Last Updated Thu, 27 Oct 2005 07:27:45 EDT
Iran should be expelled from the United Nations after calling for Israel to be "wiped off the map," Israeli Vice Premier Shimon Peres said on Thursday.
* INDEPTH: Iran
"Since the United Nations was established in 1945, there has never been a head of state that is a UN member state that publicly called for the elimination of another UN member state," Peres said on Israeli Radio.
"It is impossible to ignore this and close your ears."
On Wednesday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told a conference of conservative students that "there is no doubt that the new wave of [ attacks] in Palestine will wipe off this stigma [Israel] from the face of the Islamic world."
International leaders, including Canada, have condemned Ahmadinejad's remarks.
Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew said the world "cannot tolerate comments of such hatred, such anti-Semitism, such intolerance.
"And these comments are all the more troubling [given] that we know of Iran's nuclear ambitions. So I think it is very important that all countries do stand up together to make sure that we do not accept that Iran continues a nuclear program."
Iran says it maintains a nuclear program to create energy, not weapons.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at a conference Wednesday called 'The World without Zionism.' (AP Photo)
Washington's response also addressed nuclear concerns.
"I think we are starting to see some true views of this regime, which underscores our concern and the international community's concerns about Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons," said U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack.
Britain's Foreign Office said it will summon an Iranian diplomat to answer for the comments, which it called "sickening."
Other countries to criticize the comments included Germany, Spain and France.
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