The Palestinian Authority has taken a stand against Iran, after the Islamic Republic criticized the PA for relaunching direct talks with Israel, according to official PA news agency Wafa.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, reportedly said that Ahmadinejad "does not represent the Iranian people, forged elections, suppresses the Iranian people and stole the authority. [He] is not entitled to talk about Palestine, or the president of Palestine."

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"President Abu Mazen [Abbas] is the elected president of free and fair elections in which more than two thousand international observers [participated]," Abu Rudeineh said. "We have fought for Palestine and Jerusalem, and the Palestinian leadership has provided thousands of martyrs and tens of thousands wounded and prisoners."

"We did not repress our people, as did Iran led by Ahmadinejad," Abu Rudeineh added.

"We are defending our national rights and our national interest, and the President and the Palestinian leadership and the PLO are the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, who knows how to defend their rights and will not allow anyone to undermine the national president or the legitimacy of the Palestine Liberation Organization," he said.

The criticism came from Libya, where Abbas is meeting with Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi.

Earlier this week, Egypt canceled a visit by Iran's foreign minister to protest comments in which he accused Arab leaders of betrayal for attending the new round of Mideast peace talks in Washington.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki had been scheduled to visit Cairo Monday for a meeting of Nonaligned Movement members.

Mottaki said Arab leaders who attended the relaunch of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in Washington this week were "betraying their nations."

"Some leaders ... who follow America's orders must understand that they are betraying their nations," Iran's Fars news agency quoted him as saying on Tuesday.

AP contributed to this report.

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