a bid to reach national reconciliation.
Ahmadinejad stressed his support for the Palestinians and said: “You and the rest of the Palestinian brothers are always invited to Iran to discuss unity,” adding: “We love all Palestinians. Iran is committed to Palestinian unity.”
In his remarks the Iranian president pointed out that “the Islamic Republic of Iran is the only country that has never recognized the Zionist regime and it believes that the Zionists are occupiers who kill the Palestinians by imposing their presence in the region.”
Ahmadinejad added: “The Islamic Republic of Iran has always announced that Palestine belongs to all Palestinians and it is our belief that the Palestinians themselves should determine their fate.
Earlier in the week, the Iranians attempted to drive a wedge in the Palestinian leadership after it was reported that not only did they invite Abbas to the summit as protocol demands, but that they also invited Hamas government prime minister Ismail Haniyeh to take part in the summit. Ultimately, Haniyeh decided not to take part in the summit.
On Thursday Iran’s spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke at the Non Aligned Movement summit where he said Zionists were “bloodthirsty wolves.”
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon was present at the speech and later said “I strongly reject threats by any member state to destroy another or outrageous attempts to deny historical facts such as the Holocaust,” Ban said.
“Claiming that Israel does not have the right to exist or describing it in racist terms is not only wrong but undermines the very principle we all have pledged to uphold,” he added.
The Iran Project is not responsible for the content of quoted articles.