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2007 Tuesday 31 July

Peres says Ahmadinejad worships bomb over God

Reuters : President Shimon Peres, in a radio interview on Monday, called Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a "joke" and said he appeared to worship "the bomb more than he's worshipping the God in heaven."

Peres told U.S. National Public Radio in Jerusalem that a united front by the international community could stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

Ahmadinejad has said Israel should be "wiped off the map" and recently forecast its destruction.

Peres said Ahmadinejad was "an unbelievable joke," adding the Iranian president "claims he's religious."

"My impression is that in his eyes the nuclear bomb is higher than Allah, than the God in heaven. He's worshipping the bomb more than he's worshipping the God in heaven," Peres said.

Tehran, which insists its nuclear program is peaceful, has defied a United Nations Security Council demand to halt its uranium enrichment programme, resulting in two sets of sanctions. A third sanctions resolution is under consideration.

Peres said Iran has high unemployment and inflation. "All the attention is about the bomb, but people cannot live on a bomb," he said.

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