In an interview with Larry King on Wednesday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a "skilled killer" who "should be put on trial for killing women and children" and for "putting Gaza under siege." He also denied that Iran has any interest in acquiring a nuclear bomb.
In response to King's question wondering if Iran was worried that Israel might take preemptive action against Iran if it thought Iran would acquire and use a nuclear weapon, Ahmadinejad unleashed a tirade against Netanyahu:
After attacking Netanyahu, Ahmadinejad went on to deny that Iran wants to acquire a nuclear bomb, and hinted that such an idea is a conspiracy created by Israel. "No one expresses fear about Iran's nuclear activities in the region except the Zionist regime and some American authorities," he told King. He later called for the disarmament of Israel and the U.S.
He added: "We are not seeking the bomb, we have no interest in it, and we do not think that it is useful."
Instead, he said, "the threat to the world are the bombs that the U.S. government and the Zionist regime have." As a CNN article about the interview points out, Iran refuses to refer to Israel by name, calling it instead "the Zionist regime."
That's at least a little more reserved than the other phrase Ahmadinejad used to refer to Israel: "illegitimate, war-waging country":
Ahmadinejad is currently in New York for the U.N. General Assembly meetings. His country sits on the Commission on Women's Rights.
In contrast to Ahmadinejad's assertion that Israel poses a threat to the world and that Netanyahu is a "skilled killer," President Obama will deliver remarks to the U.N. today in support of Israel.
"It should be clear to all that efforts to chip away at Israel's legitimacy will only be met by the unshakeable opposition of the United States," the president is expected to say, according to excerpts of the speech obtained by NBC News. "And efforts to threaten or kill Israelis will do nothing to help the Palestinian people — the slaughter of innocent Israelis is not resistance, it is injustice."