Reminding President Barack Obama of growing threats on the horizon, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told Iranian State News Agency [ISNA] that Iran is committed to eradicating Israel, stating in the most explicit terms his intent to wipe out the Jewish state. When he made similar remarks in 2005-08 about “wiping Israel off the map,” he said the foreign press misinterpreted his words, that were more metaphorical, not to be take literally. Shortly after his first threats about “wiping Israel off the map,” Ahmadinejad hosted a Holocaust deniers’ conference in Tehran, suggesting that Israel made up Hitler’s massacre of European Jews between 1938 and 1945. Ahmadinejad insists that the Holocaust is no excuse for establishing the Jewish state in the British mandate of Palestine. He’s asked that Israel be relocated out of the Middle East to Europe or the United States.
When former President George W. Bush detoured into Iraq in 2003 to get Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, it took the focus off Iran, already busy enriching uranium. Iran’s uranium enrichment program has moved ahead without any interruption since Ahmandinejad announced it was Iran’s policy to “wipe out the Jewish state.” While Iran’s Shiite regime gets little support within the Sunni Arab world, Ahmadinejad’s hatred toward Israel has been the common denominator. Nearly nine years into the Iraq War, the U.S. still can’t define its mission, other than stabilizing a post-Saddam Iraq. Iran’s threat to U.S. strategic interests in Israel reminds Obama that he needs urgent exists from Iraq and Afghanistan. Both have little strategic interest to the United States, especially knowing conclusively that neither Iraq nor Afghanistan possess weapons of mass destruction.
Ahmadinejad’s lull in his hate speech toward Israel attempted to shift attention away from Iran’s active nuclear enrichment program. CIA, MI6 and German intelligence estimate that Iran could have enough weapons grade material for several nuclear bombs by 2012. “Iran believes that whoever is for humanity should also be for eradicating the Zionist regime [Israel] as symbol of suppression and discrimination,” Ahmadinejad told the Lebanese TV, broadcast on Iranian news outlets. Ahmadienjad likes to use the word Zionist to whip up anti-Semitism on the Arab street. He knows that Israel is the most technologically advanced and prosperous democracy in the Middle East. With pro-reform revolutions occurring in Tunisia, Egypt and now Libya, Ahmadinejad knows it only a matter of time before the pro-Democracy movement catches on in Tehran’s educated streets.
Ahmandinejad plans anti-Israel rallies named Qods [Jeruslem] day for the last Friday of Ramadan, the traditional Islamic fasting and prayers month. Calling on Muslims everywhere to hold their own Qods’ rallies, Ahmadinejad calls on Muslims to rid the region of “infectious tumor and this regime of rascality,” whipping up similar language all too familiar in Hitler’s “Mein Kamph.” When Ahmadinejad seeks cover from domestic or foreign policy failures or from his nuclear mischief , he always picks on Israel. His new calls for Muslims worldwide to rise up against Israel suggest that he’s up to no good, most likely with his nuclear weapons program. With the U.S. mired in Iraq, Iran and now Libya, it’s given Ahmandinejad a free pass to pursue weapons grade uranium and design a bomb. U.S. foreign policy must respond to the Iranian nuclear threat possibly face Israel’s unilateral action.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Nentanyahu has made plain he has to intention of presiding over the next Holocaust. He sees Iran as an existential threat. Ahmandinejad’s recent rhetoric is bound to stir up the debate of what Israel can do to stop the Iranian nuclear threat to the Jewish state. While some U.S. defense analysts insist that the U.S. can deal with a nuclear-armed Iran, the idea is intolerable to Israel. Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust denials prompted a rebuke from German Chancellor Angel Merkel, telling Ahmadinejad that her nation accepts and amends past Nazi atrocities, confirming WW II’s historical record. Ahmadinejad’s new calls to “eradicate” Israel should be met with the strongest possible condemnation. They signal that Iran continues its covert nuclear weapons program, something the Obama administration can’t ignore. White House officials must respond accordingly.
Ahmadinejad’s new calls to “eradicate” Israel hints at a more dangerous development involving Iran’s nuclear weapons program. More empty talk from the White House or distractions in Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya won’t talk the Iranians out of their feverish pursuit of nuclear weapons. Whatever problems the U.S. has with the economy, they pale in comparison to the prospects of Iran going nuclear. Nuclear non-proliferation experts see Iran to developing enough fissile material to build several atomic bombs in the near future. Distractions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya or even North Korea don’t excuse Iran’s unimpeded march toward the bomb. U.S. officials must end wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya to deal directly with Iran’s feverish pursuit of atomic bombs. Whatever was missed in Iraq with respect to WMD, they’re far more like to show up in Iran.
About the Author
John M. Curtis writes politically neutral commentary analyzing spin in national and global news. He’s editor of OnlineColumnist.com and author of Dodging The Bullet and Operation Charisma.