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October 28, 2005
Ahmadinejad Responds, 'And The Horse You Rode In On'

Newly-appointed Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad showed no remorse or signs of retreat after making a demand that Israel be "wiped off the map" at an Islamist conference in Teheran earlier this week. Instead, after facing near-universal condemnation even in Arabic countries, Ahmadinejad rejected the criticism as "invalid":

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.

In fact, Saeb Erekat said on behalf of the Palestinians that they had already accepted Israel's right to exist and that the extant question should be about adding Palestine to the map. In the UK, Tony Blair hinted about military options for the first time in conjunction with Iranian intransigence on nuclear disarmament, and in the background, the US presence in Southwest Asia looms as an ever-present threat. Ahmadinejad might delight the Iranian mullahcracy and its thin band of supporters with his genocidal rhetoric, but all it has done is to remind the international community why nuclear technology should be removed from Iran.

Even Kofi Annan rebuked Ahmadinejad.

If democratic activists in Iran ever intend on doing something about their present state and government, now would be the time. Their position vis-a-vis the radical Islamists that Ahmadinejad appears to be inviting to Iran will only get worse over time. As Iran continues to provide both provocations such as Ahmadinejad's speech and the refusal to comply with nuclear treaties, Western nations get closer to military options to stop the Iranians from getting a nuclear bomb. They will find it more difficult at that point to maintain their credibility in the debacle that will inevitably occur if it comes to that.

We can help, but the push should come from within. As Michael Ledeen says, "Faster, please." We stand ready.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 28, 2005 7:40 AM

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