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Olmert Says Hamas, Iran Seek Israel's Destruction

Ehud Olmert touring the Holocaust History Museum in Jerusalem in January (epa) 14 February 2006 -- Acting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says Israel will not negotiate with the incoming Hamas leadership of the Palestinians as long as the group remains committed to Israel's destruction.

Olmert reiterated the pledge in a speech in Jerusalem today to visiting Jewish-American leaders.

The acting prime minister said Israel will review all contacts with the Palestinians if the militant group Hamas heads a future government. Hamas won a majority in recent Palestinian legislative elections and is now expected to form a new government.

Hatred From Iran

Olmert also told the conference that he can recall no other major leader in recent years who has displayed such hatred toward Israel as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Ahmadinejad, Olmert said, fights against the entire world in a bid to develop unconventional weapons that will threaten Israel. He said there is good reason to believe Israel will be Iran's first target.

Ahmadinejad has dismissed the Nazi genocide of Jews in World War II as a myth and called for the state of Israel to be "wiped off the map."

(compiled from agency reports)

Iranian Anti-Zionism

Iranian Anti-Zionism

President Ahmadinejad visiting the tomb of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in October (Fars)


Each year in Iran, the last Friday of Ramadan is celebrated as Qods (Jerusalem) Day, officially a day for expressing solidarity with the Palestinian people.
"I have been notifying the Muslims of the danger posed by the usurper Israel," Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, father of Iran's Islamic Revolution, said in an August 1979 announcement. "I ask all the Muslims of the world and the Muslim governments to join together to sever the hand of this usurper and its supporters...and, through a ceremony demonstrating the solidarity of Muslims worldwide, announce their support for the legitimate rights of the Muslim people..." (more)


Iranian President's Latest Comments About Israel Spark Further Condemnation

Iranian President Says Light Surrounded Him During UN Speech

INTERVIEW: On December 22, 2005, RFE/RL's Radio Farda spoke with FRED ZEIDMAN, director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. Zeidman commented on Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's anti-Israeli comments.


Hear the complete interview (about nine minutes):
Real Audio Windows Media

ARCHIVE: For an archive of RFE/RL's coverage of Iran, click here.