Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Iran's Final Solution Plan (Daniel Pipes)

I don't always find myself in sympathy with Daniel Pipes. But this piece is completely on target. --Jeff Weintraub

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New York Sun
November 1, 2005

Iran's Final Solution Plan
by Daniel Pipes

"Iran's stance has always been clear on this ugly phenomenon [i.e., Israel]. We have repeatedly said that this cancerous tumor of a state should be removed from the region."

No, those are not the words of Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, speaking last week. Rather, that was Ali Khamenei, the Islamic Republic of Iran's supreme leader, in December 2000.

In other words, Ahmadinejad's call for the destruction of Israel was nothing new but conforms to a well-established pattern of regime rhetoric and ambition. "Death to Israel!" has been a rallying cry for the past quarter-century. Mr. Ahmadinejad quoted Ayatollah Khomeini, its founder, in his call on October 26 for genocidal war against Jews: "The regime occupying Jerusalem must be eliminated from the pages of history," Khomeini said decades ago. Mr. Ahmadinejad lauded this hideous goal as "very wise."

In December 2001, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former Iranian president and still powerful political figure, laid the groundwork for an exchange of nuclear weapons with Israel: "If a day comes when the world of Islam is duly equipped with the arms Israel has in possession, the strategy of colonialism would face a stalemate because application of an atomic bomb would not leave anything in Israel but the same thing would just produce minor damages in the Muslim world."

In like spirit, a Shahab-3 ballistic missile (capable of reaching Israel) paraded in Tehran last month bore the slogan "Israel Should Be Wiped Off the Map."

The threats by Messrs. Khamenei and Rafsanjani prompted yawns but Mr. Ahmadinejad's statement roused an uproar.

[....] Iranians were surprised and suspicious. Why, some asked, did the mere reiteration of long-standing policy prompt an avalanche of outraged foreign reactions?

In a constructive spirit, I offer them four reasons. First, Mr. Ahmadinejad's virulent character gives the threats against Israel added credibility. [And as I noted recently, his 'election' as President was part of a comprehensive seizure of power by the most hard-line radical elements in the Iranian regime. --JW] Second, he in subsequent days defiantly repeated and elaborated on his threats. Third, he added an aggressive coda to the usual formulation, warning Muslims who recognize Israel that they "will burn in the fire of the Islamic umma [nation]."

This directly targets the Palestinians and several Arab states, but especially neighboring Pakistan. [....] Finally, Israelis estimate that the Iranians could, within six months, have the means to build an atomic bomb. [....] We are on notice. Will we act in time?

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Read the rest. It's time to stop yawning.

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