the Jewish state was a "cancerous tumour" that will soon be excised, drawing Western rebukes.told an annual anti-Israel protest in on Friday that
Ahmadinejad's diatribe againstin his Quds (Jerusalem) Day address was the latest in a long line to have drawn criticism from Western governments.
"The nations of the region will soon finish off the usurper Zionists in the Palestinian land.... A new Middle East will definitely be formed. With the grace of God and help of the nations, in the new Middle East there will be no trace of the Americans and Zionists," he said.The diatribe took place amid heightened tensions between Israel and Iran over Tehran's controversial nuclear programme.
has in recent weeks intensified its threats to possibly bomb 's nuclear facilities to prevent it having the capability to produce atomic weapons.
's existence is an "insult to all humanity," 's president said Friday in one of his sharpest attacks yet against the Jewish state, as Israel openly debates whether to attack Iran over its nuclear program.
human beings."said confronting Israel is an effort to "protect the dignity of all"The existence of the Zionist regime is an insult to all humanity," Ahmadinejad said. He was addressing worshippers at Tehran University after nationwide pro-Palestinian rallies, an annual event marking Quds (Jerusalem) Day on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan.
Israeli leaders say "all options are on the table," a clear reference to a military strike, if they determine that other measures have failed.
Iran has warned it would hit back at Israel if it is attacked, also threatening to strike at American interests in the region.Demonstrators in Tehran set U.S. and Israeli flags on fire and chanted "Death to the U.S." and "Death to Israel" during their pro-Palestinian rally.Tensions between Iran and Israel have intensified since 2005, when Ahmadinejad said in a speech that Israel will one day be "wiped off the map." The Iranian president has also described the Holocaust, when 6 million Jews were killed by German Nazis and their collaborators during World War II, as a "myth."
The Iranian president further stated that International Quds Day is the day of unity among all human beings to remove the “Zionist black stain” from human society.
On Friday, Hezbollah staged a procession near the Fatima Gate on the Israel-Lebanon border, in honor of al-Quds (Jerusalem) Day. The event and, later, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah's anti-Israel statements were not motivated simply by an abiding hatred for Israel.
With Hezbollah's public standing in Lebanon on the decline, and its patron Bashar Assad poised to fall from power in Syria, the Shi'ite group may attempt to provoke the IDF into a confrontation.