Years after saying Israel should be "wiped off" the map, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Saturday that there is no need to take up arms against his nation's foe, state news reported. Speaking to citizens in northeastern Iran's Khorassan province, Ahmadinejad accused unnamed governments of stepping up military purchases in anticipation of a possible war pitting Iran versus Israel.But he suggested that wasn't necessary, according to the report from the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency.
"If their goal in purchasing arms is to fight the Zionist regime in Israel, they should know that there is not need to do so," Ahmadinejad said. Ahmadinejad has long questioned the existence of the Holocaust and, months after taking office in October 2005, he participated in a lengthy protest against Israel called "World Without Zionism."
"With the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world without the United States and Zionism," he said then, according to another IRNA report. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been a harsh, persistent critic of Iran's leadership and nuclear program, with rumors circulating for months that Israel may pre-emptively strike nuclear sites in Iran and possibly set off a regional war.
However, the decision earlier this month of Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party to form a unity government with the rival centrist political faction Kadima may affect Israel's strategy. Kadima Party leader Shaul Mofaz, a former military chief-of-staff and defense minister, has generally been less hawkish on Iran than Netanyahu and expressed reservations about Israel taking unilateral military action against the Islamic republic's nuclear
While seemingly backing away from armed conflict, Ahmadinejad hardly signaled in his remarks Saturday that he believes Iranians should or will embrace Israel. He predicted Israel could fall if regional powers cut ties -- particularly by refusing to sell oil to Israelis.
In another IRNA story published Saturday, the president blasted nearby governments for being "indifferent (to) savage crimes committed by the Zionist regimes." Ahmadinejad further criticized unnamed nations for buying arms from Israel.
In: World News, Other Middle East, Weapons, Propaganda
Tags: Israel, Zionist, Muslim, Christan, Jewish, NWO,
Location: Iran (load item map)
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