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Ahmadinejad Denounces Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks

Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad (file photo)
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has dismissed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks as "stillborn" and "doomed" in an annual pro-Palestinian solidarity day speech in Tehran.

Addressing a crowd chanting "Death to America, death to Israel" at the annual Quds (Jerusalem) Day gathering, he mocked the direct peace talks opened on September 2 in Washington between the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmud Abbas, and Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister.

Ahmadinejad also said the people of the Middle East are "capable of removing the Zionist regime from the world scene" and dismissed the possibility of an Israeli or U.S. military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities.

Earlier, it was reported that hard-line Basij militia forces had laid siege to the home of opposition leader Mehdi Karrubi to prevent him joining the rally, at which reformists last year turned out in force to voice their oppositon to Ahmadinejad's disputed presidential election victory in June 2009.

compiled from agency reports