Ahmadinejad: Mideast conflict can end if immigrant Jews 'go home'
Speaking at conference on Palestinian issue in Tehran, Iranian President says nature of Israeli-Palestinian conflict is between Arab states and Jews 'who have occupied the Palestinian lands.'
The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians could be resolved if Jewish immigrants would return to their countries of origin, thus allowing Palestinian refugees to return to theirs, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Sunday.
Speaking at the sidelines of the International Conference on Palestine in Tehran, the Iranian president was quoted by AFP as saying that if "the backers of the Zionist regime want to solve the issue... the solution is simple ... everyone should go home."
"Some poor people were brought to Palestine on the promise of security and jobs while they made Palestinian people into refugees... So now Palestinians should go home and those brought here should go to theirs," Ahmadinejad was quoted by AFP.
Ahmadinejad was also quoted by the IRNA news agency earlier Sunday as questioning whether or not the Palestinian-Israeli conflict was in fact had to involve Western countries.
“Is the Palestinian issue and Arab issue or a problem between the Arab nations on the one side and some western countries on the other side?" the Iranian president asked, "or it is a problem between Arab nations on the one hand and some Jews who have occupied the Palestinian lands on the other."
Ahmadinejad's comments came after the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei assailed a two state solution for Israel and the Palestinians, saying the Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations is doomed to fail.
The Palestinians should not limit themselves to seeking a country based on the pre-1967 borders, Khameini said, because "all land belongs to Palestinians."
"We neither propose dumping the migrant Jews in the sea nor the UN arbitration, rather our proposal includes a referendum to be participated by all Palestinians," Iran’s semi-official FARS news agency reported Khameini as saying.
"Today the West is standing on a crossroad and it should either leave its age-old bullying and recognize the rights of the Palestinians or wait for harder blows in the near future," Khameini added, according to the FARS news agency.
Khamenei also called Israel a "cancerous tumor."