DOHA (Reuters) - Any attack on Iran would lead to the destruction of Israel, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said during a visit to the Gulf Arab state of Qatar on Sunday.
“The U.S. and the Zionist entity will not be able to hit Iran right now. This is a wish ... Any Israeli attack against Iran means the elimination of the Zionist entity from the world map,” he told a news conference in Doha. He spoke in Farsi through an Arabic interpreter.
Ahmadinejad, in Western allied-Qatar for talks with Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, has often called for the demise of the Jewish state. Iran does not recognize Israel, which it refers to as the Zionist regime.
Israel, believed to be the only nuclear-armed country in the Middle East, regards Iran’s nuclear programme as a threat to its existence and has not ruled out military action to prevent Iran from building an atomic bomb.
International sanctions have been imposed on Iran to force Tehran to halt sensitive nuclear work. Iran says its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes.
Reporting by Regan E. Doherty; Editing by Peter Graff