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Ahmadinejad: ‘We Have Never Threatened’ Israel

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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gestures during a press conference, at Tehran's Mehrabad Airport, on Sept. 22, 2012 before his departure for the U.N. General Assembly in New York. (credit: ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gestures during a press conference, at Tehran’s Mehrabad Airport, on Sept. 22, 2012 before his departure for the U.N. General Assembly in New York. (credit: ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claims he has never said Iran would attack Israel, despite the leader previously saying the Jewish state should be “eliminated.”

Speaking to CBS News, Ahmadinejad said Israel is the one threatening Iran over drawing a “red line” over the country’s nuclear ambitions.

“Can one country, based on just their own sole opinion, decide and establish a red line for another country and then threaten attacks?” Ahmadinejad told CBS News. “When have we threatened to attack the Zionists? We have never threatened them.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called for President Barack Obama to establish a “red line” in which to conduct a U.S. military strike against Iran to take out its nuclear facilities.

Ahmadinejad later added: “We say that occupation should be done away with. War-like behavior should be done away with. Terrorism should be done away with. The killing of women and children should be done away with. Has the Zionist regime done anything other than this during the last 65 years? No, they haven’t.”

In an interview with The Associated Press Tuesday, Ahmadinejad explained that it is time for a “new world order.”

“God willing, a new order will come together and we’ll do away with everything that distances us,” Ahmadinejad told the AP. “I do believe the system of empires has reached the end of the road. The world can no longer see an emperor commanding it.”

President Obama warned Iran during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly that the window is closing to end Iran’s nuclear program peacefully.

“The United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” the president said.

Ahmadinejad will speak before the U.N. General Assembly Wednesday morning.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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