London Governments around the world expressed shock and scorn Thursday at the Iranian president's call for Israel to be "wiped off the map," and several summoned Tehran's envoys in their capitals for a reprimand.
However, Israeli calls for Iran to be expelled from the United Nations over the remarks by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were not immediately taken up by other nations.
In a speech Wednesday, Ahmadinejad denounced Israel and said a new wave of Palestinian attacks "will wipe this stigma from the face of the Islamic world." Citing the words of the founder of Iran's Islamic revolution, the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Ahmadinejad said: "Israel must be wiped off the map."
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Thursday called for Iran to be expelled from the U.N., saying "a state which calls for the destruction of another people cannot be a member of the United Nations." Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said Israel had not decided whether to ask officially for Iran's removal.
Israel's deputy ambassador to Britain, Zvi Rav-Ner, said it was unheard of for a U.N. member state to call "for genocide and wiping off of another member state of the U.N."