The creation of a universally-recognized Palestinian state would be just a first step towards wiping out Israel, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Friday.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's comments reflect his typical anti-Israeli rhetoric; He drew international condemnation when he said in 2005 that Israel should be "wiped off the map."
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He spoke at a ceremony Friday following nationwide pro-Palestine rallies marking Quds Day. The annual demonstration is an occasion for Iranian officials to show their support for Palestinians and condemn Israel.
Ahmadinejad says establishment of a Palestinian state should be the first step in the liberation of entire Palestine. Iran's Islamic leadership is hostile to Israel and backs anti-Israel groups like Palestinian Hamas.
Ahmadinejad, restating a position expressed soon after taking office in 2005 that Israel was a "tumor" to be wiped off the map, urged Palestinians not to settle for a two-state solution that is backed by Abbas but to strive for a complete return of what they consider their land.
"Recognizing the Palestinian state is not the last goal. It is only one step forward towards liberating the whole of Palestine," Ahmadinejad told worshippers at Friday prayers.
"The Zionist regime is a center of microbes, a cancer cell and if it exists in one iota of Palestine it will mobilize again and hurt everyone."
Any move for Palestinian statehood at the United Nations is likely to be vetoed by the United States, but even if it were to pass and Israelis and Palestinians found a way to co-exist, that would still be entirely insufficient, Ahmadinejad said.
"It is not enough for them to have a weak, powerless state in a very small piece of Palestine. They should unite to establish a state but the ultimate goal is the liberation of the whole of Palestine," he said.
"I urge the Palestinians never to forget this ideal. Forgetting this ideal is equal to committing suicide. It would be giving an opportunity to an enemy which is on the verge of collapse and disappearance."
Reuters and AP contributed to this report
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