June 3, 2008 / 3:19 PM / 12 years ago

Ahmadinejad says Israel to vanish with or without Iran

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (L) gestures at a U.N. crisis summit on rising food prices at the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome June 3, 2008. REUTERS/Christophe Simon/Pool

ROME (Reuters) - The state of Israel will cease to exist with or without the involvement of Iran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday.

“This will happen whether we are involved in it or not,” the Iranian leader told a news conference at a U.N. food summit in Rome, when asked to explain his statement on Monday that the Jewish state would soon disappear from the map.

Reporting by Phil Stewart, writing by Robin Pomeroy

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