BEIRUT

Middle East

Iran welcomes Palestine vote as 'step forward'

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addresses the United Nations General Assembly at UN Headquarters, in New York, November 29, 2012. REUTERS/Chip East

TEHRAN: A senior Iranian official welcomed the upgrading of the Palestinians' status at the United Nations as a "positive step."

The UN General Assembly vote to make Palestine a non-member observer state was "a positive and forward step and proves that the Zionist regime is illegitimate," Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said.

Abdollahian, quoted by the Arabic-language Al-Alam television, said Iran "considers this move to be a preliminary step in the path of Palestinians having full sovereignty over their historical lands which were seized."

Thursday's vote was seen as a major diplomatic defeat for the United States and Israel, a state which Iran does not recognise.

 

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