Ahmadinejad: Israel, West bringing on own decline after Qana attack

By News Agencies

Haaretz

Av 6, 5766

Israel and its Western allies are headed toward their decline after the the Israel Air Force's deadly airstrike on the southern Lebanese town Qana that killed more than 50 people, Iran's president said Sunday.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's comments came on the 19th day of fighting
between Israel and the Iranian-backed militant group Hezbollah.

The bombing in Qana early Sunday destroyed a three-story building and killed at least 54 civilians, more than half children.

"This crime will bring this corrupt regime and its supporters close to the ending point," Ahmadinejad said at a news conference.

Ahmadinejad said the United States, Israel's closest ally, and Britain and srael "think these crimes will provide their dominance over the region, but they are strongly wrong."

Iran also denied Sunday allegations that it was helping Hezbollah in its
fight against Israel. "We haven't deployed any forces there [Lebanon]," said Hamid Reza Asefi, spokesman of Iran's foreign ministry.

"We don't send weapons to the resistance. We don't support them militarily If we choose to give them future military support, we will announce it. We have no fear of Mr. Bush and company," he added.

Syrian President Bashar Assad Sunday that Israel's attack in Qana constituted "state terrorism."

"The massacre committed by Israel in Qana this morning shows the barbarity of this aggressive entity. It constitutes state terrorism committed in front of the eyes and ears of the world," Assad said in remarks carried by state news agency SANA.

It said Assad telephoned his Lebanese counterpart Emile Lahoud to express his shock.

The raid on the southern village of Qana was the bloodiest single attack during Israel's offensive, Hezbollah and rescuers said the death toll might rise.

Syria, a main backer of Hezbollah, has been supplying electricity, fuel and humanitarian aid to Lebanon, whose infrastructure has been targeted by Israeli attacks.

Syria has also received more than 150,000 Lebanese refugees since the war began on June 12.

The United States and other Western governments have repeatedly charged that Iranian and Syrian support has enabled Hezbollah to carry on its fight against Israel.

Jordan king calls attack 'ugly crime'
Earlier in the day, Jordan's King Abdullah called the attack an "ugly crime" and urged an immediate ceasefire to end Israel's military offensive.

"This criminal aggression is an ugly crime that has been committed by the Israeli forces in the city of Qana that is a gross violation of all international statutes," the monarch said in the first reaction by an Arab leader to the raid.

"We call for an immediate ceasefire and the international community must shoulder its responsibility to find a way out of this crisis to put an end to the Israeli aggression on Lebanese territory and end the suffering of the Lebanese people," he added.

U.S. ally Jordan, along with Arab states Saudi Arabia and Egypt, are worried that a prolonged conflict could undermine moderate Arab states that support regional peace and strengthen the hands of radical Muslim groups across the region