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Iranian President Stands By Calls For Israel's Destruction

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has dismissed international condemnation of his call for Israel to be "wiped off the map", saying his controversial remarks were "right and just."

The official IRNA news agency quoted Mr. Ahmadinejad Friday as saying international scorn had no validity. He said his words express the views of the Iranian people.

Tens of thousands of Iranians staged anti-Israel protests across the country today, trampling on Israeli and American flags and chanting "death to Israel."

The latest events came amid Israeli calls for Iran's expulsion from the United Nations. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Thursday the rights of all states in the Middle East to live in peace will top the agenda of his upcoming visit to Iran.

Mr. Ahmadinejad made his controversial remarks Wednesday at a Tehran conference called "The World Without Zionism."