Ahmadinejad Leads Election Poll by Big Margin, Scolded by Abbas
12 May 09 | PTV
A recent poll shows the Iranian president’s popularity has grown among the electorate, while support for his rival, Mir-Hossein Mousavi has remained unchanged.
The opinion poll was conducted in Tehran as well as 29 other provincial capitals and 32 important cities on May 3-4.
The poll indicates that 58.6% will cast their ballots in favor of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, while some 21.9% will vote for Mousavi, the pro-administration website, Rajanews, reported.
A government survey carried out this month showed that Ahmadinejad had the support of 53.6% of the participants. The figure released for Mousavi, however, was virtually the same.
In the more recent poll, 44.8% of respondents in the capital, Tehran said that given a choice of Ahmadinejad or Mousavi, they would opt for the Principlist president while some 29% said they would pick Mousavi.
The report did not include any further details about the organization that conducted the poll or the number of people who were surveyed.
Acting Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas hammers Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for making supportive remarks about the Palestinians.
“Nobody gave Ahmadinejad the authorization to make statements on behalf of the Palestinian people,” Abbas said in an interview with the RAI Italian TV.
“We recognize the state of Israel, we do not seek its destruction, and we want to establish our state next to Israel,” he went on to say.
President Ahmadinejad, an outspoken critic of Israeli crimes against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, has been accused of harboring ill intentions against Israel.
Under its claim that Ahmadinejad is ‘anti-Semitic’, Tel Aviv insists that Tehran has plans to “wipe Israel off the map” and alleges that the Iranian nuclear program is aimed at developing a weapon to stage a ‘second Holocaust’.
Israel, which has threatened to militarily take out Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, bases its claims on mistranslated remarks by President Ahmadinejad that the “Zionist regime will disappear”.
In a September 2008 interview with Larry King, the Iranian president clarified his stance, saying that he believes Israel would fall in the same way as apartheid South Africa and the Soviet Union.
Ahmadinejad intensified his criticism of Israel after Tel Aviv embarked on an all-out war with the Gaza Strip on December 27 and committed war crimes while killing nearly 1,350 Palestinians in the densely-populated coastal strip.
Referring to a speech last month by the Iranian president at the UN anti-racism summit in Geneva, Abbas took Ahmadinejad to task for lambasting political Zionism and said that the support of the Iranian president “did not serve the interests of the Palestinian people and their cause”.
At the event, Ahmadinejad criticized the Zionist quest for a pure Jewish state in native Palestinian lands as equivalent to ‘racism’. A number of European political figures present at the Durban II summit staged a temporary walkout in response.
Abbas threw his weight behind the stance taken by the US on the creation of a Palestinian state, suggesting the Israel-allied White House to be better capable of helping to settle the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and ensuring comprehensive peace.
The United States has for nearly sixty years blocked condemnation of Israeli crimes against the Palestinians with its use of veto powers at the UN Security Council.
Abbas, whose term as PA chief has ended, added that the Palestinians set no preconditions for the resumption of peace talks and urged Israel to respect the Road Map Plan that includes a two-state solution and an end to all illegal Israeli settlement activities.
Despite the new Israeli government’s opposition to the creation of an independent Palestinian state, US President Barack Obama has expressed strong support for the two-state solution, describing it as the only way to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
On April 1, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, sparked controversy by saying that Tel Aviv was not bound by the 2007 US-backed Annapolis deal, under which Israel agreed to the creation of a Palestinian state. He said the peace process was at a “dead end.”
When asked in a recent interview about his stance on the issue of Israel living alongside a Palestinian state, President Ahmadinejad said Tehran would support any decision endorsed by the Palestinian nation.