Ahmadinejad: The era of Zionism is over

Speaking at celebrations for Iran's Army Day, Ahmadinejad denounces Israel and capitalism, accuses US of fomenting Arab unrest.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad 311 (R) (photo credit: REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl)
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad 311 (R)
(photo credit: REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl)
“The era of Zionism and capitalism has passed away,” President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told a crowd gathered on Monday in honor of Iran’s Army Day.
Discussing the unrest sweeping the Middle East and North Africa, Ahmadinejad pointed the finger of blame at the United States, accusing President Barack Obama and his administration of conspiring to create a rift between Iran and Arab nations.
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Ahmadinejad said events had shown Washington had failed to dominate the region, where uprisings have taken place against several US-backed governments, and he issued a plea for “honest unity.”
“Safety and stability of the region depends on honest unity and cooperation between nations and leaders in the region,” he said.
Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric has followed a similar theme in recent days.
In a public speech last week, Ahmadinejad said the world would see a new Middle East without the United States and Israel. He made the remark in a speech to thousands of people in the southeastern city of Zahedan, Iranian Press TV reported.
“A new Middle East will emerge without the presence of the United States and the Zionist regime [Israel], and their allies in the near future,” Ahmadinejad said.
He accused the US and Israel of plotting to “spark an Iranian- Arabian Shi’ite-Sunni conflict.”
Israel was nearing its end, he said, and added, “Regional nations have awakened, but the global arrogance intends to sow discord among countries in the region.”
The Iranian people and regional nations are unhappy with the existence of the Zionist regime, and are against it.
They will continue their fight until the defeat of the US and Zionist regime in the region,” Ahmadinejad said.
At the same ceremony, where military hardware and troops paraded past the top brass, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s senior military adviser said Iran’s anger at Riyadh’s intervention in Bahrain had not diminished.
“The presence of Saudi forces in Bahrain to suppress the Bahraini people is against international law and is a kind of military interference in the internal affairs of Bahrain which is condemned from the international law standpoint,” Yahya Rahim- Safavi, former chief of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards, told reporters.
“The presence and behavior of Saudi Arabia is a kind of ignoble heresy,” he said. “The same fate might happen to the country itself and under the same pretext Saudi Arabia might be attacked.”
The war of words between Iran, the largest Shi’ite-dominated country in the region and an arch foe of the United States, and the Sunni Gulf Arab monarchies that are allied to Washington, has intensified in recent days.
Saudi Arabia’s top cleric last week accused Iran of interfering in other countries’ affairs and of “hypocrisy and deception.”
While showing off its military strength, Iran has stressed it had no bellicose intentions against its Arab neighbors.
Reuters contributed to this report.