“Mahmoud Ahmadinejad does want the Jews to be annihilated but rather to change the regime in Israel,”
a senior aide to the Iranian president said Friday.
On August 3, 2006 the Iranian president said that the Middle East would be better off "without the existence of the Zionist regime." He also called Israel an "illegitimate regime" with "no legal basis for its existence."
During the Iranian-organized conference questioning the Holocaust on December 12, 2006 Ahmadinejad said Israel would "soon be wiped out."
In an interview published on the pro-regime Raja news website, Rohalla Housseinian, the Iranian leader’s consultant for political and security affairs, said, “Ahmadinejad is not interested in annihilating the Jews who live in occupied Palestine. What he wants is to change the Zionist regime.
“All Muslims want to see the Zionist regime change into a Palestinian one. Why is the United States permitted to call for changing the regime in Iran and our leaders are forbidden from calling for an end to the Zionist regime?” he said.
Asked whether Ahmadinejad’s controversial statements did not add to the West’s negative perception of the Islamic Republic, Mousavian said the US has always been against Iran.
“The US has been aggressive (toward Iran) throughout history. We must not forget the lessons from history, when Mohammad Khatami (previous Iranian president) suggested warming the relations between the countries and the threats only increased,” he said.
Housseinian said Ahmadinejad’s anti-Israel statements were aimed at rallying the Arab world around the Iranian leadership and the “values of the Islamic revolution”.
“If the president is one of the most popular leaders in the Arab world, it is due to such statements,” the aide said.
“The western superpowers spend billions of dollars and while Ahmadinejad managed to revive the global Islamic revolution through his anti-Zionist standpoint.”
Turning his attention to remarks made by Ahmadinejad that the Holocaust is a myth, Housseinian said the West has turned the issue into a political one and is blocking its research.
He continued to say that Ahmadinejad never denied the Holocaust's existence but rather “raised a question that shocked the superpowers’ hearts”.
“The reactions from the leaders of the superpowers indicated that the doubt raised by Ahmadinejad regarding the Holocaust jeopardized Israel’s legitimacy,” he said.