SHANGHAI, CHINA - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad lashed out at his arch-foe Israel on Friday, saying the Jewish state was "doomed" and accusing the United States of shielding it.
Ahmadinejad's tough talk came during a news conference in China, where he was visiting the World Expo two days after the UN Security Council slapped Tehran with fresh sanctions over its suspect nuclear programme.
He accused the United States of being disingenuous, saying: "It is clear the United States is not against nuclear bombs because they have a Zionist regime with nuclear bombs in the region."
But he added: "They are trying to save the Zionist regime, but the Zionist regime will not survive. It is doomed."
Israel, which has the Middle East's sole if undeclared nuclear arsenal, regards Iran as its principal threat after repeated predictions by Ahmadinejad of the Jewish state's demise.
On Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the UN sanctions against Iran as a "positive step".
"The resolution makes clear to Iran that the leading powers of the world are opposed to its nuclear weapons programme," Netanyahu said in a statement.
"We hope that today's positive step will be followed by strong action on the part of individual countries, including those targeting Iran's energy sector."
Israeli leaders have refused to rule out a resort to military action to prevent Iran developing a nuclear weapons capability.
Iran insists that its nuclear programme is aimed solely at power generation and medical research and says that the international community should focus its attention on Israel, which, unlike Iran, is not a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. --AFP