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2006 Saturday 08 July

Ahmadinejad calling on Islamic countries to mobilise against Israel

TEHRAN (AFP) - A regional conference on security in Iraq opened in Iran with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calling on Islamic countries to mobilise against Israel and "remove" the "Zionist regime".

"The basic problem in the Islamic world is the existence of the Zionist regime, and the Islamic world and the region must mobilise to remove this problem," the president said at the opening of the two-day conference.

"Today there is a strong will... to remove the Zionist regime and implement a legal Palestinian regime all over Palestine. The continued survival of this regime (Israel) means nothing but suffering for the region," Ahmadinejad said.

"The biggest threat today for the region is the existence of the fake Zionist regime," he added, before going on to attack Israel's supporters.

"I am reminding them to stop the crimes of this corrupt government before it is too late, and open the way for a government arising from the votes of the indigenous people of Palestine, all over Palestine," the president said.

Israel two weeks ago launched a massive incursion into the Gaza Strip after Palestinian militants from three groups, including Hamas's armed wing, captured an Israeli soldier in a deadly raid on a border outpost.

With talk of the violence overshadowing the topic of Iraq, Ahmadinejad -- who has in the past called for Israel to be "wiped off the map" or moved as far away as Alaska -- also issued an ominous warning to Western powers.

"Nations in the region will be more furious every day, and it will not be long before this intense fury will lead to a huge explosion," Ahmadinejad said.

"The waves of fury of Muslim nations will not be confined within the boundaries of the region, and the people who close their ears to the cries of the Palestinians and blindly support this regime will be responsible for the consequences," he warned.

Iran does not recognise Israel and is opposed to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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