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(photo credit: AP)
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad blasted US-hosted Mideast peace talks in an interview aired here Sunday, saying Palestinians were not truly represented and peace in the region is impossible because Washington continues to bankroll Israel.
"It is impossible for a country that provides Israel with billions of dollars in military weapons and equipment to bring peace to Palestine," Ahmadinejad said in an interview Japanese broadcaster TV Asahi conducted in Teheran.
"The conference's hosts are refusing to acknowledge the fundamental reason behind the Palestinian problem ... that they are protecting the oppressors of the Palestinian people," Ahmadinejad said in comments translated into Japanese.
"The real representatives of the Palestinian people did not participate in the talks. Their interests were ignored," Ahmadinejad added.
Ahmadinejad often uses anti-Israeli rhetoric and has cast doubt on the Holocaust to rally anti-Western supporters at home and abroad. He has referred to the Holocaust as a "myth" used to impose the state of Israel on the Arab world.
At the US-hosted Mideast conference last week in Annapolis, Maryland, Israel and the Palestinians, in the presence of representatives of nearly 50 nations, announced that peace talks would resume after a violent seven-year hiatus.
Iran repeatedly condemned the talks that many saw as aimed at isolating the Islamic country. Hamas, which has controlled the Gaza Strip since June, also opposes the resumption of peace talks, saying Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas does not speak on behalf of Palestinians.
Meanwhile, US officials have expressed hopes that the Annapolis conference would weaken the hard-line alliance of Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hizbullah.