Saturday, September 04, 2010

Middle East peace talks are 'doomed to fail', says Ahmadinejad.

You have to wonder sometimes about what goes on inside Ahmadinejad's head. Why would he come out - at the very moment when Israel and Palestine are holding their first face to face in two years - and say this?

Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, today launched an angry attack on "doomed" US-brokered Middle East peace talks and urged the Palestinians to continue armed resistance to Israel.

Ahmadinejad used the annual al-Quds (Jerusalem) Day rally in Tehran to scorn the Obama administration's efforts in launching the first Arab-Israeli negotiations in nearly two years.

"What do they want to negotiate about? Who are they representing? What are they going to talk about?" the hardline Iranian leader said of the Palestinian negotiating team in Washington.

"Who gave them the right to sell a piece of Palestinian land? The people of Palestine and the people of the region will not allow them to sell even an inch of Palestinian soil to the enemy. The negotiations are stillborn and doomed."

Now, I understand that the larger point he is making concerns the fact that Hamas, the Palestinian people's democratically elected representatives, have been excluded from the process.

I get that point and obviously, somewhere down the road, Hamas will have to be brought into the process. But why does Ahmadinejad favour armed resistance over negotiation? Armed resistance has gotten the Palestinian people nowhere.

I personally am doubtful about how successful these talks will be, but surely everyone sees them as preferable to the alternative?

And, at a time when many in the west are calling for action against Iran, Ahmadinejad does not make it more difficult for them to make their case. Indeed, in the minds of many, he makes the case better than Blair and the neo-cons do.

Click here for full article.

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