Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the world will witness the destruction of Israel in the near future.

Mr. Ahmadinejad made his remarks Sunday in a speech marking the 18th anniversary of the death of revolutionary founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Iranian media quoted the president as telling foreign guests that last year's war between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon had started the countdown to Israel's destruction.

Mr. Ahmadinejad sparked outrage shortly after coming to power in 2005 for saying that Israel should be wiped from the map.  He then repeatedly predicted that Israel would disappear.

The Iranian president caused further controversy when he labeled the holocaust as a myth.  He later invited several Holocaust deniers to a conference in Tehran, playing down the mass slaughter of Jews in World War Two.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.