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Ahmadinejad Says Israel Has No Reason To Exist

Ahmadinejad at an anti-Zionism conference in Iran in 2005 (Fars) October 20, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad said today that Israel no longer has any reason to exist and predicted it will soon disappear.

"I say it with a loud voice -- the [Israeli] regime has, with the grace of God, lost the [reason] for its existence," Ahmadinejad said in a speech in Tehran marking Quds Day (Jerusalem Day), when anti-Israeli demonstrations are held in Iran.

He also said any government that stands by Israel will feel the "hatred of the people" in the region.

Iranian media report that tens of thousands of people attended today's demonstrations throughout the country and shouted slogans against Israel.

Meanwhile, in Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warned Iran on October 19 that there will be "a price to pay" if Tehran doesn't back down from its nuclear ambitions.

(IRNA, ISNA, Radio Farda)