IJ leader: Teheran won't stand alone [ii]

"Any threat to Iran is a threat to the Palestinian people."

Secretary of the Islamic Jihad Ramadan Shalah said Saturday that any threat to Iran was a threat to the Palestinians. In an interview to Iranian television, Shalah vowed that Teheran "would not stand alone" in face of international action. Shelah's declaration came after Shimon Peres, in an interview to Israel Radio earlier Saturday, said that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "represents the devil, not God." "The Zionist regime is a rotten, dried tree that will be eliminated by one storm," said the radical Iranian President Friday, and also reiterated his doubts regarding the historical factuality of the Holocaust. Peres went on to say that history has condemned madmen such as Ahmadinejad, and added that his extreme remarks were reminiscent of remarks made by ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. "Whoever has acted in such a manner has suffered the same fate," said Peres. Kadima's number two held that it cannot be ignored that a member country of the United Nations has threatened another member of the same organization. "The Iranian President is unifying the entire world against him," he said. On Friday, Hamas and Islamic Jihad representatives met with Ahmadinejad, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Hizbullah members in Teheran on Friday in a conference aimed at raising funds for the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority. "Like it or not," said Ahmadinejad, "the Zionist regime is heading toward annihiliation. The Zionist regime is a rotten, dried tree that will be eliminated by one storm," he said. The land of Palestine, he said, "will be freed soon." He did not say how this would be achieved, but insisted to the audience of at least 900 people: "Believe that Palestine will be freed soon." "The existance of [the Israeli] regime is a permanent threat" to the Middle East, he added. "Its existance has harmed the dignity of Islamic nations." In his opening speech to the conference, Khamenei accused the United States of hatching plots against Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon to bring the entire region under Israeli control. "The chain of plots by the American government against Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon - aimed at governing the Middle East through the control of the Zionist regime - will not succeed," he said. He also indicated that Iran will support the cash-strapped, Hamas-led government in the Palestinian territories, but he did not mention financial aid. "The great Islamic nation cannot ... be indifferent and remain silent on the injustice done to you," Khamenei said. "The Islamic nation is required to assit you in any way it can." Iran has previously said it will give money to the Palestinian Authority to make up for the withdrawal of donations by Western nations who object to Hamas' refusal to recognize Israel and renounce violence. But no figure has been published. One of the conference organizers' Mahmoud Muhammadi called upon all Muslim nations to come to the Palestinians' aid, especially following the decision by both the United States and the European Union to cut direct aid from the Palestinians. In spite of the PA's dire economic state, PA Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said on Friday that the suspension of Western aid to the Palestinian Authority would not bring down his government nor cow the Palestinian people. "The Palestinian people will not give up their government no matter how many sacrifices we have to make. We are prepared to eat salt and olives," he told supporters in a speech after Friday prayers. Click here to read the first 200 talkbacks to this article.