Clinton to Iran: 'Stop Interfering in Palestinian Affairs'
By VOA News
04 March 2009
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday accused Iran's supreme leader of interfering in Palestinian affairs, after Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called for "resistance" against Israel.
Khamenei also called the Jewish state a "cancerous tumor" and accused U.S. President Barack Obama of following what he called the same mistaken path as George W. Bush in supporting Israel. He made the comments during a conference in Tehran earlier Wednesday.
Clinton and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas dismissed the ayatollah's remarks. Mr. Abbas said Iran should look after its own affairs and stop trying to widen the divide among Palestinians.
Clinton also told reporters in Brussels that she heard repeated complaints about Iran from Arab leaders during a donor conference in Egypt this week. She said Iran intends to "interfere with the internal affairs" in the region by funding terrorism, "whether it's Hezbollah, Hamas or other proxies."
Clinton did not rule out working with Iran, but said efforts to engage Tehran must be seen as "constructive."
Clinton and Mr. Abbas met in the West Bank earlier on Wednesday.
Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister called on his fellow Arab diplomats to deal with what he termed "the Iranian challenge."
At a meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo Tuesday, Prince Saud al-Faisal said that resolving problems among Arabs depends on a joint position regarding Iran's stance on Gulf security and its nuclear program.
In Tehran, Iranian officials opened a two-day conference on what they call Israeli war crimes committed during Israel's January offensive against Hamas in Gaza, in which an estimated 1,300 people were killed.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Bloomberg.
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