Fri, Aug 04, 2006 - Page 1 News List

Destruction of Israel is solution to crisis: Tehran

AGENCIES , TEHRAN

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said yesterday that the solution to the Middle East crisis was to destroy Israel, state media reported.

In a speech during an emergency meeting of Muslim leaders in Malaysia, Ahmadinejad also called for an immediate ceasefire to end the fighting between Israel and the Iranian-backed group Hezbollah.

"Although the main solution is for the elimination of the Zionist regime, at this stage an immediate ceasefire must be implemented," Ahmadinejad said, according to state-run television in a report posted on its Web site yesterday.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev accused Ahmadinejad of trying to rally the region to support Iranian-backed Hezbollah.

"Our operation in Lebanon is designed to neutralize one of the long arms of Iran, Hezbollah," Regev said. "Hezbollah is their proxy, being used as an instrument of Teheran to advance their extremist agenda and the blow to Hezbollah is a blow to Iranian interests and a blow to all extremist jihadist forces in the region."

Ahmadinejad called on all Muslim states to "cut their open and secret political and economic ties with the fake and outlawed Zionist regime" in response to its attacks against Lebanon.

He also urged Muslim states to "isolate" the US and Britain for supporting Israel's military attacks against Lebanon.

Ahmadinejad also rejected deploying international forces on the Israeli-Lebanese border.

"Peace and security in Lebanon and its borders has to be preserved by the Lebanese government and people. Deployment of foreign forces is not acceptable in any shape unless it is just, based on UN rules and preserves the unity and territorial integrity of Lebanon," he said.

Meanwhile, a German newspaper reported on Wednesday that Iran had freed a son of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden from house arrest,

Die Welt said the Iranian Revolutionary Guard released Saad bin Laden on July 28 with the aim of sending him to the Syria-Lebanon border. It linked the reported move to the outbreak of war between Israel and Lebanese-based Hezbollah.

"From the Lebanese border, he has the task of building Islamist terror cells and preparing them to fight together with Hezbollah," Die Welt said, quoting intelligence information.

"Apparently Tehran is counting on recruiting Lebanese refugees in Syria for the fight against Israel, using bin Laden's help," it added in a preview of yesterday's report.

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