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Last Updated: Saturday, 15 April 2006, 14:46 GMT 15:46 UK
Israel condemns Iranian threats
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has refused to temper his comments
Former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres has urged the UN to take action against Iran after threats made by its "lunatic" president.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has in the past called for Israel to be "wiped off the map" and said on Friday it was on the way to being eliminated.

Shimon Peres urged the world to unite against Mr Ahmadinejad, who he said would end up like Saddam Hussein.

"The United Nations cannot but react," Mr Peres insisted.

"Iran is a member state of the United Nations that is threatening to destroy another member state of the United Nations," he said.

The Zionist regime is a decaying and crumbling tree that will fall with a storm
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

The Iranian president's outspoken declarations, questioning whether the Holocaust happened and predicting Israel's destruction, have been condemned around the world.

But he has not tempered his comments, on Friday declaring: "The Zionist regime is an injustice and by its very nature a permanent threat.

"Whether you like it or not, the Zionist regime is on the road to being eliminated."

"[It] is a decaying and crumbling tree that will fall with a storm," he added.

History has rejected these sorts of sword-brandishing lunatics
Shimon Peres

Speaking at an event held to express support for the Palestinians, he also cast doubt on the extermination of the Jews by Nazi Germany.

"If there is serious doubt over the Holocaust, there is no doubt over the catastrophe and Holocaust being faced by the Palestinians," he said.

Mr Peres, one of Israel's senior statesmen and a potential senior cabinet member in Israel's new government-in-the-making, replied that: "What the Iranian president says is reminiscent of Saddam Hussein's proclamations, and Ahmadinejad will meet the same end as he did.

The former Iraqi president was ousted by the US-led invasion in 2003 and is currently on trial for crimes against humanity.

"The Iranian president represents Satan and not God. History has rejected these sorts of sword-brandishing lunatics," said Mr Peres.

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