I was wondering about the apparent surprise in European and U.N. high offices over the Iranian president’s recent casual statement that Israel ought to be wiped off the map — didn’t they realize Iran has been saying that for years.

Apparently, they did, but, also apparently, they really thought Iran had changed. As translated by Drink Soaked Trots for War (my favorite newly discovered blog name), here’s what Le Monde recently had to say:

Necessary or not, the mask has fallen. By calling on the Muslim world to wipe Israel from the map on Wednesday 26 October, the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has in a few words completed the frightening portrait of an all-powerful and extremist head of state. In each of his remarks, Iran’s ambitions, now carried by this former revolutionary guard, are more openly and aggressively apparent.

For all those who believed or who had wanted to believe that the Islamic Republic had finally grown wiser, seeking in particular to end its “anti-Zionist” obsession, reality has intervened to show that this is not the case. The Iran of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has done it again. Indeed, the new Iranian president intends to reactivate what has been the official doctrine of the young Republic since its creation in 1979: “As the imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map,” he said before several thousand elated students at a conference with an unambiguous theme, “The World Without Zionism.”

Sigh. They really thought Iran had changed, you know? That’s why they urged Israel to give up its PFA order and welcome Iran back into the home.

American Future, meanwhile, has a wrap of Middle Eastern media editorial reaction. Among them is this gem of logic from Egypt’s Al-Jumhuriyah:

Is Israel the terrorist or Iran? The fury of Western capitals, and Moscow in particular, against the Iranian president’s remarks on Israel indicates that these capitals perceive the world with an Israeli eye… They have allied themselves with a terrorist state that has spread wars and calamities in the Middle East… These capitals want nothing but for the terrorist and deadly Israel to stay, so that the people in the Middle East can go to hell!

MEMRI, meanwhile, has a fuller translation of the Iranian President’s remarks at the Tehran Conference: “World without Zionism,” which put the remarks in a historical context, or, to phrase it more accuracy, sets the poison in a candy cluster of nuts:

“…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-Ã -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.

“… 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…”

And on the lighter side:


[Found on: Drybones]