Iran’s supreme leader rejected the Palestinians’ UN statehood bid on Saturday, saying any deal that accepts the existence of Israel would leave a “cancerous tumor” forever threatening the security of the Middle East.

“Slanderous statements” regarding the intention to annihilate Israel that were issued Saturday at the Palestinian conference in Teheran only serve to give credence to Israel’s firm stance that its security needs must be met and its request to be recognized as a Jewish state must be accepted, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said.

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“Israel will continue to strive for peace while ensuring that conditions are in place to promise a secure future to Israeli citizens for generations to come,” Netanyahu said in a statement released by his office on Saturday night.

As leader of a country under a longstanding threat of military action from Israel and the United States, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned the Jewish state and its allies to expect “paralyzing blows” that a NATO missile shield could not prevent.

“Any plan that seeks to divide Palestine is totally rejected,” Khamenei told a conference commemorating the first intifada.

The conference, first held in 1991, “focuses on the restoration of Palestinians’ rights, including their rights to return to their homeland and determine their own fate, and on the liberation of Palestinian territories occupied by Israel,” according to Iranian news outlet PressTV.

“The two-state scheme, which has been clad in the self-righteousness of the acceptance of the Palestinian government and membership at the United Nations, is nothing but a capitulation to the demands of the Zionists or the recognition of the Zionist regime on Palestinian land,” he declared.

Khamenei’s speech underlined Iran’s support for groups that oppose Israel’s existence, including Hamas, which rejected the UN bid presented by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as “begging” for statehood.

The 72-year-old cleric also sought to portray Iran as the greatest defender of the Palestinian cause, criticizing other countries in the region that have close ties to Washington.

“Governments that host Zionist embassies or economic bureaus cannot advocate support for Palestine,” he said in comments aimed, among others, at post-Mubarak Egypt with which Tehran is seeking to restore the diplomatic ties cut since 1979.

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said at the conference that “resistance is the only remaining option” for the Palestinians.

“All others have failed,” he said.

Also speaking at the opening of the conference, Iranian parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani said that the Arab Spring had presented a ripe opportunity for the Palestinians. “Very serious measures” should be taken in order to not pass up those opportunities, he said, according to IRNA.

Khamenei mocked Barack Obama’s support for Israel as a cynical ploy to retain the US presidency at next year’s election.

“In order to remain in power you have surrendered to humiliation and to the Zionists,” he said.

The United States and Israel both say they do not rule out preemptive strikes on Iran to stop it from getting nuclear bombs. Tehran says it would hit back at Israel and US interests in the region and analysts say it could use allies, such as Lebanese Hezbollah, to retaliate.

“The West must either give up its bullying policies and recognize the Palestinians’ rights and avoid pursuing the Zionist regime’s bullying schemes. Otherwise it will face harsher blows in the near future,” Khamenei said.

He said a NATO early-warning radar system being deployed to protect the Western alliance from attacks by countries including Iran would be ineffective.

“What threatens the Zionist regime is not Iran’s missiles or the resistance, under the pretext of which they have set up the missile shield in the region.

The main threat comes from the determination of those who no longer want America, Europe or their lackeys to rule over them. Of course [our] missiles will carry out their duties any time they feel a threat stemming from the enemy,” Khamenei said. from the enemy."

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