No place for Israel in region: Iran`s Ahmadinejad

Ahmadinejad spoke at a Tehran ceremony following nationwide pro-Palestinian rallies marking Quds Day.

Updated: Aug 26, 2011, 18:35 PM IST

Tehran: The Iranian President on Friday said
there will be no room for Israel in the region after the
formation of a Palestinian state, and that once the state is
established; the liberation of all Palestinian lands should
follow.

The comments by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reflected his typical
anti-Israeli rhetoric, which has drawn international
condemnation since he first said in 2005 that Israel should be
"wiped off the map."

Ahmadinejad spoke at a Tehran ceremony following
nationwide pro-Palestinian rallies marking Quds Day. Quds is
the Arabic word for Jerusalem. The annual demonstration is an
occasion for Iranian officials to show off their support for
Palestinians and condemn archenemy Israel.

The remarks come as the Palestinians are pushing this
year to achieve recognition at the United Nations during the
General Assembly meeting in September.

The statehood bid comes amid stalled Israeli-Palestinian
peace negotiations and although the UN vote in New York will
be largely symbolic, the Palestinians believe it will send a
powerful message to Israel.

"Do not assume you will be boosted with a (UN)
recognition of a Palestinian state," Ahmadinejad said,
addressing Israel. "There is no room for you in the region."
"Recognition of a Palestinian state is the first step in
the liberation of the entire Palestine," he added.

Since the 1979 Islamic revolution that brought hardline
Islamists to power in Tehran, Iran`s leadership has been
hostile to Israel, backing anti-Israel groups like the
Palestinian Hamas and Lebanon`s Hezbollah.

Ahmadinejad also urged the West to stop supporting
Israel.

PTI