Ahmadinejad: Arabs should press Israel’s supporters

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Iran’s president said Arab countries should use political and economic leverage to pressure Israel to end its operation in Gaza.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in an interview Thursday with Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV said Arabs should cut all public and secret contacts with Israel and exert pressure on the Jewish state’s supporters in the West, The Associated Press reported. Ahmadinejad also denied that Iran was calling on Hamas to reject an Egyptian cease-fire plan.

In a separate news conference Thursday in Tehran, the Iranian leader said that the Obama administration must change the U.S. approach to Iran.

"Any administration in America that takes office should at least make two changes in its behavior," said Ahmadinejad, according to Reuters. "The first change is in the field of America’s interference … The circle of interference should be limited to within American borders.

"The second change is the approach of the American government toward Iran. If there are real and fundamental changes, I think it would be welcomed by nations."

Ahmadinejad said he would not pre-judge the new administration.

"We will wait and we have a lot of patience," he said.

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