Iran’s Chief Cleric Says Country Is Not a Friend to Israelis
The New York Times / Nazilla Fathi

TEHRAN — Iran’s supreme religious leader on Friday rejected the notion that his country was a friend to the Israeli people, but he also called on critics of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to stop using the issue to undermine him.  “We have to put an end to such small and petty issues,” said the leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, referring to the public anger that boiled over after one of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s senior officials said that Iran had no hostility toward the Israeli people.  “The enemy is trying to increase tension, and unfortunately some people inside the country are unknowingly helping,” Ayatollah Khamenei said, according to the ISNA news agency.Ayatollah Khamenei’s comments appeared to be a fresh sign of support for Mr. Ahmadinejad, who has come under increasing pressure for remarks by his vice president for tourism, Esfandiar Rahim Mashai, who said last month for a second time that Ira... >>>

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