Iran General NewsPalestinian leader blasts Ahmadinejad over Mideast peace comments

Palestinian leader blasts Ahmadinejad over Mideast peace comments

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CNN: The administration of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas lashed out at Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Saturday, a day after Ahmadinejad criticized Abbas for renewing direct peace talks with Israel.

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) — The administration of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas lashed out at Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Saturday, a day after Ahmadinejad criticized Abbas for renewing direct peace talks with Israel.

“He who does not represent the Iranian people, who forged elections and who suppresses the Iranian people and stole the authority, is not entitled to talk about Palestine, or the President of Palestine,” said Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for the Palestinian Authority, according to Wafa, the Palestinian Authority’s news agency.

Ahmadinejad, speaking to thousands of people at Tehran University on Friday, said the Mideast peace talks would fail. He spoke on Quds Day, an annual holiday in Iran that marks the country’s solidarity with Palestinians and calls for the end of Israeli occupation.

Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met for direct talks in Washington this week, pledging to move the peace process forward. After two days of meetings, they deadlocked over the contentious issue of Israeli settlements.

“The fate of Palestine will be determined on the ground in Palestine,” Ahmadinejad said Friday. “Not in Washington, not in Paris, and not in London.”

“These talks are death,” he said. “There is no reason to hold talks.”

Rudeineh, the Palestinian Authority spokesperson, defended the Abbas administration’s legitimacy among Palestinians.

“We have fought for Palestine and Jerusalem and the Palestinian leadership has provided thousands of martyrs and tens of thousands wounded and prisoners (and) did not repress their people, as did the system of Iran led by Ahmadinejad,” he said, according to Wafa.

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