Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed Friday to keep supporting the Palestinian militant group Hamas until the "collapse of Israel."
The Iranian news agency Khabar quoted Ahmadinejad as telling Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh that Iran views the support of the Palestinian people as part of its religious and national duty and that Iran will stand behind the Palestinian nation "until the big victory feast which is the collapse of the Zionist regime."
In a phone conversation between the two leaders, the Iranian president said that the continued Hamas resistance against Israel and the group's achievements would always be "a source of pride for all Muslims."
Iran does not acknowledge the sovereignty of Israel and vowed to support Hamas until what Ahmadinejad calls "deliverance from Zionists (Israel)."
Haniyeh, the leader of the Islamist Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip, was elected Palestinian prime minister in 2006, but was dismissed in June 2007 by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, after Hamas violently seized control over the Gaza Strip from Abbas' Palestinian Authority.