Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to blog about issues affecting Israel and the Middle East. Currently, skepticism in Israel is high as Iran readies to sign a deal with the IAEA just before the 6-Power talks get underway in Baghdad. Israeli leaders have good reason to be skeptical of anything Iran signs with the international community regarding its nuclear program.
Blame it on Iran’s sketchy track record (and we can all agree the photo ops in white lab coats don’t change the world’s perception of Iran’s nuclear intentions one iota). Iranian “cooperation” with IAEA nuclear inspectors in the past years have ended in stalemate, all while the Iranians denied access to their Parchin military facility, suspected of nuclear-related military research. Iranian enrichment activities taking place at 20 percent and even 4.5 percent are highly suspected as a means-to-an-end for nuclear bombs, not medical isotopes for curing cancer.
Amos Gilad, a senior Israeli defense official said regarding Iran’s nuclear intent:
“Today they have enough uranium, raw material for the bomb, they have the missiles that can carry them and they have the knowledge to assemble a warhead on a missile. They have not yet decided to do this because they are worried about the response.”
Now, imagine you’re Israeli for a moment and try wrapping your arms around intelligence that paint Iran as lying about its nuclear intentions all while examining comments made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, dubbed by many sources as “Ahmadinijadisms:”
“O dear Imam (Khomeini)! You said the Zionist Regime that is a usurper and illegitimate regime and a cancerous tumor should be wiped off the map. I should say that your illuminating remark and cause is going to come true today…the Zionist regime faces a complete deadend and under God’s grace your wish will soon be materialized and the corrupt element will be wiped off the map.” – June 2, 2008 speech during a ceremony commemorating the 19th anniversary of Ayatollah Khomeini’s death
“Those who think they can revive the stinking corpse of the usurping and fake Israeli regime by throwing a birthday party are seriously mistaken. Today the reason for the Zionist regime’s existence is questioned, and this regime is on its way to annihilation.” – May 2008 statement to IRNA news agency
“If European countries claim that they have killed Jews in World War II… why don’t they provide the Zionist regime with a piece of Europe.” – December 2005 statement on Iranian television
“I have no doubt that the new wave that has started in Palestine, and we witness it in the Islamic world too, will eliminate this disgraceful stain from the Islamic world.” – October 26, 2005 speech to an Islamic Student Associations conference in Tehran on “The World Without Zionism”
Reading Ahmadinejad’s quotes you can see that we’re not just dealing with your average, vulgar, antisemitic Helen Thomas. Ahmadinejad is calling for the destruction of an entire country, one that contains nearly 2 million Arab-Israelis. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that you can’t take the crazy out of hate but you can apply international pressure, increase sanctions and revert to military action to ensure we don’t end up with a nuclear Iran (or N. Korea for that matter). We just have to ensure any agreement our current US administration is pushing for with Iran is based on the interest of Israel and a world without a nuclear Iran and not who wins the White House in November.