Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Europeans suffered the “biggest damage” from the “artificial regime” of Israel, on his arrival in Rome for a UN food agency summit, a report said Tuesday.
“Europeans have suffered the biggest damage from the Zionists and today the weight of this artificial regime, both political and economic, is on Europe’s shoulders,” he said, according to Telenews agency.
Italian activists, leftist politicians and Jewish groups have already protested against his presence at the summit, saying it was a disgrace to host someone who has repeatedly predicted Israel’s disappearance.
But Ahmadinejad denied that his provocative statements caused problems, adding that “people really like my declarations,” according to the report.
The Iranian president predicted on Monday that Muslims would uproot “satanic powers” and repeated his controversial belief that Israel will soon disappear.
He said he would be holding talks with “world leaders” on the sidelines of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) summit on food security, but did not specify which ones.
“Iran, as an influential nation in the economy and agriculture, has clear solutions, programmes and suggestions for the fair production and distribution of food supply in the world,” Ahmadinejad said before leaving Tehran, according to Iran’s the official IRNA news agency.
“Iran can play a decisive role in today’s world management,” he added. Ahmadinejad has visited UN headquarters in New York for the UN General Assembly on three occasions, but visits by him to any Western country are extremely rare.