In a speech delivered to worshippers at Tehran University on Friday, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that the very existence of Israel is an "insult to all humanity,” and that efforts to challenge Israel represented an attempt to "protect the dignity of all human beings."
Ahmadinejad condemned Israel as "a corrupt, anti-human organized minority group standing up to all divine values.”
The broadsides coincided with the observance of pro-Palestinian rallies across Iran in honor of al-Quds Day (Jerusalem Day) which takes place on the last Friday of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
During state-sponsored protests across Tehran, Iranians shouted "Death to America, death to Israel!"
"You want a new Middle East?,” the president rhetorically asked. “We do too, but in the new Middle East ... there will be no trace of the American presence and the Zionists.”
Ahmadinejad, who is facing pressures from hardliners within the Iranian Majlis (parliament) to reduce his authority, added: "Saving the existence of the Zionist regime (Israel) is a joint commitment by most arrogant Western governments… Freedom and democracy will not come from the barrels of NATO guns and the interference of Western nations."
Ahmadinejad has long made threats against Israel, but the latest vitriol comes as speculation intensifies in the West that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and defense minister Ehud Barak are planning to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities, which Jerusalem believes are designed to implement the destruction of Israel.
In 2005, Ahmadinejad vowed to wipe Israel off the map -- a threat some Israeli leaders take very seriously.
However, in the wake of the Arab Spring revolution which has drastically altered the face of the Muslim world, Ahmadinejad's calls for unity against Israel have faltered. Indeed, the Tehran regime – which has been subject to stifling economic sanctions from the U.S. amd EU -- also finds itself isolated even within Islamic counties, which have criticized its support for the bloody regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.
Moreover, as a predominantly Shia state, Iran is further isolated in a Muslim global community that is overwhelmingly Sunni.