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. Israeli president brands Iran 'centre of global terror'
JERUSALEM, Oct 8 (AFP) Oct 08, 2007
Israeli President Shimon Peres launched a blistering attack on arch-foe Iran on Monday, calling the Islamic republic "the centre of global terror" aiming to dupe the world on its nuclear programme.

"The leading government nurturing terror and financing it with money and weapons is Iran, with (President Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad at its head," Peres told the opening of parliament's winter session.

"Iran is the greatest terrorist centre in the world today," he said, adding that "it is openly building an arsenal of long-range missiles and, secretely, nuclear weapons.

"If Iran attains nuclear weapons, they are likely to reach terrorists, because Iran is also the centre of global terror. The world will then become chaos," said the Nobel peace laureate.

Widely considered the Middle East's sole if undeclared nuclear power, Israel along with the West fears Iran is using its controversial nuclear programme to build an atomic bomb, a charge Tehran denies.

The Jewish state considers the Islamic republic its top enemy following repeated calls by Ahmadinejad for Israel to be wiped off the map and his questioning of the Holocaust.

Iran also supports the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, which is committed to the destruction of Israel, and Lebanon's Hezbollah, with which Israel fought a devastating war in July-August 2006.

"The Iranian leadership is maintaining the Hezbollah in order to defeat the independent Lebanon and to turn it into an Iranian satellite," Peres charged.

"It established (Palestinian radical group) Islamic Jihad and supports Hamas in order to destroy the peace process which is taking place between Israel and the Palestinians."

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