Iran General NewsIran's Ahmadinejad presses Egypt on Gaza stance

Iran’s Ahmadinejad presses Egypt on Gaza stance

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ImageReuters: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called on Egypt on Saturday to clarify whether it is a "partner" with Israel in efforts to break Hamas resistance in the Gaza Strip, a news agency reported.

ImageTEHRAN (Reuters) – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called on Egypt on Saturday to clarify whether it is a "partner" with Israel in efforts to break Hamas resistance in the Gaza Strip, a news agency reported.

Iran has condemned Israel for its attacks in Gaza and expressed support for the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, criticising what Tehran says is the silence of some Arab states. Ahmadinejad said they should cut ties with Israel.

Egypt, the only Arab state to border Gaza, has been a focus for protests by hardline Iranians who say Cairo has not done enough to help the Palestinians. Egypt has partly blamed Hamas for the violence because it failed to renew a truce with Israel.

"Today it has been heard in some of the West's political meetings that the Egyptian government is a partner in crimes in Gaza and they are after breaking Hamas as part of the resistance and bring it under their own influence," the semi-official Mehr News Agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.

Ahmadinejad may have been referring to Egyptian-European efforts at mediation in the two-week conflict, in which at least 821 Palestinians and 13 Israelis have been killed.

"I believe that in the current conditions, and with the crimes it is committing, the Zionist regime (Israel) is after finding a partner for its crimes," Ahmadinejad said.

"Therefore I ask the Egyptian officials to announce their stance on the Palestinian nation, especially on the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip and the Zionist regime's crimes, as soon as possible," Mehr quoted him as saying.

Israel has accused Iran of supplying arms to Hamas, which has been isolated by some Arab and international governments.

Tehran says it gives moral, financial and humanitarian support to its Palestinian ally.

Iran is embroiled in a row over its nuclear work with Washington, which accuses Tehran of seeking an atomic bomb. The United States has sought to win over Arabs in its effort to isolate Iran. Tehran denies seeking nuclear arms.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Thursday said some Muslim governments in the region had been wrong not to do more to stop Israeli attacks on Gaza.

Ahmadinejad, who often rails against Israel and the West, echoed that view, in comments carried by ISNA news agency.

"Cut your relations with the Zionist regime and boycott this regime. Don't give them a chance to influence you," he said.

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