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Iran And Middle East Peace

In an interview with ABC News Television, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that the Palestinian people, like all peoples, have the right to determine their own fate.

When asked whether Iran would be supportive if the Palestinians signed an agreement with Israel, Mr. Ahmadinejad said, "Whatever decision they [the Palestinians] take, we will support that."

Iran's actions do not support the Iranian President's statement. Iran continues to provide material and moral support for both Hamas and Hezbollah, both of whom reject the right of Israel to exist and oppose the 2-state solution of Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace.

U.S. State Department Acting Spokesman Robert Wood said that the 2-state solution is the policy the U.S. is pursuing to enable both the Israeli and the Palestinian people to prosper. He called on Iran "to play a positive role in the region, which up until now it hasn't:"

"If Iran wants to show goodwill, it should encourage those forces that it supports that are opposed to a 2-state solution to cease their opposition and work constructively toward helping us reach that 2-state solution."

"Bringing about a 2-state solution is paramount for us," said Mr. Wood. During his recent trip to the region, U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George Mitchell said that "a 2-state solution is the only solution" and that a comprehensive peace in the Middle East is not only in the interests of the Israelis and the Palestinians, but of the U.S. and people throughout the region.