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  Last Update:  29 November 2011 06:52  GMT                                      Volume. 11308

Establishment of Palestinian state, first step to liberation: Ahmadinejad
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altTEHRAN – President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that Iran is in favor of the establishment of a Palestinian state as the first step to liberate the occupied territories.   

Ahmadinejad has made the remarks in an interview with the NBC in response to a question on the Islamic Republic’s stance on the Acting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ decision to apply to the UN Security Council for full UN membership of a Palestinian state.  

“If the Zionists end aggression, assassination, and occupation and recognize the nations’ rights, then there is no problem,” he stated. “But Iran is opposed to a hideous, occupying, warmongering, and terrorist group.”  

On the issue of three U.S. citizens, who were arrested in Iran in 2009, Ahmadinejad said that they have illegally crossed the Iranian border, which is a serious offence, but Iran acted in good faith and released one of them. 

He added that efforts are underway to release two other U.S. citizens.    

U.S. citizens Sarah Shourd, Shane Bauer, and Joshua Fattal were arrested by border guards on July 31, 2009 after illegally entering Iran’s territory from Iraq’s Kurdistan region. The three were charged with illegal entry and espionage.

Shourd was released from prison on bail of $500,000 on September 14, 2010 and never returned to Iran. 


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