One of the major talking points here of the anti-Israel lobby here on OS is that Ahmadinejad was misquoted when he talked about destroying Israel and that his intentions are benign and Israel is just war-mongering.
These new statements may clarify Iran's stance.
Agence France Presse
Friday 17 August 2012
TEHRAN: Israel is a “cancerous tumor” that will soon be finished off, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Friday told demonstrators holding an annual protest against the existence of the Jewish state.
“The Zionist regime and the Zionists are a cancerous tumor. Even if one cell of them is left in one inch of (Palestinian) land, in the future this story (of Israel’s existence) will repeat,” he said in a speech in Tehran marking Iran’s Quds Day that was broadcast on state television.
“The nations of the region will soon finish off the usurper Zionists in the Palestinian land.... A new Middle East will definitely be formed. With the grace of God and help of the nations, in the new Middle East there will be no trace of the Americans and Zionists,” he said."
DUBAI (Reuters) - Many thousands of Iranians shouted "Death to America, death to Israel" during state-organized protests on Friday and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told them there was no place for the Jewish state in a future Middle East.
ISNA news agency
"They (the Israelis) know very well they don't have the ability" to successfully attack Iran, foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency.
"If they make a mistake, our nation's reaction will lead to the end of the Zionist regime," he said.
State television showed crowds marching under blazing sunshine in Tehran and other Iranian cities to mark Quds Days, whose name, derived from Arabic, designates the city of Jerusalem, the disputed future capital of both the Israelis and the Palestinians.
Demonstrators held up Palestinian flags and pictures of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and banners reading "Death to Israel" and "Death to America." A group in Tehran was shown burning an Israeli flag.
And if your neighbor said this about you, you would relax knowing he's just kidding, right?
For those who are interested I have inserted a map of the Arab world. Israel is that little blue slice. Iran, not being Arab, isn't on it but is off to the right of Iraq and about 150% of its size.