Thursday, November 16, 2006


Ahmadinejad's Feelings Get Hurt

Poor baby... he has a lot of fun openly advocating that Israel be wiped off the map, but he can't stand it when Israel answers him:
UNITED NATIONS, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Iran, whose president has vowed to wipe Israel off the map, complained to the United Nations on Wednesday that the Jewish state was repeatedly threatening to bomb it.

The threats were "matters of extreme gravity" and the U.N. Security Council should condemn them and demand that Israel "cease and desist immediately from the threat of the use of force against members of the United Nations," Iranian U.N. Ambassador Javad Zarif said.

His comments came in a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan dated Nov. 10 and circulated at the United Nations on Wednesday.

Iran, the world's fourth-largest oil exporter, has been aggressively pursuing a nuclear program that it says is meant only to produce electric power.

But Western powers and Israel, which is itself widely believed to be a nuclear power, insist the activities are a cover for making nuclear bombs.

Iran's activities have prompted speculation that Israel might launch preemptive strikes to destroy its nuclear facilities, as it did in Iraq in 1981 when it bombed a reactor at Osiraq.

The speculation increased after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last year threatened to "wipe Israel off the map," a statement Iranian officials have argued was not a threat.

Israel has fueled the speculation with a series of "unlawful and dangerous threats," Zarif said.

His letter cited several examples. Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh said just last Friday that a preemptive strike on Iran was possible as "a last resort," Zarif's letter said. "But even the last resort is sometimes the only resort," he quoted Sneh as saying.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Oct. 19 that Iran would have "a price to pay" for continuing its nuclear programs and Iranians "have to be afraid" of what Israel might do, according to Zarif's letter.

Similarly, Zarif said that Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz said on Jan. 21, "We are preparing for military action to stop Iran's nuclear program."
Israel's "threats" have, in fact, been quite mild, and mostly have been calls for the international community to take Iran seriously. (Iran is reading between the lines here, interpreting statements by Israeli officials as a direct threat. There's nothing wrong with that, actually; Iran has not explicitly said it would be the one to wipe Israel off the map, although it's certainly been strongly implied... so we've all been reading between the lines too.)

What's good for the goose is good for the gander, baby.

I can only imagine how Iran would react if Israel escalated -- by doing exactly what Iran has been doing, in reverse. For example, what if Israel held a worldwide conference, widely attended, on the subject of "Imagine A World Without Iran". What if Israel started denying that the Iranian religious revolution, and the corruption of the Shah's regime that preceded it, had ever happened. (That's actually quite mild too, compared with the Holocaust-denying fetish that Ahmadinejad proudly displays whenever he gets the chance.)

And just in case anyone's in doubt here, Iran has been fighting low-level proxy battles with Israel for years, using the Hizbullah terrorist organization to do its dirty work. A good many Israelis have died as a direct result of Iranian actions. By contrast, Israel has done nothing to Iran -- nothing whatsoever -- apart from a few speeches of protest in the UN.

This would be pretty funny, if not for the danger that people will actually take Iran's UN complaints seriously. (Ironically, Israel -- which has more cause to distrust the UN than practically anybody -- has fallen into that trap frequently, and taken the UN far too seriously. Let's hope for better this time.)

By the way, my hat's off to Reuters, who have displayed unusual candor (for them). Not only do they point out that Iran's complaints are ridiculous in the face of Ahmadinejad's repeated Holocaust-denying and Israel-wiping comments; they also note that Iran, being the world's fourth-largest oil exporter, can hardly claim to be developing nuclear power for peaceful purposes.

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