TEHRAN, - Iran's hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on June
3 said the world would witness the destruction of Israel soon, the official
Islamic Republic News Agency reported.
Ahmadinejad said last summer's war between Israel and Hezbollah showed for
the first time that the "hegemony of the occupier regime (Israel) had collapsed,
and the Lebanese nation pushed button to begin counting the days until the
destruction of the Zionist regime," IRNA quoted him as saying.
"God willing, in near future we will witness destruction of the corrupt
occupier regime," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying during a speech to foreign
guests who attended ceremonies marking the 18th anniversary of the death of
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who is known as the father of Iran's 1979 Islamic
Embattled Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has lost public support after
Israel failed to achieve its goals during last summer's 34-day war with
Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon _ freeing two captured soldiers and crushing the
The war was sparked after two Israeli soldiers were kidnapped by Iranian- and
Syrian-backed Hezbollah militants in a cross-border raid. The fighting ended
with a U.N.-brokered cease-fire that called for deployment of U.N. peacekeepers
and Lebanese troops in southern Lebanon along the border with Israel.
Ahmadinejad has made anti-Israel comments in the past.
In October 2005, he caused outrage in the West when he said in a speech that
Israel's "Zionist regime should be wiped off the map."
His supporters have argued Ahmadinejad's words were mistranslated and should
have been better translated as "vanish from the pages of time" _ implying Israel
would vanish on its own rather be destroyed.