Ahmadinejad said that Hizbullah began the countdown in its war with the IDF last summer. "With Allah’s help, the countdown button to this regime’s [Israel's] destruction has been pushed by the hands of Lebanon and Palestine’s children,” he said in a speech to foreign guests in Tehran in honor of the 18th anniversary of the death of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Iran’s first Supreme Leader. " By Allah's will, we will witness the destruction of this regime in the near future thanks to the endeavors of Palestinian and Lebanese fighters."
Ahmadinejad’s previous statement, regarding Israel being “wiped off the map,” was a quote of Khomeini.
Supreme Leader Promises Iran Won’t Back Down
Iran’s “Supreme Leader” Ayatollah Ali Khameini declared Monday that Iran refuses to “beg world powers for its right to develop nuclear technology” and has demonstrated that it will not retreat from the "field of danger" and will protect those rights.
"The world has learned from experience that an Iranian will never step back from the field of danger when defending his rights," Khameini said during a televised address Monday.
Assad Hope For United War
Ahmadinejad spoke with Syrian president Bashar Assad this past week, during which Assad is reported, by Iran’s state-run news agency, to have said that “added coordination between Iran and Syria in confrontation with the Zionist regime and the USA can bear better results in the future.”
The Iranian president congratulated Assad on his reelection. Assad ran unopposed and won 97% of the vote.
American-Iranians Imprisoned by Iran
Iran has imprisoned four American citizens: Haleh Esfandiari, Parnaz Azima, Kian Tajbakhsh and Ali Shakeri. Esfandiari, a professor, was visiting relatives in Iran, where she is from, when she was arrested. She has now been charged with trying to topple the government. It was reported that Esfandiari’s husband is Jewish.
US President George W. Bush has condemned the arrests and issued a demand Friday that Iran release the captives. "These individuals have dedicated themselves to building bridges between the American and Iranian people, a goal the Iranian regime claims to support," Bush said. "Their presence in Iran - to visit their parents or to conduct humanitarian work - poses no threat. Indeed, their activities are typical of the abiding ties that Iranian-Americans have with their land of origin."
New Iranian TV Series Outlines Ahmadinejad’s European Israel Idea
Iran’s state-run television has begun airing a docu-drama series outlining Ahmadinejad’s view that the Jews were given Israel due to the Holocaust, and that Europe must create a state of Israel on its own soil instead of on land belonging to the Arabs. The series, "A Zero Degree Turn" is aired weekly at prime time and six out of 22 chapters have aired.
The plot focuses on the idea of emigration to Israel being conceived by Nazis, Europeans and non-traditional Jews – featuring a central rabbinic character rejecting a call to move to the Holy Land. "External pressures are trying to settle the Jews and the Muslims together, and it is impossible,” the rabbi in the series says. “The Jewish fate has always been complicated and difficult. The solution is not emigration to Arab countries, where there are Arab citizens."
Any mention of Jewish immigration and hassidic sects that made Aliyah (immigrated to Israel) before World War II were omitted.