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Iran Blasts Israeli-Palestinian Talks

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has criticized the relaunched direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, saying the talks are doomed to fail.

Mr. Ahmadinejad said Friday that only Palestinians can decide their fate - not Western powers. He said resistance was the only way for Palestinians to secure their rights.

The Iranian leader commented at a rally marking Quds Day, an annual event in Iran on the last Friday of Ramadan to mark a show of support for Palestinians. Supporters attending the rally cheered Mr. Ahmadinejad's speech and chanted "down with Israel."

The rally follows direct peace talks in Washington Thursday between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the first such dialogue in almost two years.

Iranian leaders have repeatedly called for Israel's demise. Israel has long accused Iran of providing weapons to Gaza militants. Iran denies smuggling weapons to Hamas but has been a vocal supporter of the militant group.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.