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Iran says Middle East peace talks futile

Iran today said that the forthcoming Middle East peace talks between Israel and Palestine would be futile. The upcoming negotiations are to be the first direct peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians in nearly two years.

world Updated: Aug 24, 2010 15:29 IST

Iran on Tuesday said that the forthcoming Middle East peace talks between Israel and Palestine would be futile.

"As long as the main root of the problem is not solved, no peace talks will have any tangible results and be futile," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said in a press briefing in Tehran.

The upcoming negotiations are to be the first direct peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians in nearly two years.

The last round of direct negotiations was suspended in late 2008, as Israel entered the election campaign which ultimately brought Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to power.

"There can be no real settlement as long as Palestinians are forced out of their country and live as refugees while invaders from other countries live in their homeland," the Iranian spokesman said.

Iran does not recognise Israel's sovereignty and says the only pragmatic option would be a referendum for all Palestinians, including the millions of refugees, to determine their future fate.