Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres Israel news photo: Flash 90

No one since Hitler – except for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – has publicly declared a desire to destroy an entire people and eliminate a country, President Shimon Peres told visiting Italian Foreign Minister Dr. Giulio Terzi Wednesday.

The world is in a unique era in history, the elderly President said. “Since Hitler, no head of state has expressed a desire to destroy a people and to eliminate en entire country.”

Ahmadinejad frequently has stated that Israel is a “cancer” and that it needs to be “wiped off the map.”

Referring to last week’s Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) conference in Tehran, President Peres stated, “Iran uses the conference as a cover for advancing nuclear development for mass destruction, and it is making fun of the entire world while it finances terror to murder innocent people.

“We know very well Iran has signed technological agreements with North Korea, which is providing it with weapons of mass destruction,”

He told the visiting minster, "Iran desires to control the Middle East with hegemony of terror and religion. It has emissaries and bases through Hizbullah and Hamas. It is involved in Syria and Iraq, and it aims to draw the Middle East into instability.”

The president and Foreign Minister Terzi met for a working meeting focusing on peace with the Palestinian Authority, strengthening relations with Israel, and the situation in Syria, which the President said is a “serious humanitarian problem.”

“We cannot ignore the murder of children, the pictures of their bodies, and helicopters and tanks bombing civilian population centers,” he added. “We must isolate these evil forces in the Middle East."

After expressing his appreciation to Italy and to its people for standing against Iran, the visiting Foreign Minister responded, “Relations with Israel are important to us. Italy is part of the effort to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and we are cooperating in implementing economic sanctions."

“Iran needs to be isolated.”

Terzi praised Israel as a “symbol of a successful democracy that defends human rights” and also called on the Israel government to take “clear steps” to bring back the Palestinian Authority to negotiations for a peace agreement.