Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday predicted that Israel would not survive, as he lashed out at the US-hosted conference seeking to relaunch the Middle East peace process.

“It is impossible that the Zionist regime can last,” state media quoted Ahmadinejad as saying in a cabinet meeting.

“Deterioration is in the nature of this regime as it has been built on aggression, lying, crime and wrongdoing,” he added.

He said the meeting which united Israeli and Palestinian leaders in Annapolis, Maryland had “failed already and was stillborn. It lacked the cornerstones of effective political work.”

The Islamic republic — which has made non-recognition of Israel a cornerstone of its ideology — was left isolated after its chief regional ally Syria and Saudi Arabia attended Tuesday’s meeting.

“We regret that some people fell victim to the cursed Zionist regime and they are mistaken if they thought this meeting was an achievement for them or helps reinforce the Zionists,” added the president.

Ahmadinejad has repeatedly courted controversy by predicting Israel is doomed to disappear, most notoriously calling in 2005 for the Jewish state to be “wiped off the map”.

In an unusual diplomatic move, Ahmadinejad on Sunday chided Saudi King Abdullah in a telephone conversation for taking part in the Middle East peace meeting.

Despite sharing no borders, Israel and Iran are the region’s two bitterest foes.

The tensions have intensified further over the Iranian nuclear programme, which Israel — the region’s sole if undeclared nuclear power — charges is aimed at making an atomic bomb. Iran insists its atomic drive is peaceful.

Israel was an ally of the imperial regime of shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, developing close military and economic ties with Iran until the shah’s overthrow in the Islamic revolution of 1979. (TEHRAN (AFP)