Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad -- who is notorious for his verbal attacks against Israel -- has said the Jewish state's existence is an "insult to all humanity."
Ahmadinejad made the remark following nationwide pro-Palestinian rallies, an annual event marking Quds (Jerusalem) Day on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan.
He said Quds Day is a day of unity to remove what he called the Zionist "black stain" from the human society.
Ahmadinejad accused the West of protecting Israel as a "tool to control the Middle East and the entire world."
Earlier this week Iranian media reported that Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Israel would one day be returned to the Palestinian nation and would cease to exist.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sharply criticized Iran's supreme leader and president, describing their latest verbal attacks on Israel as "offensive and inflammatory."
The Iranian leaders' remarks come as Israel openly debates whether to attack Iran over its disputed nuclear program.
Israel considers Iran an existential threat because of its nuclear program and repeated calls by Iranian leaders to "wipe out" the Jewish state.
Based on reporting by AP and Press-TV