Thursday, October 27, 2005

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: "Israel should be wiped off the face of the earth"

From the Guardian:
"He said: "Anybody who recognises Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation's fury, [while] any [Islamic leader] who recognises the Zionist regime means he is acknowledging the surrender and defeat of the Islamic world." He was addressing a conference titled The World Without Zionism.

His speech was immediately condemned by the US, Britain, France, Germany and Israel. The Foreign Office could not recall a similar statement from a senior Iranian leader since the former president Hashemi Rafsanjani five years ago called for a Muslim state to annihilate Israel with a nuclear strike. Since then, there has been a mild thaw in relations between Muslim states, including Arab ones, and Israel.

But Mr Ahmadinejad rejected compromise: "There is no doubt that the new wave [of attacks] in Palestine will wipe off this stigma [Israel] from the face of the Islamic world." Recalling the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, leader of Iran's Islamic revolution, he said: "As the imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map."
Charming. I wonder if CND still think Iran's nuclear ambitions are nothing to worry about? Probably, given their new partisan position. If Israel disappeared under a mushroom cloud, no doubt we'll be told they 'had it coming'. It's now more likely than ever that Israel will launch a strike against Iran's nuclear installations, as the article suggests:
"Israel has issued thinly veiled threats against Iran's nuclear programme if diplomatic efforts fail and is buying 500 "bunker-buster" bombs from the US that could be used to destroy the facilities. The Israeli foreign minister, Silvan Shalom, raised the question of the nuclear programme with the visiting Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, in Jerusalem yesterday. Russia is selling nuclear fuel for the reactors to Iran, despite Israel's objections."
If they do, expect the usual outcry at 'Israeli aggression'. They'll probably be censured by the UN as well. Remember everyone banging on about how many outstanding Security Council Resolutions Israel had against it in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq? One of these was for the strike against the Osiric nuclear facility in the 1980s; the Security Council presumably thinking in it's wisdom that Saddam should have been allowed to go nuclear.

I really hope it doesn't come to that though. These remarks are, I think, a sign that the regime is rather desperate to distract attention from the fact that the revolution in Iran succumbed to the inevitable forces of routinization some time ago and is moribund; that all they have really is capitalism plus men in frocks with the accompanying corruption and lack of liberty that is intrinsic to such anti-democratic regimes.

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