The Guardian: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran added a threatening edge to his verbal onslaught on Israel yesterday by warning European governments to withdraw their support or face getting “hurt” in a storm of retaliation. The Guardian
· Iran’s president threatens storm of retaliation
· UN efforts to block nuclear programme ‘illegitimate’
Robert Tait in Tehran
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran added a threatening edge to his verbal onslaught on Israel yesterday by warning European governments to withdraw their support or face getting “hurt” in a storm of retaliation.
He also called Britain and America “enemies of Iran” whose attempts to block the country’s nuclear programme at the UN security council were “illegitimate”.
Mr Ahmadinejad was speaking in Tehran at the annual Qods [Jerusalem”> day rally, staged by Iran’s Islamic regime to propagate its ideological opposition to Israel. He repeated predictions that Israel would soon disappear but, in a fresh warning, said European countries could pay a much higher price than the US for their backing.
“We have advised the Europeans that the Americans are far away, but you are the neighbours of the nations in this region,” he said. “We inform you that the nations are like an ocean that is welling up, and if a storm begins, the dimensions will not stay limited to Palestine, and you may get hurt. It is in your own interest to distance yourself from these criminals … this is an ultimatum. Don’t complain tomorrow.”
Mr Ahmadinejad, who last year called for Israel to be “wiped off the map” and dismissed the holocaust as a “myth”, has not previously made such a clear distinction between US and European support for Israel.
The UN security council is poised to consider sanctions in response to Iran’s refusal to suspend uranium enrichment. But Mr Ahmadinejad dismissed the security council because of the presence of America and Britain as permanent veto-wielding powers.
“What sort of security council is this?” he asked. “You want to be the judge, the jury and the enforcer.”
Mr Ahmadinejad’s outburst came amid a carnival atmosphere in which throngs of children carrying balloons milled among the crowds. Dozens swapped paintings depicting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for T-shirts donated by Tehran city council.
A display of banners featured one bearing the phrase “Israel must be wiped off the map” in Hebrew. Others accused companies such as Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Nestlé and Marks and Spencer of being pro-Israel. A stall recruiting potential “martyrs” was selling CD-roms showing volunteers from the Palestinian militant organisation Hamas preparing suicide attacks against Israel.