Haaretz (Link) - AP (September 18, 2010)
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Saturday that Middle Eastern countries will disrupt American and Israeli efforts to change the political geography of the region, appearing to brush aside U.S. efforts to forge a regional peace deal between Israel and its neighbors.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made the comments during a brief stop in Syria where he held talks with his Syrian counterpart, Bashar Assad.
The meeting comes two days after Assad sat down with the Obama administration’s special Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, in Damascus, to discuss starting separate Syria-Israel peace talks.
The back-to-back trips underscored the battle for influence in Syria between Washington and Tehran. Seeking to isolate Iran, U.S. President Barack Obama has tried - unsuccessfully, so far - to pry Damascus away from its alliance with Tehran.
Speaking in Damascus, Ahmadinejad appeared to dismiss U.S. efforts to forge a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians and a wider deal with its neighbors.