Due to visit Egypt this week, Iran's president expressed interest in visiting the Gaza Strip; he did not specify whose permission he would seek.
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is due to take part in a summit in Egypt this week, expressed his desire on Monday to visit the neighboring Gaza Strip.
Asked in an interview on the Al-Mayadeen news channel whether he would visit Gaza while in Cairo next week or before his term as president expires in June, he replied: "My wish is bigger than this. I wish to pray in Jerusalem after complete liberation."
Iran does not recognize Israel.
"If they allow it, I would go to Gaza to visit the people," he said, without saying whose authority he would seek Egypt controls the crossing with Gaza and leaders of Qatar and Malaysia have both visited the enclave from Egyptian territory in the last six months.
Ahmadinejad's visit to Cairo will be the first for an Iranian president since the 1979 Iranian revolution ruptured diplomatic ties between the two most populous countries in the Middle East.
He will head Iran's delegation to a summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Cairo.
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now