One of those “specific Iranian viewpoints” was revealed Sunday by Major General Hassan Firouzabadi, Iran’s military chief of staff. “The Iranian nation is standing for its cause and that is the full annihilation of Israel,” he said in a speech to a defense gathering in Tehran. Firouzabadi further insisted that the world should recognize the dangers imposed by the Zionist regime of Israel, and reiterated the idea that Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei considers defending Palestine a religious imperative.
Earlier this year, Khamenei himself promised to “support and help any nations, any groups fighting against the Zionist regime across the world” even as he flaunted his nation’s reputation for belligerence and anti-Semitism. “The Zionist regime is a true cancer tumor on this region that should be cut off,” he said, addressing millions of Friday Prayers worshippers on Tehran University Campus in February. “And it definitely will be cut off.”
Iranian apologists have long insisted that remarks such as the ones made by Khamenei and/or Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have been misquoted, misunderstood, or mis-translated and that the Iranians have never actually called for Israel’s destruction. American Jewish Committee executive director David Harris puts the lie to that notion. “Iran’s military chief of staff has left no doubt what is the regime’s goal, and why, if further proof is needed, its nuclear program must be stopped…General Firouzabadi’s comments are a timely and sobering reminder of the stakes involved,” said Harris. “They should also put to rest, once and for all, the fanciful views of those remaining political leaders, diplomats, and journalists who contend that Iran is a ‘peaceful’ nation which has simply been ‘misunderstood’ by the global community.”
No doubt they should, but the capacity for diplomatic self-delusion has a long and tattered track record, ranging from British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s 1938 declaration that he had achieved “peace in our time” prior to the Nazi’s march through Europe and their extermination of six million Jews, up through the Agreed Framework of 1994, in which former president Bill Clinton and his North Korea negotiator, Jimmy Carter, convinced themselves the Hermit Kingdom had abandoned its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
Thus, when Yukiya Amano has been quoted as as saying that his meeting with Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili heralded a “good atmosphere” for the Baghdad gathering on Wednesday, it must be measured against an INRA report that Jalili referred to Washington as “Hiroshima culprits” who continue to produce and stockpile nuclear weapons, and as such cannot lead the global nonproliferation campaign. Add a withering analysis by Mehdi Mohammadi, domestic political analyst and contributor to the newspaper group Kayhan, detailing why the West is negotiating from a position of weakness, and it seems clear that nothing substantive is likely to come from the latest round of diplomacy save one sobering reality: an apocalyptic regime led by men who believe it is their religious duty to usher in the second coming of the Hidden Imam will not be deterred from its “sacred” mission.
It is a sacred mission which necessitates acquiring nuclear weapons. Yet for Western appeasers who, via the IAEA, have been negotiating with Iran for nine years, there is always room for another round of talks. It is a tragic irony they are incapable of holding the likes of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, Major General Hassan Firouzabadi, and other members of this despicable regime to account.
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