Iran Threatens to Destroy Israel, Elected to UN Commission
Iran's leaders have reiterated their call for Israel's annihilation, announcing the advancement of the Iranian nuclear program, and winning a seat on the United Nations' Disarmament Commission.
By Ezra HaLevi
First Publish: 4/15/2006, 7:51 PM / Last Update: 4/15/2006, 10:36 PM
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reiterated Iran's goal of "wiping Israel off the map." Speaking at a conference of visiting heads of Arab terrorist groups operating in areas under Palestinian Authority control, Ahmadinejad said, "Whether you like it or not, the Zionist regime is on the road to being eliminated."
Once again expressing his doubt as to whether the Holocaust happened, Ahmadinejad said that, although the Holocaust’s occurrence is "open to doubt, there is no doubt about the holocaust being carried out [by Israel] against the Palestinians." He went on to call upon Israelis to return to the countries from which their ancestors emigrated. "I tell the governments who support Zionism to allow the migrants [to] return to their countries of origin. If you think you owe them something [because of the Holocaust], give them some of your land," he said. "The Zionist regime is a rotten, dried tree that will be eliminated by one storm."
Ahmadinejad announced last Tuesday that Iran had successfully enriched uranium in order to produce nuclear fuel, in violation of a call by the UN Security Council for Iran to end the project.
The day before, the UN's Disarmament Commission elected Iran's Mehdi Danesh-Yazdi as one of its three vice-chairs. "The continued existence of thousands of nuclear warheads in the stockpiles of the nuclear-weapon States, which could destroy the entire globe many times over, and the increasing resort to the threat of their possible use, are the major sources of concern with regard to global peace and security," Danesh-Yazdi said, adding that Israel was required to place all of its "clandestine nuclear facilities" under UN nuclear watchdog supervision.
Jordan's representative added that Israel's refusal to renounce nuclear weapons is a major source of tensions in the Middle East.
A British newspaper reported over the weekend that British military officers took part in a joint operation with the US military simulating an invasion of Iran in July 2004. The Guardian report said the exercise was carried out on a base in Virginia and was codenamed "Hotspur 2004." The country being invaded was codenamed Korona, but located exactly within Iran's borders and sharing the characteristics of Iran. The attack was scheduled for 2015.
The British Defense Ministry downplayed the report, saying the exercise was purely fictitious in nature, "using invented countries and situations" to "test officers to the limit" but "using real maps."
British Foreign Minister Jack Straw said military action against Iran was "inconceivable."
"You can start a war but it won't be you who finishes it," the head of Iran's Revolutionary Guard General Yahya Rahim Safav said, addressing the report at the same pro-Hamas conference at which Ahmadinejad spoke (called the Jerusalem Conference in Tehran). "The Americans know better than anyone that their troops in the region and in Iraq are vulnerable. I would advise them not to commit such a strategic error."
Also attending the conference were heads of the PFLP and DFLP terrorist organizations, as well as several members of the ruling Hamas group, which now controls the Palestinian Authority. Hamas figure Khaled Mashaal promised to those present, "The Palestinians will never recognize Israel." He also congratulated the Iranian people on their nuclear achievements and goals. “Acquiring nuclear technology is every nation’s right, especially the deprived and exploited."
Islamic Jihad chief Ramadan Abdallah Salah also praised Iran's nuclear ambitions. “Every Muslim, Arab and Palestinian will be happy to see a Muslim state realizing its scientific potential. No power in the world has the right to prevent a Muslim nation from building itself or to stop its development."