Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini said Wednesday that U.S. President Barack Obama is taking the same wrong path in supporting the State of Israel -- which he referred to as a "cancerous tumor" -- as his predecessor, former President George W. Bush.
The Ayatollah made his remarks at a two-day conference held in Tehran to support the Palestinian Authority.
“Even the new president of America, who has come to power with slogans about changing Bush’s policies, is defending state terrorism by talking about unconditional commitment to Israel’s security,” said Khameini, the top policy decision-maker in Iran.
“Another big mistake is to say that the only way to save the Palestinian nation is by negotiations,” he told his audience. “Negotiations with whom? With an occupying and bullying regime, who does not believe in any principle other than force? … Or negotiations with America or Britain who committed the biggest sin in creating and supporting this cancerous tumor…?" Khameini said, according to Reuters.
"The way to salvation [for Palestinian Authority Arabs] is by standing firm and resisting,” the Ayatollah exhorted participants, adding that "The political and military leaders of the occupying regime that played the role in the disaster of Gaza must be put on trial. This is the first step that should be taken," the AFP news agency quoted him as saying.
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum also accused the U.S. on Wednesday of deep support for Israel. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, he said, has been “totally biased in favor of the Zionist occupation.” He added that her remarks during her visit to the region “do not reflect any change in American foreign policy.” Clinton met Wednesday morning with PA Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad at his office in Ramallah.
Clinton called on Iran, in remarks to journalists earlier in the week, to “unclench its fist” as America tries to engage the Islamic Republic in dialogue over the issue of ending its nuclear development program. However, she also called on regional leaders to form a security consortium against the Iranian nuclear threat.
Iran has refused to halt its nuclear activities, despite past resolutions by the United Nations Security Council that have imposed sanctions against the country for defying the international body’s ban.