Sinking Ahmadinejad Slams 'Blind Support for Israel'
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday expressed dismay at what he called "the West's blind support for Israel."
He also deplored the West's lack of vision as a "detriment of the Palestinian cause" and entreated the international community to show "greater sensitivity to the tragedy of the people that suffers the Israeli occupation."
Ahmadinejad's remarks were made during a meeting with members of an anti-Israel convoy called Towards Beit-ul-Moqaddas.
"The current hegemonic powers seek to establish this system (Zionism) in Palestine as a focal point of the Middle East, which is also the center of power and resources of the world, said the president before activists from several countries, who visited Iran," he said.
"In this regard," he asserted, "the occupation of Palestine is a historical problem and the existence of the Zionist regime (Israel) is an insult to freedom, justice and to all the independent nations."
According Ahmadinejad, "Europe and the United States spend "tens of billions of dollars of their profits each year for the Zionists to help a criminal regime to continue its occupation."
In addition to allegations that billions of precious oil dollars were illegally diverted, Ahmadinejad has faced intense criticism over his handling of Iran's economy and foreign policy during its nuclear showdown with the West.
Sanctions by the United States and European Union have brought Iran's rial to near insolvency and closed avenues by which consumers of Tehran's key exportable crude oil can be purchased and insured.
Last week, key Khameini adviser Mohammad Javad Larijani sought to distance Iran from an often-quoted statement by Ahmadinejad about “wiping Israel from the face of the map.”
Larijani emphatically said it was “definitely not” Iran's intent to militarily obliterate Israel, adding that “neither the president meant that, nor is it a policy of Iran.”
The statement was widely seen by analysts as an attempt by Iran's hardline cleric to extricate themselves from Ahmadinejad's game of brinksmanship with Israel and the U.S. ahead of expected nuclear talks with the international community.
Iran has entered into – and withdrawn from – nuclear talks with the West on numerous occasions, leading to charges Tehran is merely "stalling for time."
However, for the first time Larijani signaled Iran would be willing to stop enriching uranium domestically and allow permanent human monitoring by international officials in exchange for civilian nuclear assistance from the West.
The upcoming talks are expected to begin in April.