Palestinian distrust of Iran revealed in leaked papers

Thursday, January 27, 2011

LONDON - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas tried to persuade a Palestinian businessman to contribute millions of dollars to a radio station for the Iranian opposition after the country’s disputed presidential elections in 2009, according to leaked documents.

Abbas’s move was cited by Saeb Erekat, the PLO’s chief negotiator, in a meeting with the US Middle East envoy George Mitchell as evidence of the Palestinian Authority’s support for US strategic goals in the region, in particular its attempts to counter the influence of Iran, which finances the armed resistance movements Hamas and Hezbollah.

According to The Guardian, Erekat put a figure on the reported donation to Mir Hossein Mousavi’s campaign in a meeting with the US national security adviser, General James Jones, in October 2009.

“Ten days ago, we had to convince a Palestinian businessman to pay 50m dollars for Mussawi to have a radio station,” Erekat said.

The Guardian has established from Iranian opposition sources that the approach was made by Iranians seeking to exploit old contacts with the PLO, but failed.

The PLO negotiator argued in many meetings with US officials cited in the documents that a two-state settlement for Israel and the Palestinians was necessary as part of wider strategy of promoting moderation and fighting al-Qaida in the Middle East. (ANI)

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