No intention to wipe Israel ‘off the map’: Larijani

By Xinhua

South Shuneh (Jordan) : Iran's national security chief Mohammad Larijani has said that his country had no intentions to wipe Israel "off the map".

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Larijani made the remarks during a session of the World Economic Forum on the Middle East, which opened on the shores of the Dead Sea Friday.

Larijani said that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had spoken of "erasing the practices" by Israel against the Palestinians, rather than erasing Israel.

The Western media deliberately distorted President Ahmadinejad's words in their reports. "Let me tell you one thing about taking Israel off the map. It was a by-product of the Western media," he said.

Ahmadinejad had reportedly made verbal attacks on Israel and has also provoked outrage by describing the Holocaust as a "myth".

Larijani said if Israel and the Palestinians can reach a viable settlement, Iran would support it. "When peace will come, Iran will be part of it."

Asked whether it meant that he could envisage a day when Iran would recognise Israel, Larijani said, "this is a premature question".

The World Economic Forum opened its meeting in South Shuneh with over 1,000 participants from 56 countries, including 16 heads of state.