WASHINGTON – The House on Friday unanimously condemned the "outrageous and despicable threats" Iran's president made against Israel and reasserted the U.S. commitment to defending Israel's right to exist.
The House resolution, passed 383-0, demanded that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (search) repudiate his statement on Wednesday that "Israel should be wiped off the map."
The sense of the House, which is not legally binding, also urged the U.N. Security Council "and all civilized nations to condemn and reject these statements and to censure Iran for its statements and for its policies aimed at destroying Israel."
International Relations Committee Chairman Henry Hyde (search), R-Ill., said the Iranian leader's position was not shared by most Muslims or most Iranians. Iranians, he said in prepared remarks, have had enough of the intellectual, economic and spiritual poverty imposed on them by their leaders and "that poverty will only deepen as Iran finds itself isolated by the sort of rhetoric spouted by President Ahmadinejad."
The top Democrat on the committee, Rep. Tom Lantos (search) of California, said the remarks were the most repugnant the world has heard since Adolf Hitler.
Ahmadinejad also said that anyone who recognizes Israel "will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation's fury."
Iran's hard-line president on Friday marched in the streets alongside tens of thousands of people supporting his call for the destruction of Israel.