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      Iran: We Are 'Hostile' to Israel-PA Talks

      Iran declares it is against the renewed peace talks, says "the Zionist regime does as it wants."
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 8/15/2013, 6:16 AM

      Tehran
      Tehran
      AFP photo

      Iran once again blasted the latest round of talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, saying it was "hostile" to the negotiations brokered by the United States, AFP reported.

      "Iran is hostile to these negotiations and several Palestinian groups are hostile to them," foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Araqchi was quoted as having told the ISNA news agency.

      "The current context is not suitable for negotiations," said the spokesman, whose country is a backer of the Hamas terrorist group which rules Gaza and which slammed the talks as a "national crime".

      "In fact, the Zionist regime is continuing to build new (settlement) housing, which is condemned by the Europeans and the United States, but the Zionist regime does as it wants," said Araqchi, according to AFP.

      "These talks are unbalanced and the rights of the Palestinian people, like the right of return, self-determination and the question of Quds (Jerusalem) are ignored, and for this reason they will give no results," he stated.

      Last week, Iran’s Supreme Leader slammed American attempts to revive peace talks between Israel and the PA, stressing that such efforts are futile.

      “The U.S.-brokered talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are aimed at undermining the Palestinians’ resistance,” he declared.

      Khamenei claimed that in more than 60 years “of the occupation of Palestine”, the peace talks have not had the least benefit for the “oppressed Palestinians”. He stressed that any benefit gained throughout the years has been the result of resistance and Intifada.

      "The U.S. is not a real mediator, it stands by the Zionists," declared Khamenei. "Definitely .... it is against the interests of the Palestinians."

      Wednesday’s remarks came hours before the negotiating sides met in Jerusalem. The five hour meeting was described as “long and serious”.

      Iran does not recognize Israel and its leaders have consistently verbally attacked the Jewish State. The country’s former President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, publicly called for Israel to be wiped off the map.

      The Islamic republic's new president, the so-called “moderate” Hassan Rouhani, recently branded Israel a "wound" that "has for many years been sitting on the body of the Islamic world".

      Official Iranian media later claimed that the president-elect’s remarks were distorted and that he did not mention Israel.