PA rally
PA rallyReuters

A senior Iranian official on Friday welcomed the upgraded status of the Palestinian Authority at the United Nations, calling it a "positive step."

The UN General Assembly vote to make the PA a non-member observer state was "a positive and forward step and proves that the Zionist regime is illegitimate," Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said.

Iran "considers this move to be a preliminary step in the path of Palestinians having full sovereignty over their historical lands which were seized," Abdollahian said, according to the Arabic-language Al-Alam television station.

The resolution, which was approved by a vote of 138 to 9, with 41 abstentions, has granted the Palestinian Authority de facto status as a sovereign state based on its own territorial claims, thus enabling it to circumvent final status negotiations with Israel.

Israeli ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor condemned the resolution, saying it was "so one-sided it doesn't advance peace, it pushes it backward."

"The world waits for President Abbas to speak the truth that peace can only be achieved through negotiations by recognizing Israel as a Jewish state,” Proseer said. “It waits for him to tell them that peace must also address Israel's security needs and end the conflict once and for all."

"As long as President Abbas prefers symbolism over reality, as long as he prefers to travel to New York for UN resolutions, rather than travel to Jerusalem for genuine dialogue, any hope of peace will be out of reach," said Prosor.

The office of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued a statement responding to the resolution’s approval saying,  "The world watched a defamatory and venomous speech that was full of mendacious propaganda against the IDF and the citizens of Israel. Someone who wants peace does not talk in such a manner," said the statement about Abbas’s speech.”

"This is a meaningless decision that will not change anything on the ground,” the statement asserted.

Prime Minister Netanyahu “will not allow a base for Iranian terrorism to be established in Judea and Samaria, in addition to those that have [already] been established in Gaza and Lebanon,” the statement affirmed. “The way to peace between Jerusalem and Ramallah is in direct negotiations, without preconditions, and not in one-sided UN decisions. By going to the UN, the Palestinians have violated the agreements with Israel and Israel will act accordingly."