PARIS (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi accused Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday of acting like a lunatic when it comes to Israel, and said the world needed to keep a close eye on him.
“I think we must pay the utmost attention to the lunacy of someone who says, perhaps for internal reasons, that Israel must be wiped off the map,” Berlusconi said to a Jewish organisation in Paris, where he was receiving an award.
A 2005 statement by Ahmadinejad saying that Israel should be “wiped off the map” outraged the international community.
The Iranian leader has since made predictions that Israel would “disappear” and, visiting Rome earlier this year for a U.N. summit, said the country would vanish with or without the involvement of Tehran.
Writing by Phil Stewart; reporting by Francesca Piscioneri