Mashaal: ME conference US 'distraction' to prepare war against Iran

The leader of Hamas on Monday dismissed a US-sponsored Mideast peace conference planned for later this year, saying it was meant to distract the region as Washington prepared for an attack against Iran. He also warned Palestinian leaders against making concessions to Israel during the meeting. "Strategically, it (the US) is setting the stage and covering up for the upcoming American war in the region," Khaled Mashaal told a press conference at a forum of Palestinian intellectuals in Damascus, where the political chief of the Palestinian faction has his headquarters. "There are preparations for an aggression against Iran, and could include other parties - Syria, Lebanon and Hizbullah. Therefore, America is distracting us with a false game and is preparing itself for the real one," he said.