Iran President: Anti-Israel Comment Nothing New
Iran's hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad insisted that his controversial call for Israel to be "wiped off the map" was nothing new. Speaking to members of the hardline Basij militia, the president did not repeat his call for Israel to be destroyed -- but did lash out at what he called "an illegal occupying regime" and asserted that recognising the Jewish state was "an unforgivable crime".
"We only repeated the words of the last 27 years which were the stances of the Imam, and the supreme leader and Islamic nation. It was very clear," Ahmadinejad said, in what could be interpreted as an attempt to play down the significance of his speech last Wednesday. READ MORE
Ahmadinejad went to to blast efforts "to make the world recognise the existence of an illegal occupying regime", drawing chants from the audience of "Down with Israel!"
"Today, under the pretext of the Gaza pullout, they want to force a few countries to recognise this country. The ones who do that must know that they are standing in front of Islamic nations and that it is an unforgivable crime."
"Nobody in the Islamic world is allowed to recognise a fake regime which is killing everyday," Ahmadinejad said, complaining that "they have equipped the fake occupying regime with warheads and they are quiet about it."