Les installations nucléaires israéliennes dans le désert du Néguev aux abords de Dimona.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Palestinian Authority and Iran have agreed to work together to hold an international conference that would seek the nuclear disarmament of Israel, a senior PLO official who visited Tehran in the past few days said.
Ahmed Majdalani, member of the PLO Executive Committee, held talks in Tehran with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif and delivered a letter from PA President Mahmoud Abbas to Iran’s leader Hassan Rouhani.
Majdalani said on Monday his visit to Iran resulted in an agreement to revive the idea of an international conference to rid the region of Israel’s nuclear arsenal and weapons of mass destruction.
Voicing support for the nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers, Majdalani said the accord would create a positive atmosphere for ensuring security and stability in the Middle East.
The PLO official said his visit to Iran was aimed at refuting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s claim that Iran’s nuclear program poses a threat to Israel and peace. He claimed that Netanyahu was using the Iranian issue to avoid fulfilling Israel’s obligations toward the peace process.
The Palestinians are now hoping that the Palestinian issue will return to the center stage as the essence of the Middle East conflict.
Majdalani said his talks in Iran also focused on Israeli “assaults” against Palestinians; he accused the Israeli government of failing to work toward achieving peace with the Palestinians and expressed hope that Tehran would support Palestinian diplomatic moves in the international arena.
The rapprochement between the PA and Iran is also likely to pave the way for the restoration of the Palestinians’ ties with Syria. Relations between Syria and the Palestinians have been tense since the beginning of the civil war there.
Majdalani said the PA’s position toward the Syrian crisis is based on the need to find a peaceful, rather than military, solution. He said the Palestinians were very keen to see an end to the crisis because they have paid a heavy price due to the continuation of the civil war. Tens of thousands of Palestinians have been displaced since the beginning of the crisis in Syria in 2011.
An Israeli government official was concerned by the report, saying the PA’s alliance with Iran proves that its issue with Israel is not about borders or settlements, but rather the Jewish state’s right to exist.
“I would say the PA’s relationship with Iran, like its relationship with Hamas, is a matter of serous concern,” the official said. “Both Iran and Hamas believe the Jewish state should be obliterated.
They say so openly, that Israel should be destroyed. The fact that they feel comfortable forming alliances with Iran, raises questions about [the Palestinians’] own commitment to peace and reconciliation.”
Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.