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TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday that Israel was "dying" and that people in the Middle East would destroy it if given the chance.
"They should know that regional nations hate this fake and criminal regime and if the smallest and briefest chance is given to regional nations they will destroy (it)," said Ahmadinejad, who often rails against Israel and the United States.
His remarks coincided with the arrival of U.S. President George W. Bush in the Middle East to celebrate Israel's 60th birthday and try to energize peace efforts complicated by a corruption scandal that could topple Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
Last month, a senior Iranian army commander said Iran will respond to any military attack from Israel by "eliminating" it, in comments condemned by Washington.