France on Wednesday condemned comments by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calling for Israel to be "wiped off the map." The hardline leader, who came to power in August, made the comments to students Wednesday during a Tehran conference called "The World without Zionism," according to state-run media in Iran.
"We have noted these press articles reporting the comments of President Ahmadinejad. If these comments were indeed made, we condemn them with the utmost firmness," French Foreign Ministry spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mattei said.
Ahmadinejad said a new wave of Palestinian attacks would destroy the Jewish state, and he denounced attempts to recognize Israel or normalize relations with it, the media reports said.
He also repeated the words of the founder of Iran's Islamic revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who called for the destruction of Israel, the AP reports.
"As the Imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map," Ahmadinejad was reported as saying.