Iran’s top leader is predicting that President Trump’s Middle East peace plan, meant to solve the decades-long Israel-Palestinian conflict, “will die” in Trump’s lifetime, state media reported Wednesday.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made the bold calculation in his first remarks since the proposal, which has been opposed by the Palestinians, was unveiled last week.
“This plan will die before the death of Trump,” he said. “Hence, the coming and going and expenditures for it, and unveiling it, is a stupid move.”
He also said Iran will continue to support Palestinian armed groups as much as possible, believing those organizations “will resist" the plan.
The plan envisions a disjointed Palestinian state, with a capital in East Jerusalem, and turns over key parts of the West Bank to Israel. It also calls for more than doubling the amount of territory the Palestinians control with a number of land swaps.
However, it appears to side with Israel on key contentious issues that have bedeviled past peace efforts, including borders and the status of Jerusalem and Jewish settlements.
The plan would require the Palestinians to meet certain benchmarks – rooting out terrorism, stopping "pay to slay," implementing steps toward free speech and political reforms – to become a state.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas dismissed the plan as “nonsense” and vowed to resist it. Netanyahu called it a “historic breakthrough” equal in significance to the country's declaration of independence in 1948.
Since 1979, when the Islamic Revolution brought hardline Islamists to power in Iran, Tehran does not recognize Israel and supports anti-Israel militant groups like Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon.
The Palestinians seek all of the West Bank and East Jerusalem — areas captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war — for an independent state and the removal of many of the more than 700,000 Israeli settlers from these areas.
Fox News' Andrew O'Reilly and The Associated Press contributed to this report.