Saturday, September 22, 2007

Ahmadinejad's "vague wish for the future" featured at parade celebrating new missile

You may remember the efforts of Juan Cole and Jonathan Steele to do damage control after Ahmadinejad's remark about wiping Israel "off the map." English isn't Persian, of course, but Steele's assertion that "the Iranian president was expressing a vague wish for the future" always seemed quite wrong to me. Anyone who follows the Iranian press, even in English, knows that remarks about the demise of Israel often occur in a military context.
Here's another example for anyone who is interested:
Iran on Saturday warned the West of the "serious consequences" of launching any attack against the Islamic republic after showing off a new longer-range missile in public for the first time . . .

The parade was marked by a litany of slogans calling for "Death to America" and "Death to Israel." Western military attaches, apparently warned of this in advance, boycotted the rally for the second year running.

"Israel should be eliminated" and "No Iranian Muslim, no Muslim recognises Israel," were among the slogans borne on the back of military vehicles, quoting the words of Iran's revolutionary founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

"Israel has to be wiped off the map," read another Khomeini quote which aroused worldwide controversy when it was repeated by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2005 . . .
Part of the controversy concerned the question of whether Ahmadinejad had said anything bellicose at all. Many on the left have not figured it out yet.

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