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Iran Says U.S. Mideast Democracy Push Failing

(AFP) 19 February 2006 -- Iran says Washington's push for democracy in the Middle East is in fact resulting in victories for Islamic movements.

In an interview to the official news agency IRNA, President Mahmud Ahmadinejad said the "American slogan" of democracy has had the reverse effect in the Palestinian territories, Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon.

In elections in the Palestinian areas, the radical Hamas organization has just won a majority.

Ahmadinejad also predicted the defeat of the "myth of an invincible and eternal Zionism" and its ideal of a greater Israel.

The comments came ahead of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's tour to the Middle East, where she is expected to push efforts to spread democracy in the region and counter what Washington views as a destabilizing Iranian policy.