Palestinians tell Ahmadinejad to butt out

Palestinians tell Ahmadinejad to butt out

JERUSALEM — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ spokesman told Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to stop criticizing him for entering into direct talks with Israel.

“The one who does not represent the Iranian people, who falsified election results, who oppressed the Iranian people and stole authority has no right to speak about Palestine, its president or its representatives,” Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudaineh said Saturday, according to the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency, citing the official P.A. news agency Wafa.

“We are the ones who fought for Palestine and Jerusalem … the Palestinian leadership did not oppress its people as did the Iranian leadership under Ahmadinejad,” Abu Rudaineh said.

The statement came in response to a speech Friday delivered as peace talks began in Washington, in which Ahmadinejad said that Abbas lacked legitimacy to negotiate on behalf of the Palestinians and accused him of being a hostage to Israel, according to Ma’an. He also said the talks are “doomed to fail.”