Iran: Same Old, Same Old?
Daniel Pipes's latest article, Iran's Final Solution Plan, makes many valid points that this dangerous anti-Semitic rhetoric of "death to Israel" from Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is merely restating their position of the last quarter century. But the reaction from the world is what seems different.
While Kofi Annan could only muster "dismay" at the statements, Turkey, Russia and China all condemned it. But they weren't the only surprising additions to the usual allies... there was a very significant addition:
Even the Palestinian Authority's Saeb Erekat spoke against Mr. Ahmadinejad: "Palestinians recognize the right of the state of Israel to exist, and I reject his comments."
Considering Iran's president states his support for the Palistinians as part of his motivation, does this move seem like a slap in the face? Surely, though this may be a simple chess move on the part of the PA. But stating it publically still matters. Pipes offers several reasons why this latest move is being met with such world condemnation:
In a constructive spirit, I offer them four reasons. First, Mr. Ahmadinejad's virulent character gives the threats against Israel added credibility. Second, he in subsequent days defiantly repeated and elaborated on his threats. Third, he added an aggressive coda to the usual formulation, warning Muslims who recognize Israel that they "will burn in the fire of the Islamic umma [nation]."
This directly targets the Palestinians and several Arab states, but especially neighboring Pakistan. Just a month before Mr. Ahmadinejad spoke, the Pakistani president, Pervez Musharraf, stated that "Israel rightly desires security." He envisioned the opening of embassies in Israel by Muslim countries like Pakistan as a "signal for peace." Mr. Ahmadinejad perhaps indicated an intent to confront Pakistan over relations with Israel.
The main reason this is taken more seriously is because a nuclear Iran is no longer a question of "if" but rather of "when." Pipes's summary nails it.
And Mr. Blair later warned Tehran with some menace against its becoming a "threat to our world security." His alarm needs to translate into action, and urgently so.
We are on notice. Will we act in time?
Can the world afford not to? It is time for the world to unite to pressure Iran. If not, the world will suffer.