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Iranian Supreme Leader Says Mideast Conference 'Doomed to Failure'


Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says the U.S.-hosted Mideast conference this week is doomed to failure.

Ayatollah Khamenei says the conference is aimed at salvaging Washington's reputation and helping Israel, rather than the Palestinians.

He made the comments Monday in speech to Iranian militia volunteers that was broadcast live on state television. The ayatollah has the final say in all matters of state in Iran.

Iran's state news agency, IRNA, says President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has criticized Saudi Arabia for agreeing to attend Tuesday's conference in the U.S. city of Annapolis.

It says Mr. Ahmadinejad told Saudi King Abdullah in a phone call Sunday that he wishes the Saudi government was not among those taking part in the meeting. Iran's chief regional ally, Syria, is also attending the conference.

IRNA quotes Mr. Ahmadinejad as telling King Abdullah that the United States can not be a legitimate host for a conference because it is an accomplice to what he calls "Zionist crimes" - a reference to Israeli policies.

Most Arab states are sending delegations to the Annapolis conference. Iran was not among the invitees and has opposed the gathering from the outset.


Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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