Defusing criticism. Ahmadinejad
Photo: Reuters
Ahmadinejad says Israel will be removed soon
In apparent effort to difuse criticism over conciliatory remarks made by his vice president, Iranian leader says Jewish state 'germ of corruption'

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is calling Israel a "germ of corruption" that will be "removed soon."


The comments were posted Wednesday on his presidential website. They appear to be part of an effort to defuse criticism by hard-liners over recent remarks made by a high-level official.


Last week, Iranian media quoted Vice President Esfandiar Rahim Mashai as saying Iranians were "friends of all people in the world - even Israelis."


The comments were rare from a government official in Iran, whose president regularly calls for Israel's destruction.


They sparked domestic criticism of Mashai, with some officials calling for his resignation.


In 2005, Ahmadinejad said he believed Israel should be "wiped off the map."


פרסום ראשון: 08.20.08, 19:55
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