Monday, October 31, 2005

Turkey is not Happy with Ahmadinejad’s Israel Statements

Turkish Weekly:

31 October 2005

ANKARA (JTW) - Turkey expressed disapproval of comments by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calling for the destruction of ‘Zionist regime’ and said it would make no changes to its flourishing ties with Israel, AFP reported. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad triggered international outrage when he told a conference in Tehran Wednesday that ‘Zionist regime’ (Israel) should be "wiped off the map".

The Iranian leader also said that "anyone who signs a treaty which recognizes the entity of Israel means he has signed the surrender of the Muslim world," and warned Muslim leaders who recognize Israel that they "face the wrath of their own people." However Iran declared that it has no plan to attack Israel.

"Naturally it is not possible for us to approve of such a statement," the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement. The Turkish ministry underlined that it was Turkey's "own judgment and preference" to establish ties with regional countries on the basis of internationally recognized borders.

"Turkey maintains its determination to pursue ties based on mutual respect and cooperation with all regional countries and believes that regional conflicts can be resolved only through peaceful methods and dialogue based on international legitimacy," the statement added.

Turkey, a predominantly Muslim but a strictly secular state, has been Israel’s main regional ally since 1996 when the two countries signed a military cooperation accord, much to the anger of Iran. Turkey also has good relations with many Arab states, including Palestine and Syria. The trade between Turkey and Arab world has dramatically increased in the recent years and Turkey established strategic relations with the Arab world after the Iraq War. Arab countries supported Turkey’s EU bid.

Ankara and Tehran, on the other hand, have recently bolstered cooperation after years of trading accusations that each side was sheltering each others' opponents and amid Turkish charges that Tehran was seeking to export its Islamic revolution. Turkey and Iran shares similar views on Iraq problem. However, Ankara finds Iran’s attitude towards the US and Israel radical. “Iran’s timing is awful” says Turkish Middle East experts Sedat Laciner regarding Ahmadinejad’s statements about Israel. “Time is to restore the relations and boost regional integration. Neither Iran nor Turkey has time to lose. Both countries must focus on economic co-operation. Otherwise the fate of the region would be the same. Ahmedinejad should realize that he cannot change anything in the region by just speaking and accusing. He should do something real like economic development and regional co-operation” Dr. Laciner added.

Iran: Khatami criticizes President Ahmadinejad's remark on Israel

Al Bawaba:

Posted: 31-10-2005

Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami criticized his successor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for the latter's recent statement that Israel should be "wiped of the map." Khatami made no direct mention of Ahmadinejad's remarks, but alluded to the comment, saying, "We should not say things that create economic and political problems in the world."

Khatami, a pro-reform cleric who rigorously sought to improve relations between Iran and the outside world throughout his leadership, added that "The worst is to criticize liberalism using fascist values and principles in the name of Islam," according to AFP. Khatami's comments were made at a recent gathering at the Koranic museum in Tehran.

The former president added that, "We are not on an international quest and we are not here to make other governments conform with our position."

Ahmadinejad, considered a hardliner in comparison to his predecessor Khatami, said in a statement this past summer that, "liberal thought justifies and recognizes all abnormalities and deviations."

His recent statement regarding Israel has elicited widespread condemnation, including that of the UN Security Council.

Iran Won't Return To Nuclear Freeze: Ahmadinejad

Space War:

Tehran (AFP) Oct 30, 2005

Iran will not return to a full freeze of its disputed nuclear fuel activities and Western demands for such confidence building measures are unacceptable, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Sunday.

In a speech to members of the hardline Basij militia, the austere hardliner also played down an international outcry over his controversial call for Israel to be "wiped off the map" by insisting what he said was nothing new.

Although the president lashed out at what he called "an illegal occupying regime", he did not repeat his call for Israel to be destroyed and the foreign ministry also kept up its effort to limit the diplomatic fall-out.

Ahmadinejad's use of the revolutionary-era slogan, which has not been employed by senior regime officials for years, has renewed concerns over the Islamic republic's bid to make nuclear reactor fuel -- work that could potentially be diverted to make weapons.

But the president, who won a shock election victory in June, maintained his uncompromising stance in the face of Western demands that Iran abandon such technology.

"We support the resumption of work at the UCF (uranium conversion facility) and we will continue," Ahmadinejad said, rejecting demands that Iran return to a full freeze agreed to in November 2004 in a deal with Britain, France and Germany.

"The previous government backed down in the name of confidence building so much that they voluntarily suspended the fuel cycle," he complained. "Recently the government realised that this confidence building claim is wrong."

In August, Iran refused an EU offer of trade and other incentives in exchange for halting uranium enrichment work and resumed uranium conversion.

The country insists it only wants to generate electricity, but last month the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) found Iran to be in "non-compliance" with the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) -- paving the way for a Security Council referral -- and urged Iran to return to a full suspension.

The next IAEA meeting is just a month away.

But reacting to Western pressure against Iran, Ahmadinejad said: "They are lying and they don't want the Islamic republic to have the fuel cycle."

Enrichment work, Ahmadinejad insisted, was "100-percent lawful and there was no deviation" towards military purposes.

"It is a big lie that Iran has concealed things for 18 years," he asserted, even though Iran has openly admitted having failed to report the full scale of its nuclear activities and black market shopping to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Iran came clean on its activities in 2003, maintaining that it had been left with no choice but to conceal given the country is subject to almost constant US pressure and sanctions.

An IAEA probe has since found evidence of suspect activities but no "smoking gun" that proves a weapons drive.

Speaking with a Palestinian scarf around his neck and flanked by sandbags, Ahmadinejad also brushed off condemnation of his fiercely anti-Israeli speech, which was given Wednesday to a conference entitled "A World without Zionism".

"We only repeated the words of the last 27 years which were the stances of the Imam, and the supreme leader and Islamic nation. It was very clear," Ahmadinejad said, in what could be interpreted as an effort to calm the storm.

But he nevertheless went on to blast efforts "to make the world recognise the existence of an illegal occupying regime", drawing chants from the audience of "Down with Israel!"

"Today, under the pretext of the Gaza pullout, they want to force a few countries to recognise this country. The ones who do that must know that they are standing in front of Islamic nations and that it is an unforgivable crime."

The Iranian foreign ministry also kept up its efforts to ease tensions, the day after asserting the Islamic republic was not out to attack Israel.

"The position of the Islamic republic regarding the illegal Zionist regime has been very clear since the Islamic revolution (in 1979): we do not recognise this regime and that is our diplomatic right," foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told the official news agency IRNA.

"We want free elections in the occupied Palestinian territories with the participation of all inhabitants, be they Jews, Muslims or Christians."

related report

Iran Faces Increased Risk Of Isolation: Analysts

Tehran (AFP) Oct 30 - Hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's anti-Israeli outburst has exposed Iran to the danger of international isolation, sanctions over its disputed nuclear programme and renewed political infighting, analysts say.

The Islamic republic has been bombarded with international condemnation of it's president's call for Israel to be "wiped of the map", with the outcry culminating in a statement from the UN Security Council.

Iran's diplomatic apparatus has sought to play down the comments by asserting the Islamic republic has no intention of attacking the Jewish state, but diplomats and analysts say serious damage has been done.

Several European diplomats said they now consider their three-year-old effort to "engage" Iran -- on issues including nuclear proliferation and accepting a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict -- as having come to an end.

"Our policy of engaging Iran was already in a coma, but I think we can now declare it dead. This was the final straw," a senior European diplomat told Ahmadinejad's speech last Wednesday -- at a conference entitled "the World without Zionism" -- was the first time in years that such a high-ranking Iranian official has openly called for Israel's destruction.

It was also a major departure from the style of former reformist president Mohammad Khatami, who had tried to improve ties with the outside world and tone down anti-Western rhetoric.

"It was more than just one slogan. He was also talking about seeing the world in terms of Muslims and infidels. It was as if this new government wants isolation, and it certainly confirmed our nuclear concerns," said the diplomat.

In August, Iran refused an EU offer of trade and other incentives in exchange for halting uranium enrichment work -- which can be diverted to bomb making -- and went on to end a full freeze of fuel work.

Last month, Iran was scolded by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN's nuclear watchdog, for being in "non-compliance" with the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in a resolution that paves the way for a Security Council referral.

The next IAEA meeting is just a month away, and even diplomats sympathetic to Iran's claim that it only wants to generate nuclear energy acknowledge Tehran has been left with an uphill struggle.

"Iran now really needs to pull its finger out ahead of the IAEA meeting because the confidence deficit is even greater than before," said an Asian diplomat who asked not to be identified.

"If (IAEA chief Mohamed) ElBaradei is still unsatisfied with Iranian cooperation next month, I think even the Russians and non-aligned countries will find it very hard to keep blocking a Security Council referral."

On the domestic front, Ahmadinejad's love for revolutionary era slogans and failure to quickly deliver on promises of better living standards has also created unease over the direction in which the country is heading.

"Those who decided to stay silent are hostile," said Saeed Leylaz, a prominent Iranian analyst, referring to the absence of explicit support for Ahmadinejad's comments from senior regime officials.

"Little by little and even among conservatives, there is a climate opposed to the government's foreign policy and the dangers to which the country is being exposed," he said, warning that "radical conservatives could be seeking to isolate Iran to preserve their revolutionary values."

"From an economic point of view, the consequences are very serious and our position in the nuclear case is more difficult," Leylaz said.

Another Iranian analyst, Mashallah Shamsolvayzin, said there was still confusion over how and why Ahmadinejad, a newcomer to international politics, gave such a fiercely anti-Israeli and anti-Western speech.

"Just weeks before the IAEA meeting, when Iran needs new allies, these statements are pushing countries against us," he said.

He said the controversial speech may have been designed "to tell the Westerners that Iran is determined to stick to its nuclear programme and is not worried a new front may open".

"Otherwise he was not aware of the impact of his speech, in which case this is even more serious because it has considerably hurt Iran's position."

Iran: Britain calls for U.N. action


Sunday, October 30, 2005

LONDON, England (Reuters) -- The United Nations and wider world community must respond decisively to Iran after its president called for Israel to be destroyed, the British government says.

But it said there was no discussion about military action.

Jose Manuel Barroso, head of the European Union's executive, later said it was too early to talk about sanctions.

"The position that has been taken by the Iranians is so extreme," British Defence Secretary John Reid told BBC Television. "It is in contradiction to everything that the United Nations stands for. So this is a problem and a challenge for the world community.

"It is the United Nations which must face up to that, and (U.N. Secretary-General) Kofi Annan has made it plain that it intends to face up to that."

Conservative Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stunned the West last week by calling for Israel to be "wiped off the map".

Tehran partially backtracked on Saturday, its foreign ministry saying it stood by its U.N. commitments and would not use violence against another country.

Reid said there was no thought of military action.

"I don't think anybody is speaking about military involvement at any level," he said. "But it is certainly a challenge to the United Nations."

Britain is among those leading attempts to persuade Iran to renounce nuclear technology they suspect may be part of a weapons program. Iran insists its nuclear program is aimed purely at peaceful power generation.

London and Washington have threatened to try to have the U.N. Security Council impose sanctions, but European Commission President Barroso said on Sunday he not believe these were likely soon.

"I don't believe they are on the agenda now. At least, we are not considering them now," Barroso told ITV when asked about sanctions. Barroso also all but ruled out military action.

"As far as I know member states are not considering now that kind of option," he said. "We are considering ... very strong political and diplomatic pressure."

Ahmadinejad's Israel Remarks Splits Iran

Yahoo News:

By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writer

Mon Oct 31,12:00 AM ET

Pro-democracy reformers denounced Iran's hard-line president Sunday for calling for Israel's annihilation, saying it harmed the country's international standing.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday that Israel is a "disgraceful blot" that should be "wiped off the map," prompting international condemnation and an Israeli demand Iran be expelled from the United Nations.

On Sunday, Ahmadinejad said his comments represented Iran's long-standing policy toward the Jewish state enunciated by the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who led the 1979 revolution, the Islamic Republic News Agency, or IRNA, said.

"These words are the same ones that the late Imam (Khomeini) said," Ahmadinejad said, explaining that he only added one sentence about "the powers of arrogance," seen as a reference to the United States. Iran does not recognize the existence of Israel and Khomeini had repeatedly called for its destruction.

But former reformist president Mohammad Khatami criticized Ahmadinejad, saying "those words have created hundreds of political and economic problems for us in the world," IRNA said.

It was the first time in a quarter century that there was a clear-cut rift over a major policy position drawn up by Khomeini.

"Ahmadinejad's remarks harmed Iran. It was irresponsible and illogical," said Rajabali Mazrouei, a prominent reformer and former deputy. "We can't be more extremist than Palestinians themselves."

Morad Veisi, a leading political analyst, said it was the first time that an Iranian head of state was openly calling for the destruction of Israel.

"Khomeini was a spiritual leader, not head of government. Ahmadinejad apparently is not even familiar with the world of politics," he said.

Extremists, however, were motivated by Ahmadinejad's remarks. About 300 men and women turned up Sunday at the offices of the Headquarters for Commemorating Martyrs of the Global Islamic Movement to volunteer for suicide bomb attacks against Israel.

A spokesman for the group said it had signed up more than 45,000 volunteers to undergo training for suicide attacks since it began recruiting in June 2004.

"More than 1000 of them have already been trained. Many of them don't need training since they are already members of the elite Revolutionary Guards and paramilitary Basij forces," Mohammad Ali Samadi said.

Several senior officials, including presidential adviser Mojtaba Rahmandoust and Parliamentary speaker Gholam Ali Haddad Adel, were at the gathering.

"The Iranian nation wants this regime removed from the world map," Rahmandoust told the gathering held at a building owned by the semiofficial Martyr Foundation.

In London, Britain said Iran poses a challenge to the international community, citing the call to wipe out Israel and charging Tehran was involved in the Iraqi insurgency and had nuclear weapons ambitions.

"Iran has to change its behavior in terms of support for terrorism, in deceit over nuclear weapons and in terms of its relationship and threats to other members of the international community," British Defense Secretary John Reid told the British Broadcasting Corporation on Sunday.

Reid said Iran appeared to be trying to confront the international community, which is considering how to respond.

Reid said he did not have conclusive proof that the Iranian government was involved in providing weapons to insurgents in Iraq. But he said there was evidence of the involvement of Iranian elements in the Iraqi insurgency.

Iran's President Shifts to Call for Palestinian Democracy

New York Times:


Published: October 31, 2005

TEHRAN, Oct. 30 (Reuters) - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Sunday that the only solution to the Middle East conflict was democracy for Palestinians, after provoking an outcry last week by calling for Israel to be "wiped off the map."

The official IRNA news agency quoted him as saying that the best step would be political rather than military. "The only logical solution to solve the Palestinian issue is to hold free elections with the participation of Palestinians inside and outside the occupied territories and a recognition of the nation's legitimacy," he said after meeting with Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

When Iran uses the term "occupied territories," it usually means not only the West Bank and Gaza but the whole of Israel, whose right to exist Iran does not recognize. Mr. Ahmadinejad appeared to be calling for full democratic representation for Palestinian refugees and émigrés anywhere.

His comments on Wednesday brought sharp international criticism, including a rebuke from the United Nations Security Council.

He made them before an audience of 4,000 students at a program called "The World Without Zionism," in preparation for an annual anti-Israel demonstration held on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan.

His tone at that program was reminiscent of that of the early days of Iran's Islamic revolution in 1979. Iran and Israel have been bitter enemies since then.

Senior officials had avoided provocative language in the past decade, but Mr. Ahmadinejad appeared to be taking a more confrontational tone than had recent Iranian leaders.

In his remarks on Sunday, he said, "I will ask U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan to put on his agenda the formation of a democratic and legitimate Palestinian government." Mr. Annan is expected to visit Iran in the next week or two.

Several countries summoned Iranian ambassadors last week to seek assurances that Iran was not planning a military attack. The United States and Britain said Mr. Ahmadinejad's remarks added to fears that Iran was planning to build nuclear weapons.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Iran’s Parliament Speaker defends President’s speech

Iran Focus:

Tehran, Iran, Oct. 30 – Iran’s Majlis (Parliament) Speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel defended on Sunday remarks by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calling for Israel to be “wiped off the map” and rejecting the Middle East peace process.

“This year, in the days leading to the Qods (Jerusalem) Day, the Zionists created a hysteria in the world media”, Haddad-Adel said, referring to widespread coverage of international condemnation of the Iranian president’s speech.

Haddad-Adel, whose daughter is married to the son of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told Majlis that the main reason behind the “uproar created by the Zionists” was to overshadow the Qods Day.

Every year, state-organised demonstrations are held across the country on the last Friday of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan to call for “the liberation of Palestine”.

This year’s demonstration in Tehran was attended by President Ahmadinejad and all the key figures in Iran’s theocratic regime.

Israel is a rock - Italian Newspaper to rally against Islamic Regime

Il Foglio:

The Islamic Republic in Iran wants to wipe it off the map. We say NO

We love Iran, its history, culture, traditions, religions, heritage; its people and youth, their democratic ferment and aspirations, which are part of what the absolute majority of its population wants.

We don't like the theocratic regime that rules it since 1979. We don't like its support for international terrorism, its anti-american and anti-western violence. Its nuclear program scares us all. Profetic fanatism makes things worse.

We have heard Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the leader of a theocratic absolute dictatorship, stating that he and its mullahs and ayatollahs regime doesn't want to change the policies of Ariel Sharon, nor it wants to negotiate. All it (the regime) wants to do is to wipe Israel off the map - that is , off the earth. We must say clearly and strongly NO.

In a big European capital like Rome, in a country that had signed into law the infamous anti-jewish racial laws; in a city where many don't take the anti-semitic threat seriously; a city that has started an inter-religious dialogue based on secularism and respect of Israel and its people,we must make our NO heard.

And it'll be heard in Rome, on November 3, in front of the Islamic Republic's embassy. We'll express our solidarity to the Iranian people, condemn the regime's violence and defend Israel's right to exist and live in peace with all the Middle Eastern countries.

Iran's Leader Joins Large Anti-Israel March

The Washington Post:

By Mehrdad Mirdamadi and Karl Vick

Washington Post Foreign Service

Saturday, October 29, 2005; A12

Tehran Protesters Back Hate Speech

TEHRAN, Oct. 28 -- A day after drawing international condemnation for declaring that "Israel should be wiped off the map," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad joined an estimated several hundred thousand demonstrators in an annual anti-Israel march that made clear his words are a time-honored slogan in Iran.

"This is our duty, to condemn Zionism and punch the U.S. in the mouth," said Maysam Hosseinpour, 14, as he marched with fellow students on what is known here as Jerusalem Day. It was designated a quarter-century ago by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the 1979 revolution that made Iran a theocracy, as an annual show of rejection of a Jewish state on land claimed by Arabs.

As the marchers' signs and banners emphasized on Friday, Khomeini had also declared that Israel must be "wiped off the map." The phrase became a staple of hard-line Iranian rhetoric, and it served as the headline on the state broadcasting Web site's account of Ahmadinejad's speech to a student conference in Tehran on Wednesday.

But when it also made headlines outside Iran, the ensuing outrage caught Tehran off guard.

On Thursday, Russia joined the European Union, the United States and many other countries in condemning the remark. Ahmadinejad's call was also rejected by Palestinian Authority officials, who noted that they accepted the existence of Israel while taking issue with much of its conduct. On Friday, the U.N. Security Council condemned the statement, and the Vatican expressed "great concern."

A foreign policy novice, Ahmadinejad made a strident speech at the United Nations last month that was widely criticized. As happened this week, Western governments seized on his words in support of their concerns that the country might be developing its formerly secret nuclear program to produce weapons. The Tehran government denies pursuing such a goal.

Iranian officials have rallied to defend Ahmadinejad. "Considering that the president's comments have been repeated by other Iranian officials during the past 26 years and the Iranian government is not announcing a new policy, some Western countries' reaction to these remarks has surprised the world public opinion," a commentator on state-run radio said, according to a translation posted by the BBC. Ali Larijani, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, called the uproar "bogus noises made by arrogant world powers to achieve certain aims."

"The Zionist regime and the criminal U.S. desecrated the Islamic Republic of Iran on many occasions in the past," Larijani said, according to the state-run IRNA news agency.

The Iranian Embassy in Moscow sought to play down the president's words. "Mr. Ahmadinejad did not have any intention to speak in sharp terms and engage in a conflict," the embassy said in a statement.

The nationwide demonstrations, which routinely occur on the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, were cast as a show of support for Ahmadinejad. Among the marchers who turned out in the capital were the president and his mild-mannered predecessor, the reformist cleric Mohammad Khatami.

Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the millionaire mullah who finished a distant second to Ahmadinejad in the presidential election in June, delivered the sermon at Friday prayers and offered a more moderate view. "We want all the Palestinians back in their homeland, and then there can be a fair referendum for people to choose the form of state they want," he said. "Whoever gets the majority can rule."

U.S. and Israeli flags were burned in the street in front of Tehran University, where Friday prayers are held. Crowds alternated chants of "Death to America!" "Death to Israel!" "Death to England!" and "Nuclear energy is our indubitable right!"

The protests appeared to be more intensely felt than in recent years and the crowds slightly larger. State television and radio had encouraged turnout as a demonstration of defiance. "What our president said in his speech is what our people are saying," said Rahim Savafi, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a hard-line group in which Ahmadinejad once served.

"The U.S. and the Israelis are trying to make propaganda to cover their defeats in Gaza and Iraq," Savafi said, according to the Iranian Students' News Agency. "The Americans and the Zionists have repeatedly talked about regime change in Iran and ousting the Islamic Republic, so they cannot tolerate our president repeating what our late Imam said and what our people say now."

Vick reported from Ankara, Turkey.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Iran's president joins 1 million marchers calling for Israel's destruction

Yahoo News:


Fri Oct 28, 7:05 PM ET

The Cancadian Press

TEHRAN, Iran (CP) - Iran's ultraconservative new president spurned international outrage Friday, joining more than a million demonstrators who flooded the streets of the capital and other major cities to back his call for the destruction of Israel.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stood fast behind his Wednesday demand that the Jewish state be wiped off the map and reissued the call during the countrywide protests Friday, the Muslim day of prayer.

But in an apparent attempt to blunt international outrage over Ahmadinejad's Wednesday comments, the Iranian embassy in Moscow issued a statement saying that Ahmadinejad did not want to "engage in a conflict."

Marching alongside protesters in downtown Tehran, the city's former mayor and one-time Republican Guard commander renewed his criticism of the West.

"They become upset when they hear any voice of truth-seeking. They think they are the absolute rulers of the world," he said during the al-Quds or Jerusalem Day protests, which was among the largest since they were first held in 1979 after Shiite Muslim clerics took power in Iran.

His fellow marchers carried placards reading Death to Israel, Death to America. It is not uncommon for an Iranian president to join marches in the capital. Ahmadinejad, 47, was accompanied by five bodyguards, but otherwise security was not out of the ordinary for such an event.

Many world leaders, including Prime Minister Paul Martin, condemned Ahmadinejad's diatribe earlier this week.

"It's beyond the pale. It's absolutely incredible," Martin said on Thursday. "That kind of lack of respect, intolerance, anti-Semitism, this is the 21st century and that statement is just out of an era that is long past and never should have occurred." The federal government also called in Iran's top diplomat in Canada for a formal reprimand.

Despite Ahmadinejad's continued harsh attacks on the West, former president Hashemi Rafsanjani tried to dial back the rhetoric, suggesting that Israelis and Palestinians hold a referendum to decide the future of Israeli-Palestinian relations. "If Muslims and Palestinians agree (to a referendum), it will be a retreat but let's still hold a referendum," Rafsanjani said in his Friday prayer sermon.

The Iranian Embassy statement in Moscow said Ahmadinejad "did not have any intention to speak in sharp terms and engage in a conflict."

But that was not the message carried by the at least 200,000 Iranians who massed in Tehran to unleashed virulent condemnation against Israel, the United States and the West in general, accusing them of oppressing Palestinians and Iran.

Some demonstrators chanted "Israel is approaching its death" and wore white shrouds in a symbolic gesture expressing readiness to die for their cause.

A resolution was read at the end of the rallies backing "the position declared by the president that the Zionist regime must be wiped out."

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki defended his president's comments, saying they represented Iran's long-held policy of not recognizing Israel.

"Unfortunately the Western countries have remained silent on the increasing inhuman activities of Israel," Mottaki said at the Tehran march.

Protests attracted at least 100,000 in each of Iran's eight largest cities, according to AP reporters. State television said millions of people assembled throughout the country. Major rallies also were held in other Middle Eastern countries.

In Beirut, the militant Hezbollah group marked the day by staging a parade that saw more than 6,000 guerrillas march in uniform through the streets of the Lebanese capital.

The Shiite group, which supports it Iranian mentors, has sought to strengthen its position in Lebanon after the withdrawal of Syrian troops.

At least 30,000 Bahrainis marched in their island state's capital, Manama, burning Israeli and American flags and demanding their government rescind its recent decision to end its economic embargo of the Jewish state.

The United States said the Iranian leader's hostile remarks have only underscored Washington's concern over Iran's nuclear program. Israel said the Persian state should be suspended from the United Nations. UN chief Kofi Annan expressed "dismay" at the comments in a rare rebuke of a UN member state.

The Vatican condemned as "unacceptable" statements denying the right of Israel to exist, although it did not mention Iran by name. The UN Security Council also condemned the remarks, while Russia summoned the Iranian ambassador seeking an explanation for the president's words.

Iran's seven state-run TV stations devoted coverage Friday to programs condemning the Jewish state and praising the Palestinian resistance since the 1948 creation of Israel.

After Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini toppled the pro-Western Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi in 1979, he declared the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan as an international day of struggle against Israel and for the liberation of Jerusalem. The founder of the Islamic regime had also called for Israel's destruction.

Iranians boycott anti-Jewish rally

Marze Por Gohar:

October 28, 2005


Cox and Forkum

Millions of Iranians boycotted, today, the yearly "Qhods (Jerusalem) Day" rally which is organized by the Islamic republic regime in order to wage hate against Israel and the Jewish people.

This Islamist-racist action was initiated by Rooh-OllahKhomeini, the founder of the theocratic regime, in 1979. He made of the destruction of Israel one of the pillar of his backwarded creation.

This year's rally should have been the most important ever, as the new Islamic President has started to openly request the wiping off the map of the State of Israel. But more than ever, Iranians stayed home or used their Friday in order to go out of cities and turn their backs to the unpopular Islamic regime and its new symbol of power.

In the Greater Tehran, which has an estimated thirteen millions of inhabitants, just a crowd estimated between fifty thousand to eighty thousand, what was the Islamic regime was able to bring for its show of hate and force. Professional demonstrators benefiting of welfare or forced to participate, wives of hard-line Islamist elements, school students and members of Bassij para-military force and Guardians of Revolution were the bulk of the demonstrators.

Several thousands of Pakistanis, Afghanis or Iraqis who are living in Iran, were also brought to the demonstration from other cities in order to inflate the size of the Capital's rally.

In provincial cities the trend was the same and showed the popular rejection of the Islamic regime and its ideology.

It's to note that an absolute majority of Iranians are known for their friendship toward the Jews and an important Jewish community was residing, from twenty six centuries ago and till the advent of the Islamic regime, in Iran. Several Israeli officials and high military commanders, such as President Moshe Katsav (Kassav) are natives ofIran; And Katsav - who's fluent in Persian - addresses often the Iranians via the Persian service of Radio Israel.

The Jewish People were freed from the oppressive Babylonian rule by Cyrus the Great who was the founder of Iran.

Broaden the war

The Jerusalem Post:

Oct. 27, 2005

Saul Singer

On the face of it, George Bush's foreign policy is extremely controversial, even within the US. Brent Scowcroft, dean of the "realist" school and close adviser to Bush's father, is bitterly opposed to it, as is a good chunk of the American electorate. All this is strange since, structurally speaking, there is a much greater consensus now regarding the war against militant Islam than there was during the Cold War, or even just before World War II.

Throughout the half-century stand-off between the US and the Soviet Union, there were two fundamentally opposed schools of thought about the conflict. One side thought the Soviets could be accommodated and that most, if not all, of the conflict was due to misunderstandings that could be worked out. The other believed in "peace through strength," which meant that Soviet aggression could either be deterred and contained (the "realist" school) or, more radically, that the Soviets could be relegated to the "ash heap of history," as Ronald Reagan put it in his 1982 Westminster speech.

"The West won't contain communism," Reagan said in 1981, eight years before the Berlin Wall fell. "It will transcend communism. It won't bother to... denounce it; it will dismiss it as some bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages are even now being written."

This was considered as absurd and utopian then as Bush's talk of democracy for the Arab world is now. Yet while Bush is widely considered not to be anchored in reality, there is a striking contrast between the debate now and in Reagan's time.

Now the accommodationist school, mainstream during the Cold War, is on the fringe. Few people are seriously suggesting that al-Qaida has grievances that should be addressed. No one is suggesting handing the Islamists territory, as was done to appease Hitler.

A measure of the difference is that many of Bush's liberal opponents actually advocate putting more troops in Iraq. They see the Iraq war as misdirection of effort, rather that arguing that any common ground could have been found with Saddam.

It is only lately, in fact, that the "anti-war" school - misnamed as it was during the Cold War, as if whether to be at war was a choice of the West - has been tilting toward believing that Iraq is unwinnable and Iran should be accommodated. This is a worrisome sign that the Cold War pattern is returning - a mold in which the debate is not over how to win, but whether victory is even an option.

The continued advance of democracy in Iraq, with this week's passage of a new constitution in which Iraqis once again risked their lives to reject terrorism, could begin to turn this debate around. But something else is necessary besides an improved situation on the ground. The war has gotten off track, but not in the manner critics usually imagine. Bush's problem is not too much ambition, but too much concentrated in one place.

While it is true that Bush, in his second inaugural address, spoke of ending tyranny everywhere, in practice his foreign policy is perceived, both by proponents and by the terrorists seeking to defeat it, as being focused on bringing democracy to Iraq. By placing the goal of democracy at the center, Bush has set the bar high, but mainly in one country. Remaining rogue regimes seem to be largely off the hook while the fighting in Iraq rages.

THIS MAY seem like a strange thing to write in a week in which the US is seeking UN Security Council sanctions against Syria in the wake of the Mehlis report implicating that regime in the Hariri assassination. But this is the exception that proves the rule. The US is not systematically seeking a change in the international rules of the game.

Even in the case of Syria, the US-backed draft UN resolution seems to be focused on gaining access to the Syrian officials named by Mehlis, not at punishing Syria for supporting terrorism against Israel and in Iraq.

The Bush administration has removed two terrorist regimes but, oddly enough, has not persistently sought an across-the-board change in approach toward regimes that support terrorism. How can it be that, four years after 9/11, there has been no attempt to impose international sanctions on Iran and Syria, not to mention other implicated countries like Saudi Arabia, for supporting or abetting terrorism?

The presumed refusal of Europe to go along is an explanation, but not an excuse. The Mehlis report demonstrated that even a relatively difficult-to-trace act of aggression - the Hariri assassination - could be pinned on the Syrian regime, given a modicum of international determination.

The US should be seeking a similar report documenting something much easier to prove: that the Iranian and Syrian governments are systematically engaged in illegal international aggression.

If such a report is not being sought, we all know why: because some combination of the US, UK, France and Germany are not ready to hold these regimes accountable for their crimes.

There is no reason why the situation in Iraq should be allowed to distract from such a project. On the contrary, Iranian and Syrian involvement in Iraq would be a central count in the charge sheet against those regimes. Putting these regimes on the defensive - as holding them accountable for aggression would do - is central to winning in Iraq as well.

For all the talk about a "war against terrorism," it is hard to argue that such a war is being fought seriously when some regimes still support terror as obviously as they did before 9/11 and pay no price for it.

This is not a game of evidence, as if the US needs a "smoking gun" to prove to France and Germany what these regimes are up to. It is a matter of persuading those governments that the time has come to use non-military means, at least, to impose high costs on these regimes for what everyone knows they are doing.

Iran's President Rejects International Criticism

Voice of America:

By Challiss McDonough


28 October 2005

Iran's new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said he is standing by his controversial call for Israel to be "wiped off the map." The comment has drawn heavy criticism from around the world, including from some of Iran's European allies. A massive anti-Israel demonstration in Tehran backed the president's remarks.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Tehran before Friday prayers, chanting things like "Death to Israel" and "Death to America." Protesters carried banners supporting their new president, who has come under widespread criticism after saying at a conference Wednesday that Israel should be "wiped off the map."

The official Iranian news agency reports that he dismissed the international condemnation, saying Western nations "are free to talk, but their words have no validity."

The anti-Israel protest is an annual event known as Al-Quds Day, or Jerusalem Day. The yearly parades on the last Friday of Ramadan are attended by hundreds of thousands of people around the country, who mark the day by chanting anti-Israeli slogans and burning the Israeli and American flags.

Amid the international uproar, this year's rally was attended by most of Iran's top government officials. Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki backed his president's remarks, saying this does not represent a hardening Iran's policy regarding Israel. "Unfortunately, the Western countries have remained silent on the increasing inhuman activities of Israel," he said. "They have not done anything to implement resolutions of the United Nations and Security Council against the nuclear activities of the Zionist regime, the separation wall and other criminal activies of Israel."

Israel, meanwhile, is calling for an emergency session of the U.N. Security Council to discuss the comments.

In contrast, the Iranian embassy in Moscow sought to soften Mr. Ahmadinejad's words, saying in a statement that he "did not have any intention to speak up in such sharp terms and enter into a conflict."

Iran has dismissed the international backlash as a means of pressing Iran to compromise on its nuclear program. Negotiations have stalled between the EU and Iran over attempts to persuade Tehran to abandon its nuclear ambitions. In three weeks, Iranian diplomats head to Vienna to try to win support for their country at the next meeting with the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA.

Israel Demands UN Action on Iranian Threat

Voice of America:

By Robert Berger


28 October 2005

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaking at the 'The World Without Zionism' conference

Israel is calling for an emergency session of the U.N. Security Council to discuss the Iranian president's call for the destruction of the Jewish state. Mideast tensions have been fanned further by a fresh wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence.

Israel is launching a diplomatic offensive to punish Iran, after its president called for the Jewish state to be "wiped off the map."

"Certainly what Iran has done today in light of its nuclear weapons program requires a firm response by the U.N. Security Council and the U.N. secretary-general," said government spokesman Dore Gold.

Mr. Gold says the international community must take firm action to stop Iran from getting the atom bomb.

"The fact that Iran has had for years a clandestine nuclear weapons program makes the Iranian statements about eliminating Israel all that more serious," he said.

The Iranian threat has revived speculation about whether Israel will launch a preemptive strike against Iran's nuclear facilities. There is a precedent. The Israeli air force destroyed Iraq's nuclear reactor in 1981.

The rising tensions with Iran come as Israeli aircraft continue to pound Palestinian militant targets in the Gaza Strip. Israel launched a tough offensive against the Islamic Jihad, after the group claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing on Wednesday that killed five Israelis. In the deadliest Israeli raid, four Islamic Jihad militants were killed along with three bystanders.

Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat appealed to both sides to uphold the eight-month-old cease-fire.

"To whose interest is [it] to go back to the cycle of violence and counter-violence between Palestinians and Israelis? It serves no interests whatsoever. It's senseless," Saeb Erekat told VOA.

The wave of violence has dashed hopes of reviving the peace process in the wake of Israel's pullout from Gaza last month. In a sign of growing Israeli frustration, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has become so ineffective that he is not a partner for peace.

Bush calls Iran and Syria 'outlaw regimes'


Fri Oct 28, 2005 12:22 PM ET

By Caren Bohan

NORFOLK, Virginia (Reuters) - President George W. Bush on Friday called Iran and Syria "outlaw regimes" and said countries that support terrorism are just as guilty of murder as those who commit the violence.

"We're determined to deny radical groups the support and sanctuary of outlaw regimes. State sponsors like Syria and Iran have a long history of collaboration with terrorists and they deserve no patience from the victims of terror," Bush said. During the president's speech on terrorism, a heckler yelled: "Mr. President, what is terrorism? What is terrorism? Step down now." The man was escorted out and others in the audience booed the heckler.

The United States has repeatedly expressed concern over Iran and its nuclear energy program, which it suspects could be a cover for nuclear weapons development. Iran insists the program is intended for civilian electricity generation. And Western countries condemned recent comments by Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calling for Israel to be wiped off the map.

Last year, the United States and its allies, in fighting proliferation of deadly weapons, "have stopped more than a dozen shipments of suspected weapons technology including equipment for Iran's ballistic missile program," Bush said.

"This progress has reduced the danger to free nations, but it has not removed it," he said. "Evil men who want to use horrendous weapons against us are working in deadly earnest to gain them. And we are working urgently to keep weapons of mass murder out of the hands of the fanatics," Bush said.

The Bush administration justified the March 2003 invasion of Iraq by saying Baghdad posed a threat because it had stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons and was pursuing nuclear weapons. No weapons of mass destruction were found in postwar Iraq.

The United States accuses Syria of allowing foreign fighters to cross its border into Iraq to fuel the insurgency, and last week U.N. investigators blamed Syrian and Lebanese security officials of organizing the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri on February 14.

The United States and France have threatened Syria with economic sanctions if it does not cooperate fully with the U.N. probe into Hariri's assassination.

"The United States makes no distinction between those who commit acts of terror and those who support and harbor them because they are equally guilty of murder," Bush said.

"We're determined to deny the militants control of any nation which they will use as a home base and a launching pad for terror," he said.

Handing the Ayatollahs Ammunition

American Daily:

By John Ross (10/19/05)

Virtuoso masters at creating and manipulating conflict, the Iranian Mullahs may be handed, to the horror of most Iranians, another opportunity to self-righteously declare that they must wield power. Attempting to motivate the Bush Administration to articulate and implement a much- needed Iranian foreign policy, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) may also be doing the world a disservice. Specifically, assembling divergent Iranian minority ethnicities and excluding the Persian fifty-one percent is either promoting divisiveness, or a very clever plan to motivate and organize all Iranians.

Espousing recently that he had “sworn an oath not to get involved in Diaspora politics,” and “it’s their problem,” Dr. Ledeen has, apparently, concluded to also try his hand at conflict management. As such, it is certainly not beyond Dr. Ledeen’s intellect to conclude that Iranian Persians are so fragmented and coerced by the theological dictators in Tehran that he must try to motivate them. Leading this writer, therefore, to conclude that in spite of his recent ruminations to wash his hands of the Iranian Diaspora, he is, apparently, trying to form an Iranian freedom movement in absentia.

Ammunition in the form of propaganda material and a platform for an outspoken radical separatist, Rahim M. Shahbazi, will need to be managed very carefully by Dr. Ledeen; otherwise, his efforts will be subverted. Aware of this probability, the Persian Diaspora around the world are being agitated to petition Dr. Ledeen to reconsider his risky move to forge a block of Iranian minorities into an influential political force. Overtly missing, so far, in this new can of worms that Dr. Ledeen has spilled out on the international stage are the manipulative Mullahs’ agents that inevitably materialize to sabotage all perceived threats.

Haunting the Islamic Iranian fascist regime’s rotten core more than Dr Ledeen are the Americans, coalition forces and Iraqis that are eliminating every killer the Iranians and Syrians throw at them. Faced with defeat on the Iraqi battlefield and for the hearts of the Iraqis and Iranians, the despotic Mullahs in Tehran have their backs against a wall with only the weakened liberal media and press to help them. Exposed and facing an international swing away from socialism that is called liberalism, the mainstream media and press can now offer little to keep the brutal Iranian Mullahs in power.

The Iranian people smell blood in the water and are constantly demonstrating against the despotic Mullahs’ brutal tactics and obvious greed. Promised a national referendum similar to the Iraqi constitutional vote that has been deemed a success and nearly violence free, the Iranian Mullahs are sitting on a powder keg. Faced with the probability that the Iranian people will continue to ratchet up their demonstrations against the regime and the U.S. and Europe, in spite of their historic duplicitous actions, will confront the Mullahs, realistic choices are few.

Left, realistically, with only two options the Mullahs had better arrange to spirit their ill be gotten money out of Iran, like Ali Hashemi Rafsanjani, or plan on returning to their Mosques. Either decision will be less than palatable to the high-rolling Mullahs that manipulate and exploit everything of value and everyone that believes their deceit and fears the brutal forces under their command.

Faster Dr. Ledeen… Faster

Iranian President: This Stain of Disgrace [i.e. Israel] Will Vanish


Special Dispatch - Iran

October 28, 2005 - No. 1013

Iranian President at Tehran Conference: "Very Soon, This Stain of Disgrace [i.e. Israel] Will Vanish from the Center of the Islamic World – and This is Attainable"

In advance of Iran's Jerusalem Day, which was established by Ayatollah Khomeini and is marked annually on the fourth Friday of the month of Ramadan, the "World without Zionism" conference was held in Tehran.

At the conference, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke to the representatives of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, members of the Society for the Defense of the Palestinian Nation, and members of the Islamic Students Union, and an audience of hundreds of students.

In his speech, he described his vision of an age-old confrontation between the world of Islam and the "World of Arrogance," i.e. the West; he portrayed Israel and Zionism as the spearhead of the West against the Islamic nation; and he emphasized the need to eliminate Israel – which, he claimed, was a goal that was attainable.

Speeches were also delivered by representatives of Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah and Hamas leader Khaled Mash'al.

The Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), published the full text of Ahmadinejad's speech. The following is a translation of excerpts from ISNA's report and from the speech.(1)

"Prior to his statement, Ahmadinejad said that if you plan to chant the slogan 'Death to Israel,' say it in the right and complete way.

"The president warned the leaders of the Islamic world that they should be wary of Fitna [civil strife]: 'If someone is under the pressure of hegemonic power [i.e. the West] and understands that something is wrong, or he is naοve, or he is an egotist and his hedonism leads him to recognize the Zionist regime – he should know that he will burn in the fire of the Islamic Ummah [nation]…'"

Ahmadinejad articulated the real meaning of Zionism: '...We must see what the real story of Palestine is... The establishment of the regime that is occupying Jerusalem was a very grave move by the hegemonic and arrogant system [i.e. the West] against the Islamic world. We are in the process of an historical war between the World of Arrogance [i.e. the West] and the Islamic world, and this war has been going on for hundreds of years.

"'In this historical war, the situation at the fronts has changed many times. During some periods, the Muslims were the victors and were very active, and looked forward, and the World of Arrogance was in retreat.

"'Unfortunately, in the past 300 years, the Islamic world has been in retreat vis-ΰ-vis the World of Arrogance… During the period of the last 100 years, the [walls of the] world of Islam were destroyed and the World of Arrogance turned the regime occupying Jerusalem into a bridge for its dominance over the Islamic world..."'This occupying country [i.e. Israel] is in fact a front of the World of Arrogance in the heart of the Islamic world. They have in fact built a bastion [Israel] from which they can expand their rule to the entire Islamic world...

This means that the current war in Palestine is the front line of the Islamic world against the World of Arrogance, and will determine the fate of Palestine for centuries to come.

"'Today the Palestinian nation stands against the hegemonic system as the representative of the Islamic Ummah [nation]. Thanks to God, since the Palestinian people adopted the Islamic war and the Islamic goals, and since their struggle has become Islamic in its attitude and orientation, we have been witnessing the progress and success of the Palestinian people.'

"Ahmadinejad said: 'The issue of this [World without Zionism] conference is very valuable. In this very grave war, many people are trying to scatter grains of desperation and hopelessness regarding the struggle between the Islamic world and the front of the infidels, and in their hearts they want to empty the Islamic world.

"'... They [ask]: 'Is it possible for us to witness a world without America and Zionism?' But you had best know that this slogan and this goal are attainable, and surely can be achieved…

"'When the dear Imam [Khomeini] said that [the Shah's] regime must go, and that we demand a world without dependent governments, many people who claimed to have political and other knowledge [asked], 'Is it possible [that the Shah’s regime can be toppled]?'

"'That day, when Imam [Khomeini] began his movement, all the powers supported [the Shah's] corrupt regime… and said it was not possible. However, our nation stood firm, and by now we have, for 27 years, been living without a government dependent on America. Imam [Khomeni] said: 'The rule of the East [U.S.S.R.] and of the West [U.S.] should be ended.' But the weak people who saw only the tiny world near them did not believe it.

"'Nobody believed that we would one day witness the collapse of the Eastern Imperialism [i.e. the U.S.S.R], and said it was an iron regime. But in our short lifetime we have witnessed how this regime collapsed in such a way that we must look for it in libraries, and we can find no literature about it.

"'Imam [Khomeini] said that Saddam [Hussein] must go, and that he would be humiliated in a way that was unprecedented. And what do you see today? A man who, 10 years ago, spoke as proudly as if he would live for eternity is today chained by the feet, and is now being tried in his own country...

"'Imam [Khomeini] said: 'This regime that is occupying Qods [Jerusalem] must be eliminated from the pages of history.' This sentence is very wise. The issue of Palestine is not an issue on which we can compromise."'Is it possible that an [Islamic] front allows another front [i.e. country] to arise in its [own] heart? This means defeat, and he who accepts the existence of this regime [i.e. Israel] in fact signs the defeat of the Islamic world.

"'In his battle against the World of Arrogance, our dear Imam [Khomeini] set the regime occupying Qods [Jerusalem] as the target of his fight. "'I do not doubt that the new wave which has begun in our dear Palestine and which today we are also witnessing in the Islamic world is a wave of morality which has spread all over the Islamic world. Very soon, this stain of disgrace [i.e. Israel] will vanish from the center of the Islamic world – and this is attainable.

"'But we must be wary of Fitna. For more than 50 years, the World of Arrogance has tried to give recognition to the existence of this falsified regime [Israel]. With its first steps, and then with further steps, it has tried hard in this direction to stabilize it.

"'Regrettably, 27 or 28 years ago... one of the countries of the first line [i.e. Egypt] made this failure [of recognizing Israel] – and we still hope that they will correct it.

"'Lately we have new Fitna underway… With the forced evacuation [of Gaza] that was imposed by the Palestinian people, they [the Israelis] evacuated only a corner. [Israel] declared this as the final victory and, on the pretext of evacuating Gaza and establishing a Palestinian government, tried to put an end to the hopes of the Palestinians.

"'Today, [Israel] seeks, satanically and deceitfully, to gain control of the front of war. It is trying to influence the Palestinian groups in Palestine so as to preoccupy them with political issues and jobs – so that they relinquish the Palestinian cause that determines their destiny, and come into conflict with each other.

"'On the pretext of goodwill, they [Israel] intended, by evacuating the Gaza strip, to gain recognition of its corrupt regime by some Islamic states. I very much hope, and ask God, that the Palestinian people and the dear Palestinian groups will be wary of this Fitna.

"'The issue of Palestine is by no means over, and will end only when all of Palestine will have a government belonging to the Palestinian people. The refugees must return to their homes, and there must be a government that has come to power by the will of the [Palestinian] people.

And, of course those [i.e. the Jews] who came to this country from far away to plunder it have no right to decide anything for the [Palestinian] people. "'I hope that the Palestinians will maintain their wariness and intelligence, much as they have pursued their battles in the past 10 years. This will be a short period, and if we pass through it successfully, the process of the elimination of the Zionist regime will be smooth and simple.

"'I warn all the leaders of the Islamic world to be wary of Fitna: If someone is under the pressure of hegemonic power [i.e. the West] and understands that something is wrong, or he is naοve, or he is an egotist and his hedonism leads him to recognize the Zionist regime – he should know that he will burn in the fire of the Islamic Ummah [nation]…

"'The people who sit in closed rooms cannot decide on this matter. The Islamic people cannot allow this historical enemy to exist in the heart of the Islamic world.

"'Oh dear people, look at this global arena. By whom are we confronted? We must understand the depth of the disgrace imposed on us by the enemy, until our holy hatred expands continuously and strikes like a wave.'"

Endnote: (1) Iranian Students News Agency (Iran), October 26, 2005, .

In the Geography Taught to Children Only a “Great Palestine” Exists

Corriere Della Sera:

28th October, 2005 by Magdi Allam

I still remember the peremptory sentence in my Arab history high school book: “International imperialism has impaled the cancer of the Zionist entity in the heart of the Arab world, to hinder the birth of the Arab nation held together by unity of blood, language, history, geography, religion and destiny”. On the map, Israel did not appear at all. Palestine extended from the Jordan to the Mediterranean. “We will not give up a handbreadth of land from the river to the sea” thundered then Egyptian President Nasser. “What has been taken by force can only be retaken by force”.

The sentence of death passed on Israel culminated in political suicide for Nasser and in a catastrophe for Egypt and the “front line” Arab countries which emerged decisively defeated from the war of 5th June 1967. But these school texts have remained substantially unchanged in a large part of the Arab and Muslim world.

This is why the affirmation of the Iranian President that “Israel must be wiped off the map”, is not a solitary show but is indeed the genuine _expression of a widespread and deeply rooted belief; even in those countries which have de facto recognized Israel without accepting its right to exist. A typical example was that of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat who, the day after the historic handshake with Rabin at the White House on the 13th September 1993, claimed in a South African Mosque that that peace had the same value as the Treaty of Hudaibiya. In February of 628, the prophet Mohammed signed a treaty with his Meccan enemies when, in a weak position, realizing that it was impossible to conquer his native city, he promised not to return for ten years. Instead, two years later, in January 630, Mohammed conquered Mecca and transformed it into the holy city of Islam.

Therefore for Arafat, the Camp David accord was nothing more or nothing less than a truce. His prejudice towards the right of Israel to exist was confirmed by his rejection of the historic peace deal proposed by then Prime Minister Ehud Barak in the summer of 2000. This prejudice finds religious justification in the Koranic verses (Sura 17, 4-7), which Kamal Abdel Raouf, writing in the Egyptian Daily “Akbar El Yom”, interprets thus: “Some theologians claim that the first time that the sons of Israel brought corruption into the Holy Lands of the Al Aqsa Mosque, was when they killed the prophets and violated the precepts of the Torah. The second time was when they killed the prophet John, son of Zachariah and decided to murder Jesus. Others say that the second time is still to come. The first time, God sent King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon to punish and kill the sons of Israel and to destroy their temple. Some theologians think that the second time was consummated by the hand of Hitler, who packed them into concentration camps and exterminated them with gas. Then they returned to corrupt the land a third time, after having taken control of America and its riches. Now we ask ourselves: Will God punish them in the most drastic manner as He has promised us? Is what is happening in the Holy Land preannouncing the end of the sons of Israel? I am convinced that the hour of the end of the state of injustice is nigh. Allah is patient, but he does not forget”.

It is a fact that many Moslem preachers, including the supposed moderates, end their sermon with the invocation “Allah, help us wipe out the Jews”, to which their faithful answer “Amin”. This happens regularly in Moslem countries, but it also happens in the Mosque of Rome. It was the 6th June 2003, when, at the end of a fiery sermon, the Imam Abdel-Samie Mahmud Ibrahim Moussa told me: “From the Muslim point of view, there is absolutely no doubt that the ‘mujaheddin’ operations against the Jews in Palestine are legitimate. They are martyrdom operations and their perpetrators are martyrs of Islam. Because all of Palestine is Dar al harb, house of war. Because all the Jewish society illegally occupies Islamic land.” The truth is that Arab and Muslim countries are divided over everything, including the de facto recognition of Israel, but they are solidly united in not recognizing the right of the Jewish state to exist.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Vatican Denounces Iran Remarks on Israel

Yahoo News:

Fri Oct 28

By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press Writer

The Vatican on Friday condemned as "unacceptable" statements denying the right of Israel to exist, an apparent reference to Iran.

Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls also denounced recent Palestinian attacks against Israel and Israeli retaliation, and reaffirmed the Vatican's view that both Israel and the Palestinians had the right to live "in peace, security, each one in their own sovereign state."

Navarro-Valls condemned "certain statements, particularly serious and unacceptable, in which the right to the existence of the state of Israel was denied."

He did not mention Iran by name. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was widely condemned after saying Wednesday that "Israel must be wiped off the map."

Navarro-Valls also condemned this week's "terrorist attack" in the central Israeli town of Hadera, in which five Israelis were killed, as well as the "successive retaliation," by Israel.

Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the Hadera bombing, saying it was revenge for the slaying by Israeli troops of a leading Islamic Jihad militant. On Thursday evening, Israel fired missiles at a car carrying four Islamic Jihad members in Gaza, killing them and three bystanders.

Pope Benedict XVI's failure to condemn an attack against Israel in July sparked outrage in Israel. At the time, Navarro-Valls said the Vatican couldn't condemn every attack against Israel because it would then also have to speak out against Israeli retaliation, which he said often violated international law.

Israel says the diplomatic spat was resolved after Prime Minister Ariel Sharon wrote a letter calling the pope a "true friend of Israel."

Islamic regime's leader defends Israel remark


Friday, 28 October 2005

Iran's president has defended his widely criticised call for Israel to be "wiped off the map".

Attending an anti-Israel rally in Tehran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his remarks were "just" - and the criticism did not "have any validity."

Last Wednesday's comment provoked world outrage. Israel has called for Iran's expulsion from the United Nations.

Egypt said they showed "the weakness of the Iranian government". A Palestinian official also rejected the remarks.

Defiant rally

Tens of thousands of Iranians took part in the rally in Tehran which Iran organises every year on the last Friday of the fasting month of Ramadan to show solidarity with the Palestinian struggle.

Shouting "Death to Israel, death to the Zionists", the protesters dragged Israeli flags along the ground and then set them on fire.

Many carried posters and placards sporting the slogan "Israel should be wiped off the map".

Joining the protest, Mr Ahmadinejad said: "My words were the Iranian nation's words.

"Westerners are free to comment, but their reactions are invalid," Mr Ahmadinejad told the official Irna news agency.

But while most Muslim and Arab capitals have remained silent on the remarks, a few have spoken out - including Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat.

"Palestinians recognise the right of the state of Israel to exist and I reject his comments," he told the BBC News website.

"What we need to be talking about is adding the state of Palestine to the map and not wiping Israel from the map," he said.

Egypt, which has signed a peace treaty with Israel, also rejected the Iranian line. "In principle, we are way beyond this type of political rhetoric that shows the weakness of the Iranian government," said an official at the Egyptian embassy in London.

Turkey's prime minister called on the Iranian president "to display political moderation".

While there is no sense that Iran is backing down, there are Iranians who are concerned that their country could become increasingly isolated under this new ultra-conservative government, reports the BBC Frances Harrison in Tehran.

Diplomatic drive

Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom meanwhile said Israel would call for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.

"We have decided to open a broad diplomatic offensive," Mr Shalom said.

So far no action has been taken at the UN, but Secretary General Kofi Annan took the unusual step of rebuking Iran for the comments.

Iran has dismissed the international furore as a means of pressing Iran to compromise on its nuclear programme.

Negotiations have stalled between the EU and Iran over attempts to persuade Tehran to abandon its nuclear ambitions.

Islamic Regime Calls for a New Holocaust

Front Page Magazine:

October 28, 2005

By Robert Spencer

The same day that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared at a conference in Tehran entitled “The World without Zionism” that Israel should be destroyed, an Islamic Jihad suicide attacker murdered at least five people in the Israeli city of Hadera. No doubt Ahmadinejad had this kind of thing in mind when he stated that “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”: if he condemns attacks against civilian non-combatants, he has kept it to himself.

Imagine if George W. Bush had announced that he intended to wipe Iraq, or any other nation, off the map: the domestic and international outcry that would follow would effectively end his presidency. But in the context of Israel the world has always had a higher tolerance for such talk. The Hamas Charter states that its goal is to “raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine,” and quotes Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan Al-Banna: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” Hamas attacked Israel with 113 suicide bombers from 1993 to 2005 in pursuit of this end. Yet some Western analysts have actually advocated Hamas’ inclusion in the political process in the Palestinian Authority, as long as the group renounces violence. Is the obliteration of Israel more acceptable if it takes place without violence?

And of course, Ahmadinejad wasn’t saying anything new, as he himself made plain by invoking the Ayatollah Khomeini: “As the Imam said,” the President reminded his hearers, “Israel must be wiped off the map.” In 1979, not long after the triumph of his revolution, Khomeini dedicated the last Friday of Ramadan as an international day of jihad against Israel — making it particularly fitting that Ahmadinejad reiterated this lust for genocide and terror during Ramadan.

Ahmadinejad also made it clear that, like Hamas, he did not view the Palestinian conflict with Israel as one of nationalism, but of religion: “Anybody who recognizes Israel,” he warned, “will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation’s fury, any (Islamic leader) who recognizes the Zionist regime means he is acknowledging the surrender and defeat of the Islamic world.” It is unfortunate but true that many officials and observers in the West will be puzzled by his view that recognition of Israel would amount to defeat for Islam; although the President has begun recently to refer to the jihadists’ goal of establishing a unified caliphate under Sharia law, the totalitarian, supremacist, expansionist jihad ideology that Ahmadinejad and his ilk espouse has still received scant attention given its increasingly central role in so many world conflicts. Ahmadinejad, Hamas, and innumerable others believe that any land — not only Israel, but Spain also — that has once belonged to the House of Islam belongs to it forever. Non-Muslims may live in such lands, but only as dhimmis, protected people, subject to various forms of legal discrimination and harassment; they have no right to govern such lands. This is why Ahmadinejad views Israel as a “stigma,” and will, like Hamas, accept nothing short of its total destruction.

But this time the reaction has been different. Instead of ignoring Ahmadinejad’s call to destroy Israel, as they have so many such calls in the past, at least some Western leaders were swift to rebuke the Iranian President. Said White House spokesman Scott McClellan: “The Palestinian Authority needs to do more to end the violence and prevent terrorist attacks from being carried out. The terrorist attacks that take place only undermine the leadership of President Abbas and undermine his principle of one authority, one law, one gun.” Of course, even Abbas has not been unambiguous in his opposition to suicide attacks such as the one in Hadera on Wednesday. He attributed Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza to suicide bombings: “We must remember,” he told supporters, “that our achievements are the result of the sacrifices of the martyrs” — that is, suicide bombers. “The martyrs have paved the road for us. The sacrifices of the martyrs, the wounded and the detainees, made the occupation leave Gaza and evacuate the settlements. This step will be followed by further withdrawals from the West Bank and Jerusalem.”

But Ahmadinejad may have inadvertently initiated a shift in the prevailing winds. British Prime Minister Tony Blair was dismayed: “There has been a long time in which I have been answering questions on Iran with everyone saying to me: ‘Tell us you are not going to do anything about Iran.’ If they carry on like this, the question people are going to be asking us is: ‘When are you going to do something about this?’ You imagine a state like that, with an attitude like that, having a nuclear weapon.” He condemned the call for Israel’s destruction: “I have never come across a situation (where) the president of a country (says) they want to wipe out -- not that they’ve got a problem with, or issue with -- but want to wipe out another country. This is unacceptable, and their attitude towards Israel, their attitude towards terrorism, their attitude on the nuclear weapons issue isn’t acceptable. If they continue down this path, then people are going to believe that they are a real threat to our world’s security and stability. How are we going to build a more secure world with that type of attitude? It’s a disgrace.”

Exactly so. And Blair was not alone. Jacques Chirac said that Ahmadinejad’s words were “completely irresponsible.” Even Kofi Annan issued a statement reminding UN members that “Israel is a long-standing member of the United Nations with the same rights and obligations as every other member.”

The Iranians, however, were unrepentant. Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki announced that demonstrations would be held on Friday — the last Friday of Ramadan, which Khomeini had directed be set aside for such activities — to show popular agreement with Ahmadinejad: “The world,” he predicted, “will see the anger of the Islamic world against this regime.” And other Muslim states declined comment, although Ahmadinejad’s words were splashed across front pages all over the Islamic world.

Ariel Sharon has issued a call of his own: expel Iran from the UN: “A country that calls for the destruction of another people cannot be a member of the United Nations.” If Ahmadinejad and his gang are to see that the anger of the civilized world against his criminal regime is genuine, world leaders should heed Sharon’s recommendation -- and also work quickly to defuse Iran’s nuclear program. Otherwise Iran’s Thug-in-Chief will almost certainly use those weapons to make sure that there is indeed a “world without Zionism” – and since the jihad Israel faces is the same jihad that threatens so much of the world today, this great “victory for the Islamic world” will only herald even larger cataclysms to come.

West slams Iran


27/10/2005 19:14 - (SA)

Tehran - Iran was hit by a barrage of Western condemnation on Thursday after its hardline president called for Israel to be "wiped off the map", but the clerical regime struck back with yet more verbal attacks against the Jewish state.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech, delivered on Wednesday at a conference entitled "The World without Zionism", came just hours before a suicide bombing in Israel and provoked fresh fears that Iran has a covert nuclear weapons programme.

The European Union said the comments - the first time in years that such a high-ranking Iranian official has openly called for Israel's annihilation - were "despicable and unacceptable" and "inconsistent with any claim to be a mature and responsible member of the international community".

Iran's ambassadors to Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands were also summoned by those countries' respective foreign ministries to hear official protests - a sign of deteriorating relations between Tehran and the 25-member bloc.

Remarks are 'sickening'

A Foreign Office spokesperson in London said Ahmadinejad's "sickening" remarks will "heighten concerns about Iran's nuclear ambitions".

Russia, which has backed Iran's claim to generate nuclear power despite the risk it would acquire bomb-making technology, acknowledged that Ahmadinejad's speech gave "an additional argument" to nations calling for Iran to be referred to the United Nations Security Council.

And Israel, which alleges Iran is seeking nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, said the Islamic republic should be expelled from the United Nations.

But Iran's regime was unrepentant, confirming its dramatic shift to the right that came with Ahmadinejad's shock election win in June.

The spokesperson of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, Seyed Massoud Jazihiri, backed up Ahmadinejad by describing Israel as a "cancerous tumour".

He said the West "was right to be afraid, because two decades ago when the Imam (Khomeini) called for Israel to be wiped off the map they thought it was a slogan, but as time passes we are seeing signs of unity in the Islamic world."

"We have no doubts that at the end of the road, the victory of Muslims and the defeat of Israel is inevitable," Jazihiri told the Fars news agency.

Iran's foreign ministry also ordered its diplomats to lodge official protests over Europe's attitude toward "Zionist crimes".

"In protest at the exacerbation of the Zionist regime's crimes and its suppression of the Palestinian nation, Iran's embassies in Western countries were instructed to convey Iran's strong protest to European governments for their indifference towards the issue," the foreign ministry said.

The Iranian embassy in Paris nevertheless also asserted that Iran had "no hostility" towards Jews.