Thursday, September 18, 2008

Iranian leader says he opposes Israel, not Israelis

September 18, 2008

TEHRAN: The Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, took the unusual step on Thursday of explaining that while he strongly opposed the state of Israel, his hostility did not extend to the Israeli people. "We are opposed to the idea that the people who live there should be thrown into the sea or be burnt," he said. "
"We have no problem with people and nations," he said. "Of course we do not recognize a government or a nation for the Zionist regime."

Ahmadinejad made clear his opposition to Israel, saying that while "some say the idea of Greater Israel has expired, I say the idea of lesser Israel has expired too." He also called the Holocaust a "fake" and accused Israel of perpetrating a holocaust on Palestinians.

At the news conference, Ahmadinejad also restated his government's refusal to suspend uranium enrichment, which the United States and other Western countries contend is intended for atomic weapons. Iran insists it has a right to develop nuclear power for civilian purposes. (IHT )


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