Ahmadinejad: Quran burning Zionist plot
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (R) delivers an opening speech on Friday, September 10, 2010, during a meeting between Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei (L) and senior Iranian officials in Tehran.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has condemned plans by a US church to burn copies of the holy Quran as a violation of the teachings of all religions.
President Ahmadinejad said Friday that Florida Pastor Terry Jones' plans to torch Qurans on the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks was a "Zionist plot, and against the teachings of all divine prophets."
"The Zionists and their supporters are on the path to collapse and decline and such desperate actions will not save them, but will accelerate their fall and annihilation," the president said during a meeting between Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and senior Iranian officials in Tehran.
The plan has been condemned by Muslim and non-Muslim leaders and communities around the world. It has triggered protests in Afghanistan, India, Indonesia, Iran and Pakistan.
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki condemned the plans on Thursday and warned that followers of other religions would join the Muslim community and react to the move.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has hit out at the Dove World Outreach Center's plan, stressing that it is "disrespectful and disgraceful."
The US State Department also called the move "un-American," while the US Attorney General Eric Holder called the idea "idiotic and dangerous."
EU Foreign Affairs Chief Catherine Ashton condemned the scheme, while Arab League chief Amr Moussa dubbed Jones a "fanatic."
The Vatican council has blasted the Florida church's scheme as an "outrageous and grave gesture."
Earlier on Friday, angry demonstrators marched in Tehran to condemn the Islamophobic decision.
Following the fierce International condemnation of the plan, Jones, a radical evangelist, announced on Thursday that he had put his Quran burning plan on hold.