Peace talks 'detrimental' to the cause, Iran tells Palestine

Published August 12th, 2013 - 06:35 GMT
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, delivers the Eid al-Fitr prayer sermon at Tehran University in the Iranian capital on August 9, 2013. Portrait in the background shows the late founder of the Islamic republic Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. (AFP)
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, delivers the Eid al-Fitr prayer sermon at Tehran University in the Iranian capital on August 9, 2013. Portrait in the background shows the late founder of the Islamic republic Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. (AFP)

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei warned the Palestinians this weekend against renewed peace talks with Israel, saying they would be "detrimental" to their cause.

Khamanei, who has the final say on Iran's foreign policy, said the talks would likely " encourage the aggressors to increase their aggression and suppress the rightful resistance of the Palestinians" and likely force "the Palestinians to reliquish their rights". 

Khamanei also called on the Muslim world to condemn Israel's "oppressive" actions against Palestinians. "The Muslim world must not back down from its support for Palestine, and it should condemn the oppressive action of fierce Zionist wolves and their international supporters," he said.

The Islamic republic has repeatedly voiced opposition about talks focusing on a two-state solution, saying Israel would never agree to withdraw from "occupied lands."

His remarks came a day after the U.S. State Department said Palestinian and Israeli negotiators would resume talks on ending their long-standing conflict on Aug. 14 in Jerusalem. Both sides have already agreed to try to resolve their differences within nine months.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, "Negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians will be resuming Aug. 14 in Jerusalem and will be followed by a meeting in Jericho." Psaki said U.S. envoys Martin Indyk and Frank Lowenstein will travel to the region to help facilitate the negotiations. She signaled that no major breakthroughs were likely at the meeting, saying: "Secretary Kerry does not expect to make any announcements in the aftermath of this round of talks."


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