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Ahmadinejad Says Israel 'Will One Day Vanish'

Ahmadinejad (left) in Jakarta with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on May 10 (epa) JAKARTA, May 11, 2006 -- Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad today said that Israel is "a regime based on evil," and that the state "will one day vanish."

Ahmadinejad made the statement in a speech to students during a visit to Indonesia. He has previously declared that Israel should be "wiped off the map."

The comments come a day after UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged Iran to drop what he called its "aggressive posture" and be open to discussions on its nuclear program. Annan expressed hope over efforts by France, Germany, and Britain to persuade Iran to stop its uranium-enrichment program.

In a television interview earlier today, Ahmadinejad said he is ready to negotiate with any country to resolve the nuclear dispute -- except Israel, which Iran does not recognize. But he warned that threats against Iran would make talks difficult.


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)


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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.