Israel has "no roots" in the history of the Middle East and represents a disturbance for Iran, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday.
Ahmadinejad said Iran has been around for thousands of years, but Israel has existed for only 60 or 70 years. He said that for a certain "historical phase" Israel represents a disturbance for Iran and "they are then eliminated."
"They (Israel) have no roots there in history," Ahmadinejad told reporters in New York, where he is due to attend the UN General Assembly. "They do not even enter the equation for Iran."
Earlier in the day, Ahmadinejad told the Washington Post that Iran did not take seriously Israeli threats of an attack on its nuclear facilities, adding that he believed that the Americans are "peace-loving people."
“We, generally speaking, do not take very seriously the issue of the Zionists and the possible dangers emanating from them,” he told columnist David Ignatius early in the interview. “Of course, they would love to find a way for their own salvation by making a lot of noise and to raise stakes in order to save themselves. But I do not believe they will succeed. Iran is also a very well-recognized country and her defensive powers are very clear.”
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