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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said any attack by Israel on countries in the region would lead those nations to “eradicate” the country.

Iran hopes Israel “will not be tempted” to initiate an offensive in the Middle East, Ahmadinejad said Tuesday in an address to supporters that was aired live by state television from the eastern city of Birjand. “If these criminals make the mistake again, the regional countries will need to eradicate them once and for all,” he said.

“No power can harm Iran. The Iranian nation will chop off the hands of any attacker from any part of the world,” Ahmadinejad said.

Ahmadinejad’s comments came a day after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan warned that a pre-emptive Israeli attack on Iran would be a disaster for the region.

Ahmadinejad told Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah on Feb. 18 that the movement should be ready to repel any attack by Israel. Iran is a backer of the Lebanese Shiite Muslim group, which fought Israel in 2006 and joined Lebanon’s government in November. (Hurriyet)

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