AFP
Last updated: 18 October, 2011

Iran congratulates Palestinians on freed prisoners

Iran’s foreign ministry welcomed the negotiated release on Tuesday of more than a thousand Palestinian prisoners in exchange for an Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit.

“Iran congratulates the Palestinian nation on the release of prisoners held captive by the illegitimate Zionist regime,” spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters in a regular weekly briefing.

Iran does not recognise Israel, and it supports hardline Palestinian movements such as Hamas in face of what it calls illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories.

Under the deal between Hamas and Israel, 1,027 Palestinian prisoners were being released in exchange for Shalit, who was held captive in Gaza for more than five years.

Mehmanparast said Iran hoped one day to see “the return of the land of Palestine to its true owners.”