Friday, August 26, 2011

Ahmadinejad: Palestinian statehood only 'first step'

Iranian president urges Palestinians not to settle for a 2-state solution but "to strive for complete return of their land."

    TEHRAN - The creation of a universally-recognized Palestinian state would be just a first step towards wiping out Israel, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Friday.

He spoke weeks ahead of a UN General Assembly in New York where the Arab League plans to seek full UN membership for a Palestinian state.

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Ahmadinejad, restating a position expressed soon after taking office in 2005 that Israel was a "tumor" to be wiped off the map, urged Palestinians not to settle for a two-state solution that is backed by [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas but to strive for a complete return of what they consider their land.

"Recognizing the Palestinian state is not the last goal. It is only one step forward towards liberating the whole of Palestine," Ahmadinejad told worshippers at Friday prayers on international Qods Day -- an annual show of support for the Palestinian cause.

"The Zionist regime is a center of microbes, a cancer cell and if it exists in one iota of Palestine it will mobilize again and hurt everyone."

"It is not enough for them to have a weak, powerless state in a very small piece of Palestine. They should unite to establish a state but the ultimate goal is the liberation of the whole of Palestine," he said.

"I urge the Palestinians never to forget this ideal. Forgetting this ideal is equal to committing suicide. It would be giving an opportunity to an enemy which is on the verge of collapse and disappearance."

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