ran's president says there will be no room for Israel in the region after the formation of a Palestinian state.Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's comments reflect his typical anti-Israeli rhetoric.

He drew international condemnation when he said in 2005 that Israel should be "wiped off the map".

He spoke at a ceremony in the Iranian capital Tehran today following nationwide pro-Palestine rallies marking Quds Day.

Quds is the Arabic word for Jerusalem.

The annual demonstration is an occasion for Iranian officials to show their support for Palestinians and condemn Israel.

Ahmadinejad says establishing a Palestinian state should be the first step in the liberation of all of Palestine.

Iran's Islamic leadership is hostile to Israel and backs anti-Israel groups like Palestinian Hamas.


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The remarks come as the Palestinians are pushing this year to achieve recognition at the United Nations during the General Assembly meeting in September.

The statehood bid comes amid stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.

"Do not assume you will be boosted with a (UN) recognition of a Palestinian state," Ahmadinejad said, addressing Israel. "There is no room for you in the region.

"Recognition of a Palestinian state is the first step in the liberation of the entire Palestine," he added.

Ahmadinejad also urged the West to stop supporting Israel.

"You (the West) and the Zionist regime will have no base in the Middle East," he warned, and dismissed the West's support for a two-state solution as a tactic meant "to save" Israel.

Reiterating his anti-Holocaust rhetoric, Ahmadinejad also said Israel was created on lies and added, "the Zionist regime is the axis of unity among all thieves and criminals of the world".

He also called on rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas to form as strong, unified state and not "consider it sufficient to have minor and weak governments in a small area".

In 2007, the militant Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip, leaving Fatah only in control of the West Bank.

Iran faces increased pressure from the West over its controversial nuclear programme that Israel, the United States and others contend is intended for nuclear weapons making. Tehran denies the charge, insisting the programme is for peaceful purposes only.

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