Ahmadinejad launched a new verbal attack on Israel, foreseeing its destruction.

 Iranian President Ahmadinejad: Countdown to the destruction of Israel


(Photo: Reuters)

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke on Sunday (June 3, 2007) at a ceremony marking the 18th anniversary of the death of Ayatollah Khomeini.

On this occasion, Ahmadinejad launched a new verbal attack on Israel: "The countdown for the Zionist regime’s destruction started at the hands of Hizbullah’s children," he said, adding, "God willing, in the near future we will witness the destruction of this regime, thanks to the endeavors of all Palestinian and Lebanese fighters."

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev responded: "Reasonable people of all faiths must unite in condemning this sort of extremist, hateful language. Ahmadinejad offers only death and destruction. Today he is the most serious challenge to regional peace and security."

• EU Presidency statement on the anti-Israeli remarks made by the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
(5 June 2007)

The Presidency of the European Union condemns in the strongest possible terms the latest anti-Israeli remarks made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Iran has thus once again alienated itself from the international stage and given the world community further cause for mistrust.

The Presidency of the European Union calls on Iran to distance itself clearly from all threats made towards Israel, to unconditionally acknowledge Israel’s right to exist and to act responsibly in the region.

• Israel Ambassador to the UN Dan Gillerman to UN Secretary-General Ben Ki-moon, President of the Security Council and President of the General Assembly (6 June 2007):

"In a speech delivered this past Sunday, 3 June 2007, President Ahmadinejad said, "With God’s help, the countdown button for the destruction of the Zionist regime has been pushed by the hands of the children of Lebanon and Palestine." The remarks were repeated in subsequent broadcasts on Iranian television.

There is no excuse, Excellency, for such a belligerent and provocative statement to be made by any world leader. Indeed, it is appalling that the leader of a United Nations Member State would even call for the destruction of another Member State. This outrageous comment contadicts the international community’s efforts to instill peace and security in the Middle East, and strive for a world of harmony and understanding.

Regrettably, this is not the first time I write to you about Prsident Ahmadinemad’s menacing and harmful rhetoric. In the past, he has threated the State of Israel and denied the Holocaust, all while Iran ominously develops a military nuclear weapons programme. Iran’s posturing shows its disregard for the international community, and runs contrary to the United Nations Charter and ideals and ethos of this institution. It is the obligation of Member States to unequivocally denounce and oppose these statements. Such maliciousness and defamation must not be tolerated."

• Statement by US State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack (7 June 2007)

"The United States condemns President Ahmadi-Nejad’s most recent comments advocating the destruction of the State of Israel. These are the latest in a line of statements isolating the Iranian regime from the rest of the international community and are further cause for mistrust. Ahmadi-Nejad’s focus on attacking Israel and the regime’s internationally condemned Holocaust denial conference in December, are troubling. We continue to call on the Government of Iran to cease this harmful rhetoric."