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Ahmadinejad's Israel Comment Triggers Outrage

President Ahmadinejad addressing the Tehran conference on 26 October (Fars) 27 October 2005 -- Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's call for Israel to be destroyed has triggered widespread outrage among the international community.

Ahmadinejad's 26 October statement that Israel should be "wiped off the map" prompted Israel's Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom to describe Iran as a "clear and present danger," while Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres said Iran should be expelled from the United Nations.

In Washington, U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Ahmadinejad's call was especially troubling considering Iran's nuclear-development ambitions.

"I think you are starting to see, through some of these remarks, some of the true views and intentions of... ah, true views of this regime, and I think that it only serves to underscore our concern, as well as the international communities concern, about Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons," McCormack said.

In Europe, a British Foreign Office spokesman described Ahmadinejad's comment as "sickening," while France said it would summon the Iranian ambassador to Paris to provide an explanation.

Spain and Germany also strongly condemned the words of the Iranian president.

Ahmadinejad made his comment about Israel at a Tehran conference called "World Without Zionism."