Iran’s long-term policy comes to the fore
(note: all bold print and caps were used exactly as in the original articles)
Iran leader defends Israel remark
Iran defends its president’s call for Israel to be “wiped off the map”, saying this has long been official policy
Iran’s president has defended his widely criticised call for Israel to be “wiped off the map”.
While the Beeb’s article says
Egypt said they showed “the weakness of the Iranian government”. A Palestinian official also rejected the remarks.
Al-Jazeera’s got a different story,
Iran’s anti-Israel remarks: Arabs mum
Arab governments have maintained silence over the call by Iran’s new president for Israel to be wiped off the map.
Newspapers across the Middle East reported Wednesday’s speech by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad without comment, many of them on their front pages.
Egyptian Foreign Ministry and cabinet officials said Cairo would have nothing to say on the address.
. . .
With so many conflicts in the Middle East, “the region is in a mess. We really don’t need one more”, said one official on condition of anonymity, hoping the issue would go away.
Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister Marwan Muasher also declined comment, apparently to avoid further aggravating relations with Iran, which the kingdom has accused of interfering in Iraq to strengthen Shia influence in the Middle East.
The WaPo editorial states,
The Europeans still cling to their hopes for negotiations, though last month they finally joined the Bush administration’s long-standing — and equally futile — attempt to refer Iran’s violations of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to the U.N. Security Council. But the crudeness of Mr. Ahmadinejad, and his already evident failure to deliver on his populist promises to raise Iranian living standards, ought to open the way to a different approach. Unlike their president, most young Iranians would like to live in a prosperous and democratic society that enjoys good relations with the West. The West should stand up for that Iran; it can do so by rejecting and isolating the hateful ideologue who would drag the country in the opposite direction.
Via Gail, Tony Blair was emphatic, Blair in threat to Iran
FURIOUS Tony Blair last night warned Britain and America are ready to take military action to stop Iran getting nukes.
He expressed “revulsion” over Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s threat to wipe Israel off the face of the earth and branded Tehran a “real threat to world security and stability”.
The PM was visibly angry as he warned the ayatollahs not to assume the world is too tied up in Iraq to deal with Iran.
“This is a disgrace,” he said after a one-day EU summit in London’s Hampton Court Palace.
“I am aware that I have not said what we are going to do. This is a discussion we will be having with our allies over the next few days.”
But the PM warned the issue now facing the West is no longer IF but WHEN to strike.
More at The Independent Blair considers UN sanctions as he speaks of ‘revulsion’ at Iranian President’s speech
Just last month The Economist was asking, WHY is the pressure suddenly seeming to leak out of the diplomacy to persuade Iran to end its nuclear dabbling—just when the regime is flaunting its defiance?
Update Captain Marlow appraises the situation.
Update 2 “Westerners are free to comment, but their reactions are invalid.”