Iran's president-elect Hassan Rouhani has called Israel an old "wound" that must be removed. These statements would seem to cast doubt on the viability of efforts to revive peace talks betwen the Palestinians and Israel.
"The Zionist regime is a wound inflicted for years on the body of the Muslim world that must be cleansed," Mr Rouhani said to reporters.
His comments echoed those of outgoing president Mahmound Ahmadinejad who earlier whipped up anti-Israel sentiment at an Quds day rally in Tehran.
He said: "I will inform you with God as my witness, a devastating storm is on the way that will uproot the basis of Zionism.
He added Israel had "no place in this region".
Mr Rouhani will formally assume the presidency of Iran this weekend after winning elections held last month by a landslide.
In former remarks, Mr Ahmadinejad accused Israel and its Western supporters of fomenting discord in the Middle East, saying "it was their dream to see the will of regional countries bent on destroying (Israel) diverted towards civil war".
"Who is happy for what is happening in Egypt and Syria?" he asked, charging that Israel celebrating the unrest in those countries.
I think there will be a lot more to come from this statement in the coming days, with previous president Mahmound Ahmadinejad said Israel should "Be wiped from the Map" this is bad news for an already very unstable region, not good at all this. This is breaking news early Friday 2nd August 2013, below he is stating Israel should be no more