TEHRAN, Dec 13 – Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei met Hamas leader on Tuesday and urged him to continue armed struggle in the latest in a series of anti-Israel comments by senior Iranian officials.
"Compromise and negotiations with the Zionist occupiers will not improve Palestinian situation," Iran’s state television quoted Khamenei as saying.
"Therefore victory can be achieved only through resistance," Khamenei said during a meeting with Khaled Meshaal, chief of Palestinian militant group Hamas.
Khamenei’s remarks followed several anti-Israel statements by Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in recent weeks which have prompted censure by the U.N. Security Council and widespread condemnation by world leaders.
Ahmadinejad, a former Revolutionary Guardsman elected in June, has called Israel a "tumor" which must be "wiped off the map" and expressed doubt that the Holocaust took place.
Israel accuses Iran of arming and funding militant groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad and of developing nuclear weapons.
Meshaal, held a series of meetings with top Iranian political and security officials in Tehran.
Referring to the founder of Iran’s Islamic Republic, the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Meshaal said: "As Khomeini said: Israel is a cancerous tumor and we shall never put up with it."
Ahmadinejad meets Hamas leader
Meshaal also met with Ahmadinejad on Monday.
The president noted out, "the main ideal of the Islamic world is the liberation of the entire land of Palestine, the repatriation of all Palestinian refugees to their motherland, and the establishment of a popular political system in Palestine."
Khalid Mashal said, "We do not recognize the legitimacy of Israel and are committed to continuation of resistance movement aimed at ending occupation and repatriation of all refugees."