Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, said Wednesday that if Israel attacked Iran it would be destroyed within a week.
Speaking at a political conference of ultra-conservatives in Iran's north, Mashaei said, "If the Zionist regime attacks Iran, the Zionists will have no longer than a week to live."
The semi-official Fars news agency quoted him as saying that the Islamic Republic would destroy Israel "in less than 10 days".
Mashaei, who was also formerly a vice president, added that new sanctions to be imposed on Iran for its nuclear program would only harm Western countries.
The statesman is considered a close affiliate of the Iranian president and has previously caused a stir by saying that Iran was "a friend of the Israeli people". He later retracted this statement and issued a contrary one saying Israel should be destroyed.
On a visit to Saudi Arabia Mashaei claimed that the annihilation of Israel should be a global goal. He told Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir that "the corrupt and criminal Zionist regime is harming not only the Arab and Islamic world, but all of humanity."