The United States on Friday condemned Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's comment that Israel was a "tumor" that needed to be wiped out, as "hateful and divisive."
National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor told AFP that if Iran was as concerned about human rights as Ahmadinejad said, it should stop supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad's "brutal assault" on his people.
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"We strongly condemn the latest series of offensive and reprehensible comments by senior Iranian officials that are aimed at Israel," Vietor said.
"The entire international community should condemn this hateful and divisive rhetoric. If Iranian officials are truly concerned about protecting the rights and dignity of all human beings, then Iran should stop supporting Assad's brutal assault on the Syrian people," Vietor said.
Ahmadinejad earlier delivered his latest explosive remarks about Israel in a speech in Tehran marking Jerusalem Day.
"The Zionist regime and the Zionists are a cancerous tumor. Even if one cell of them is left in one inch of (Palestinian) land, in the future this story (of Israel's existence) will repeat," he said.
"The nations of the region will soon finish off the usurper Zionists in the Palestinian land.... A new Middle East will definitely be formed. With the grace of God and help of the nations, in the new Middle East there will be no trace of the Americans and Zionists," he said.
France also condemned Ahamdinejad's comments on Israel, calling them "new provocations."
"We firmly condemn these outrageous and totally unacceptable statements," French deputy Foreign Ministry spokesman said in a statement.
The diatribe took place amid heightened tensions between Israel and Iran over Tehran's disputed nuclear program.
Israel has in recent weeks intensified its threats to possibly bomb Iran's nuclear facilities to prevent it having the capability to produce atomic weapons.
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