Report: Ahmadinejad Says Destruction of Israel Is Close

Iranian president: Lebanon war destroyed Israeli hegemony, triggered countdown to Israel's destruction.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Sunday the world would witness the destruction of Israel soon, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

Ahmadinejad said last summer's war between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon showed for the first time hegemony of the occupier regime [Israel] collapsed and that pushed the button counting the days until the destruction of Zionist regime, IRNA quoted him as saying.

God willing, in near future we will witness destruction of the corrupt occupier regime, Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying during a speech to foreign guests who attended ceremonies marking the 18th anniversary of the death of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who is known as the father of Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Ahmadinejad has made many anti-Israel comments in the past.

In October 2005, he caused outrage in the West when he said in a speech that Israel's Zionist regime should be wiped off the map.

His supporters have argued Ahmadinejad's words were mistranslated and should have been better translated as vanish from the pages of time - implying Israel would vanish on its own rather be destroyed.