And he said Israel would be eliminated. But that is not an insult, doncha know. "In New York, defiant Ahmadinejad says Israel will be 'eliminated,'" by Louis Charbonneau for Reuters, September 24:
(Reuters) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday Israel has no roots in the Middle East and would be "eliminated," ignoring a U.N. warning to avoid incendiary rhetoric ahead of the annual General Assembly session.
Ahmadinejad also said he did not take seriously the threat that Israel could launch a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, denied sending arms to Syria, and alluded to Iran's threats to the life of British author Salman Rushdie.
The United States quickly dismissed the Iranian president's comments as "disgusting, offensive and outrageous."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has hinted Israel could strike Iran's nuclear sites and criticized U.S. President Barack Obama's position that sanctions and diplomacy should be given more time to stop Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
Iran denies it is seeking nuclear arms and says its atomic work is peaceful and aimed at generating electricity.
"Fundamentally we do not take seriously the threats of the Zionists," Ahmadinejad, in New York for this week's U.N. General Assembly, told reporters. "We have all the defensive means at our disposal and we are ready to defend ourselves."
Ahmadinejad is due to speak at the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met Ahmadinejad on Sunday and warned him of the dangers of incendiary rhetoric in the Middle East.
Ahmadinejad, who has used previous U.N. sessions to question the Holocaust and the U.S. account of the September 11, 2001, attacks, did not heed the warning and instead expanded on his previous rejection of Israel's right to exist. Western envoys typically walk out of Ahmadinejad's U.N. speeches in protest at his remarks.
"Iran has been around for the last seven, 10 thousand years. They (the Israelis) have been occupying those territories for the last 60 to 70 years, with the support and force of the Westerners. They have no roots there in history," he said, referring to the founding of the modern state of Israel in 1948.
"We do believe that they have found themselves at a dead end and they are seeking new adventures in order to escape this dead end. Iran will not be damaged with foreign bombs," Ahmadinejad said, speaking through an interpreter at his Manhattan hotel.
"We don't even count them as any part of any equation for Iran. During a historical phase, they (the Israelis) represent minimal disturbances that come into the picture and are then eliminated."
In 2005, Ahmadinejad called Israel a "tumor" and echoed the words of the former Iranian Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, by saying that Israel should be wiped off the map....
At the meeting on the rule of law, Ahmadinejad said states should not yield to rules imposed "by bullying countries."...
Ahmadinejad also was asked about a move by an Iranian religious foundation to increase its reward for the killing of Rushdie in response to a California-made anti-Islam video called "The Innocence of Muslims" that has sparked anti-American protests around the Muslim world.
"Where is he now?" Ahmadinejad asked of Rushdie. "Is he in the United States? If he is, you shouldn't broadcast that for his own safety."...
Ahmadinejad appeared to reject Washington's position that while it condemns the video's content, freedom of expression must be upheld. "Freedoms must not interfere with the freedoms of others," Ahmadinejad said. "If someone insults, what would you do? ... Is insulting other people not a form of crime?"
It will be soon. But only certain people.