October 26, 2005


Iranian president: Recognizing Israel means defeat of the Islamic world (Associated Press, October 26, 2005)

Iran's hard-line president called for Israel to be "wiped off the map" and said a new wave of Palestinian attacks will destroy the Jewish state, state-run media reported Wednesday. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also denounced attempts to recognize Israel or normalize relations with it.

"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," Ahmadinejad told students Wednesdays during a Tehran conference called "The World without Zionism."

"Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation's fury (while) any (Islamic leader) who recognizes the Zionist regime means he is acknowledging the surrender and defeat of the Islamic world," Ahmadinejad said.

Ahmadinejad also repeated the words of the founder of Iran's Islamic revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who called for the destruction of Israel. "As the Imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map," said Ahmadinejad, who came to power in August.

This is for domestic consumption as he tries to fend off Ayatollah Khamenei. Soon the Ayatollah will rebuke him publicly, provoking a spate of stories professing it a "stunning" turn of events.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 26, 2005 8:46 PM

I don't know why you'd expect that. Ayatollah Khamenei helped him become president. Giving Rafsanjani a consolation prize to balance the president's power a little doesn't mean that Khamenei is changing sides.

Posted by: pj at October 26, 2005 8:57 PM

No, he didn't.

Posted by: oj at October 26, 2005 9:02 PM

If Ahmadinejad is to be rebuked it better happen soon. I think that one key lesson we learned in the 20th century: "if somebody says they are going to kill you, believe them" has been taken to heart by Israel.

Posted by: JAB at October 26, 2005 9:35 PM

This is exactly why our alliance with Israel is so important. Because of it, no deal may be cut with the Cameljockeys. They shall change or we will change them.

Posted by: Lou Gots at October 26, 2005 10:02 PM

Actually, this sounds more like a rant from someone like Sheik Yassin or one of his ilk. But from the 'President' of a major country? The Europeans must be mewling and shaking tonight. And what about Mr. Nobel Peace Prize?

Most telling is that the backdrop (behind Ahmadinejad) was headlined in English, not Farsi.

It wasn't for domestic consumption - the average Iranian probably couldn't care less about Israel. It was a provocation - and we'll have to see if OJ is right about Khamenei. It won't take long.

One thing is for sure - Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad (and probably Hamas) can't have been happy to hear those remarks. Their status as proxies is about to change, methinks.

Posted by: jim hamlen at October 26, 2005 10:18 PM

Now what would Bart say about this?

Posted by: Dave W. at October 26, 2005 11:40 PM

Dave W.:

"bart" would complain that the high cost of American sugar causes American food producers to use high-fructose corn syrup instead, which is less tasty.

Then he'd explain that traditional Iranian foods are superior to American fast food, and bemoan the rapid spread of KFC restaurants in Iran.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 27, 2005 3:38 AM

The Iranians have made this threat plenty of times before. There's nothing really new here except perhaps the brazenness. But there are still plenty of people who either discount it as mere rhetoric or else don't give a hoot.

Mullahs, sigh, will be mullahs.

Still, it's a strategy that doesn't cost a thing. Make a threat and don't act on it. Make another threat and don't act on it. Make another, and another etc. So OJ has them all crying "Wolf." (Except, maybe someone ought to remind us about the Egyptian military exercises in the months preceding the Yom Kippur War in 1973.... And it's not exactly as though Iran doesn't have a nuke program, no matter what assurances Russia gives us happy-go-lucky folks.)

And you know what? Five years of intifada accompanied by a cutting edge campaign of slander and defamation well-orchestrated by the MSM against the Jewish State (echoed since the Second Gulf War by the reporting on America and from Iraq), and you're left with a sizeable number of people who either agree with the Iranian president or just don't care. (After all, Israel has only brought this on herself....Can't make peace with her neighbors. Oppresses them no end. the new Nazis. Racist apartheid mongers.)

So let's see. Five more years of intifada, and even more people are going to get so sick of the conflict that they won't give a gosh-darn in any direction. All they'll want is just to end the darn thing. In any way possible.

And the equation by the West of those who would destroy with those who would defend themselves from destruction is the hallmark and legacy of Arafat's genius, together with a huge dollop of help from the big liars in the media---to which, rather ironically, British media, and not just the BBC, have added their more than fair share; Jack Straw, himself, has some atoning to do on this score.

(Did I say "equation of"? Silly me. I should have said that the defense against destruction is the far more ignominious position to take---though it depends, of course, on who's doing the defending and who's attempting and/or doing the destroying).

Meanwhile, with the distractions in both the the Israel-Palestine arena and in Iraq (both of which Iran is helping to choreograph, thank you very much), Iran's nuke program will continue to chug along until the next crisis, which will likely be calls for Israel to disarm her own nuclear arsenal---which is only "reasonable"---or face the wrath of the mullahs (perhaps supplemented by calls for Europe to force Israel to do so, or else Europe will have to face the music).

Extortion and intimidation (together with bribery and blackmail) is a way of life for some; and some of those some have had centuries of practice in perfecting it. But then, who are we to judge....?

After all, mullahs will be mullahs.

Posted by: Barry Meislin at October 27, 2005 4:05 AM


When was the last time anyone in a leadershop position made the threat? The early '90s?

Posted by: oj at October 27, 2005 8:18 AM

And even better, Barry, the threat was that someone else will do the dirty work.
("Now, come on and get with this, Ham-bollah - or whomever we're cutting the checks to! This is getting expensive and we want this done with!")

And Ham-bollah has an incentive to actually finish the job and have the gravy train stop running? I don't think so.

Posted by: Mikey at October 27, 2005 9:42 AM

if israel lets iran produce an atomic weapon then they obviously want iran to use it on israel, just like they obviously want their citizens killed in terrorist attacks. you are defined by what you tolerate.

Posted by: anon at October 27, 2005 10:23 AM

Israel isn't the enemy of Persia. The Sunni Arabs are.

Posted by: oj at October 27, 2005 10:28 AM

Uh...OJ...there have been continuous 'threats' like this from members of their security 'apparatus', especially after Bush took office. Guys who are the equivalent of under-secretaries and also from parliamentary leaders.

Sure, talk is cheap, but I say again - this isn't for domestic consumption. The jihadist flame has burned out in Iran. The Shah has been gone for almost 30 years, and the Iraqi war ended 17 years ago.

Ahmadinejad may be staking out his own turf, not acting as a mouthpiece, we'll just have to see.

Posted by: jim hamlen at October 27, 2005 11:04 AM

When was the last time anyone in a leadershop position made the threat? The early '90s?

Well, um,there's this, from June 2002 , which includes the following tidbit:

Main thoroughfares in many parts of Tehran have for several days been draped with banners bearing the picture of the late Ayatollah Khomeini and one of his slogans: "Israel must be destroyed."
All this could entail diplomatic damage for Tehran, coming as it does at a time when the European Union is debating whether to open serious negotiations on a trade and co-operation agreement with the Islamic republic.

(Don't you just love the part about "could entail diplomatic damage for Tehran..."?)

And then there's this, which relates to events in December 2001, which includes this juicy morsel:

Rafsanjani spoke at the Qods Day (Jerusalem Day) rallies are held on the last Friday of Ramadan, which in 2001 fell on 14 December. "You should make the world understand that Israel is the oppressor and that Israel must be destroyed," Ayatollah Ali Meshkini said during the nationally televised 8 December Friday Prayers in Qom. Khalid Mashaal, head of the Hamas political bureau, told Iranian state television on 11 December that events such as Qods Day contribute to "increasing our people's resistance and made the Palestinian people realize that the Islamic nation was right behind them and that it was supporting them."

Though certainly, if you insist that Israel is not Iran's enemy, then who am I (or the mullah's) to disagree....

Posted by: Barry Meislin at October 27, 2005 11:04 AM

Sorry about those links.
This is the first one.
This is the second.

Posted by: Barry Meislin at October 27, 2005 11:08 AM

Any from the leadership? No?

Posted by: oj at October 27, 2005 11:25 AM