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Argument: Iranian support for two-state solution is diplomatically valuable

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Supporting quotations

"Ahmadinezhad and the Implications of the Two-State Solution". Pro-Fatah Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds. April 29, 2009: "Iran's President Mahmud Ahmadinezhad has said that his country might support a two-state solution - a Palestinian state and an Israeli one - with the goal of ending the conflict in the Middle East, if the Palestinians agree to such a solution. These statements by Ahmadinezhad have elicited widespread reactions regionally and internationally, coming, as they did, in the context of an interview with the US television station ABC, which is basically a window into American public opinion. They also come after positive statements and signs from President Barack Obama about dealing with Iran in particular and with the Islamic world in general.

[...] The importance of the statements lies in two directions: first, towards the United States and the West in general; second, towards the Palestinian internal situation and Iranian influence on it.

Ahmadinezhad's recognition of Israel and its right to exist in the context of a two-state solution means opening the doors to more steps for conducting a positive and objective Iranian-Western dialogue about Iran's nuclear programme and Iran's role in the region. It means putting more obstacles and roadblocks in the way of any Israeli intentions to attack sites in the region and shift roles. Perhaps the Iranian leadership, which is approaching presidential elections, has felt the need to alleviate the really unneeded congestion in relations between Tehran and the world. It may indeed have felt the increasing Turkish role at the expense of its own role. Thus the timing of the statements would also be important, not merely their content. In any case, coming weeks will demonstrate the extent of Western agreement with these positions and whether President Ahmadinezhad will take the initiative to make other steps in this direction."

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