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Iranian President Sounds Off On Israel

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

Today the president of Iran tried to explain one of his most notorious statements. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that Israel should be wiped off the map. In an interview with NPR this afternoon in New York, Ahmadinejad said through an interpreter, I'll explain that. He was talking with our colleague Steve Inskeep.

STEVE INSKEEP: Do you accept the label of the man who wants to wipe Israel off the map?

President MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD (Iran): (Through Translator) Let me create an analogy here. Where exactly is the Soviet Union today? It did disappear. But exactly how? It was through the vote of its own people.

BLOCK: And Ahmadinejad contends he just wants Palestinians to vote on Israel's future. Tomorrow on Morning Edition, you can hear more of Steve Inskeep's interview with Iran's president, including questions about limitations on voting in Iran. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.