(CNN) – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in an interview broadcast Sunday, said his government would accept a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians if Palestinians did.
"Whatever decision they take is fine with us," he told ABC's "This Week."
"We are not going to determine anything. Whatever decision they take, we will support that. We think that this is the right of the Palestinian people. However we fully expect other states to do so as well."
Ahmadinejad, who has called for the end of Israel's existence as a Jewish state, also argued that people in the region should be allowed to hold a referendum - and if they vote Israel out of existence, other nations should accept that.
The Iranian leader has discussed the idea of such a vote before. But Ahmadinejad's statement that he would accept Israel's existence if Palestinians sign an agreement to do so came after repeated pressing by host George Stephanopoulos.
Ahmadinejad was also asked about the reaction to his speech attacking Israel at a U.N. racism conference last week. Dozens of Western diplomats walked out and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon condemned it as "the opposite of what this conference seeks to achieve."
"That's fine! That's fine! They are free to have their own points of view," Ahmadinejad told ABC. "Why do they want to deny me my ideas?"
At the conference Monday in Geneva, Ahmadinejad accused the West of making "an entire nation homeless under the pretext of Jewish suffering... in order to establish a totally racist government in occupied Palestine."
Many delegates cheered, but others - mostly from Europe - left the room.
Several nations, including the United States, were not at the conference, having boycotted it. The United States cited a conference document that singled out Israel for criticism. President Barack Obama said a similar conference in 2001 had turned into "a session through which folks expressed antagonism towards Israel in ways that were often times completely hypocritical and counterproductive."
In the ABC interview, which was taped in Tehran, Ahmadinejad said he "was fully expecting Mr. Obama to participate in the Geneva Conference. What issue is more important than racial discrimination?"
He added, "I don't think or believe that Mr. Obama supports racism. However, the gentleman should have been there and should have condemned outright racism and racial discrimination."
Asked whether he would meet with leaders of the United States along with other world powers to discuss Iran's nuclear program, Ahmadinejad said his government is "reconsidering" its package of proposals for talks.
"We are adding new issues to the realm, if you will, of the talks. And we are going to make that public as soon as possible," he noted.
Iran insists its nuclear program is purely for peaceful purposes. But the United States and several other nations accuse Iran of trying to create nuclear weapons under the guise of a nuclear energy program.
"We are always ready to talk with no preconditions," Ahmadinejad said.
During his presidential campaign, Obama had said he would meet with leaders of Iran and other nations without preconditions - a statement his then-rival for the presidency and now Secretary of State Hillary Clinton skewered him for. Clinton argued at the time that preconditions are needed for such meetings at the presidential level in order to make them successful and avoid their use as propaganda.
Ahmadinejad - who has also rejected U.S. assertions that Iran is fomenting violence in Iraq - told ABC his country is "ready to contribute to international security, peace, and global friendship and global disarmament."
He accused Obama of supporting "the massacre of Gazans in support for the criminals who were responsible for that atrocity," a reference to Israel's military action in Gaza.
The future of Iran-U.S. relations is "dependent on the decision taken by the U.S. administration," Ahmadinejad said.
"We welcome change. We are praying to the Almighty for that. And we will help to bring change about."
The Iranian leader faces a re-election race in June.
Palestine deserves it's own state. It would be wrong for israel to deny them that.
I feel very sorry for the people of Iran. when a few people in leadership can take a country backward into a state of deniel and threating the United States and the rest of the free world. the people them selves need to send a clear message to the leadership to stop what they are doing and move in better more peaceful way.
they are fighting over land sooooo small, less than New Jersey
finish up, make a deal and quit shooting at each other
Why do we continue to give this lunatic a stage? It just fuels him even more to make inflammatory remarks.
I'm not Jewish, but you don't have to be to take what this nut job says very personally. He is the modern day Hitler.
Concerned Expat: Did you actually read the article or did you just take a knee jerk reaction to the man's name.
There will be no peace in the Middle East or reduced threats to America until there is a peace deal with Israel and Palestine.
Concerend Expat April 26th, 2009 12:31 pm ET
Why do we continue to give this lunatic a stage? It just fuels him even more to make inflammatory remarks.
Amadinejad is getting louder because he's on his way out.
There's a presidential election in Iran on June 12, and he will probably lose. His people are fed up with him. He is saying inflammatory and nationalistic rhetoric on the world stage to fire up his base in Iran – the p!$$ed off religious nuts.
Why do you think that Obama has been talking to IRAN and not to Amadinejad? If Khatami wins the election, it will be a LOT smoother sailing with us and Iran.
We need to keep our noses and our dollars out of ALL THE MESS.
Interesting...one can't vote Israel out of existence..it's eternal and a promise that is kept by God...his heart string is tied to the bosom of Israel...and his son's spirit pours out upon Jeruseleam...this is not just property but a Spiritual Home belonging to God for his people, his children (we are ALL his children). God gave us the ability to make peace with one another...there is a solution..but look to God for the answer for man can't hold the answer (Ps. 118:8)
I am on this earth over 40 yrs and still hearing the same things. Get with it people!!
It is all but acknowedge that two state solution is the way to lasting peace in the region, with the difference being in the details. So, in aserting that he is ready to accept the proposal that has been broad framework for peace, the Iranian president is signalling that he is ready to work with the international community. Rather than castigating with him, I believe we should build on the positive signal coming from this guy. He needs someting to save his face, he has needed that for a long time. The Israelis and the Palestinians deserve their peace.
A question, if we were in trouble would Iran or Isreal or for that fact any nation in the world come to our defense or lift a hand to help us ? We never learned from Englands history that colonization never works. We have become our not so distant past ! ****************************************************************
I agree with lynn,and its statement like the one from concerned expat that drives this people to antagonise the west and US,because you treat them as less human.Ahmednijad doesnt want to die,hence he will NEVER attack any country with a nuke.
It is interesting that President Ahmadinejad of Iran said his country would accept the existence of Israel if the Palestinians did but also that the Palestinians and other countries could vote Israel out of existence. So one position is contingent upon another. It is an open ended proposal that is in itself doomed to failure as we all know that the Palestinians are not going to agree to the existence of Israel as long as they tolerate Hamas and if they try to vote Israel out of existence that is not going to go over at all with the USA.
Israel is Jesus country.....Ask Him first, if it's ok to 'share' a portion of the Jews' God-given land with the Palestinians. Peace comes from the Prince of Peace...
The world is having a shift in consciousness, hateful retoric is a thing of the past and those who subscribe to the old way of thinking need to shift as well.
Know the history of that area and it people as the Korean say same O same O regardless high long a river they always find a way to come back together and Mr,Ahmadineejad of Iran is saying it time for them to come back together once again.
Geez, Callahan... don't let superstitions have too much influence in your thinking... might want to let more than one book do your thinking (or try it for yourself...)
That being said, I like this quote on the surface. It's an excellent stance that removes Iran from directly trying to involve itself and merely lend support. I also like that there is a direct reference to other countries showing the same level of "let them decide and we'll support that."
That being said, in application it falls short. There are two parties and both will need to be acknowledged by everyone in the area for eventual peace. Additionally there is the unspoken threat that if Palestine does not get what it wants Iran will support them in their response, which will likely continue to be violent... and probably offended when Israel responds with violence in turn.
A for effort, A for sly rhetoric, D for application and feasibility.
Thank you truth teller,you are more knowlage for this block ,every body
believe the media,I wish every body get more information out side american media never will tell the truth, becouse you know who
belong the media and american power.I hope one day american people say poor people need to have justice.Pleastian will be free one day.
Should Israel interest be ahead of US? It should not be to US government and a majority of its citizens. Israel must make a deal soon. If not, we should stop supporting them and see where would they be without us!!!!
Now the big challenge: Get Israel to accept a Two State solution.
Good luck to us all!
I think most of you don't know why USA has to be involved in this, until you understand, it will be another 100 years.
It makes no difference what Ahmadinejad says, as long as the U.S. supports Israel and we will, there will be no two state solution.
palestine has right to own state,i meen we took away the land from them to form israel so they should atleast get there own state
Guess whose up for re-election, that's right...Iranian President Mahmoud Ineedanotherjob, aka Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
I suppose American politicians don't aren't the only ones who will say anything to get elected. What happened to the plans laying out the annihilation of the Zionist hoard he was selling last week.
Why does it take politicians so long to accept the obvious? Not talking about Iran so much as I am Isreal and the US.
You can't have peace if many millions of people (Palestinians) have been displaced from their land and then treated like 2nd class citizens for 61 years. This is not rocket science ...
At some point, Isreal must be forced to fully stand on it's own two feet without any financial or military support from the US. I'm tired of defending them. They spy on us.
When we formed the United States, who was helping us fight Great Britain 61 years later? .... 1812 minus 1776 is 36 years.