Tuesday, June 05, 2007

'People of All Faiths' Urged to Combat Ahmadinejad's Message of Hate

Israel has called on "people of all faiths" to unite against the hateful message of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who unleashed another venomous tirade against Israel over the weekend.

Ahmadinejad said Sunday that the countdown had begun to Israel's destruction.

"God willing, in the near future we will witness the destruction of the corrupt occupier regime," Ahmadinejad said at a speech commemorating the death of Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

The "arrogant superpowers and the Zionist regime" invested all their efforts in last summer's war between Israel and Hizballah, but to no avail, said Ahmadinejad.

"Their pride has been trampled and the countdown to the destruction of this regime has been started by Hizballah fighters."

Ahmadinejad added that with the help of Lebanese and Palestinian militants, "we will witness the destruction of this regime in the near future."Israel is "very concerned" about the declarations of Ahmadinejad, who previously called for Israel to be "wiped off the map.

"People of good will across the globe, people of all faiths should unite against his hateful and extremist message," Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said on Monday.

"Ahmadinejad's Iran is the single most dangerous threat to peace and security in the Middle East," Regev said.

His comments come at time when Iran is refusing to halt its suspected pursuit of nuclear weapons.Israel argues that a nuclear Iran, which backs terror groups throughout the Middle East and beyond, is a threat to the region and the whole world.

Promoting terrorismOver the weekend Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki encouraged Palestinian terror groups to continue their armed struggle against Israel, the London-based Arab newspaper Al Hayat reported.

Mottaki met Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal and Islamic Jihad leader Ramadan Shalah in Damascus. He told them that Palestinian factions should stop fighting each other, reports said.

While in Damascus, Mottaki also met with leaders from two radical Lebanese-based Shiite groups, Hizballah and Amal.

The officials reportedly updated Mottaki about the situation in Lebanon following the United Nations Security Council's decision to create a tribunal to try those accused of involvement in the 2005 murder of pro-Western former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Several senior Lebanese and Syrian officials have been implicated in the massive car bomb explosion that killed Hariri and 22 others and sparked a popular anti-Syrian protest that forced Damascus to withdraw troops that had been stationed there for decades.

Israeli Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, former defense minister and army chief of staff, on Monday urged Israel to engage in secret talks with Syria to determine if peace overtures from President Bashar Assad are genuine, Israel Radio reported.

Assad has alternately offered to negotiate with Israel and wage war on Israel.

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