CBNNews.com - TEHERAN - Before leaving for a state visit to Turkey, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad advised Western nations to abandon Israel.
"Western countries should not support them [Israel] so much," Ahmadinejad said in a live interview Wednesday night, which was translated into Turkish and broadcast on CNN's Turk channels and Turkey's NTV. "The life of this regime has come to an end," he said.
Ahmadinejad arrived in Turkey Thursday for a two-day visit -- his first since assuming office in 2005.
The two countries are slated to sign a new gas pipeline deal; Iran is Turkey's third biggest supplier of natural gas.
The US opposes any new energy deals, including Turkey's plans to invest in Iran's South Pars gas fields.
A US-backed pipeline in Turkey transports Iranian gas to European markets.
Israel also expressed its opposition to Ahmadinejad's visit.
"We don't think it is a good idea to give legitimacy to someone who calls for the destruction of Israel," a senior Israeli diplomat said last week.
While Turkey is a NATO ally, its current government, elected in 2002, has deep-rooted Islamic ties, which have improved its ties with the Islamic Republic.
Sources: The Associated Press, The Jerusalem Post