Office of the Supreme Leader, File) ** EDITORIAL USE ONLY, NO SALES **, Associated Press
TEHRAN, Iran — Iran's supreme leader assailed a two state solution for Israel and the Palestinians on Saturday, saying the Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations is doomed to fail.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the Palestinians should not limit themselves to seeking a country based on the pre-1967 borders — which would implicitly recognize Israel — because "all land belongs to Palestinians."
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has asked the U.N. Security Council to recognize an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza Strip — areas captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war.
Israel and the U.S. oppose the U.N. bid, saying there is no substitute for direct negotiations. But with Israel continuing to build settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, Abbas says there is no point in talking.
Iran doesn't recognize Israel and considers it an archenemy.
Khamenei, who spoke at a pro-Palestinian conference in Tehran, once again called Israel a "cancerous tumor" that should be removed.
Iran supports the militant Palestinian Hamas group, which rules Gaza and which does not back the statehood bid pushed by Abbas and his Western-backed Fatah.
"Our claim is freedom of Palestine, not part of Palestine. Any plan that partitions Palestine is totally rejected," Khamenei told the gathering. "Palestine spans from the river (Jordan) to the sea (Mediterranean), nothing less."
Khamenei claimed that a two state solution would mean "giving in to the demand of the Zionists" and that it would "trample the rights of the Palestinian people" to live on their land.
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