Iranian President Calls for Annihilation of Israel

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, recently appointed president of Iran in a stolen election, invoked Ayatollah Khomeini in a speech calling for the destruction of Israel.

Iran’s New President Says Israel ‘Must Be Wiped Off the Map’ (NYT)

Iran’s new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, told a group of students at an anti-Israel event on Wednesday that Israel “must be wiped off the map” and that attacks by Palestinians would destroy it, the ISNA news agency reported. He was speaking to about 4,000 students at a program called “The World Without Zionism,” in preparation for an annual anti-Israel demonstration held on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan.

His tone was reminiscent of that of the early days of Iran’s Islamic revolution in 1979. Iran and Israel have been bitter enemies since then, and anti-Israel slogans have been common at rallies. Senior officials had avoided provocative language in the last decade, but Mr. Ahmadinejad appears to be taking a more confrontational tone than have recent Iranian leaders.

He said on Wednesday that the issue of a Palestinian state would be resolved only when Palestinians took control of all their lands. “The establishment of a Zionist regime was a move by the world oppressor against the Islamic world,” the news agency reported him as saying. “The skirmishes in the occupied land are part of the war of destiny. The outcome of hundreds of years of war will be defined in Palestinian land.”

Referring to comments by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the Islamic revolution, Mr. Ahmadinejad said, “As the imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map.”

Of course, when the president shows up to speak at a program called “The World Without Zionism,” one doesn’t expect conciliatory language. Unfortunately, this further alienates Iran from the civilized world and makes the not-so-long-ago touted notion of democratic overthrow of the Islamist zealots seem incredibly remote.

Update (Oct. 27 1535): I just got a press release from Chief Deputy Majority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) condemning these remarks:

Not only is the content of his comments outrageous, but the timing of them is disgusting. Iran̢۪s murderous allies Islamic Jihad just killed five Israelis in Hedera in another homicide bombing attack.

Iran must learn that state-sponsorship of terrorism and the pursuit of weapons of mass destruction will not make America or Israel, our only democratic ally in the Middle East, cower in the global war on terrorism. Israel has been fighting the terrorists who have been trying to destroy the Jewish state for decades and America will stand side by side with them in that fight.


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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. DL says:

    I can’t wait to see the radical reaction from the moral majority of countries in the UN. Do you suppose they’ll sanction Iran for such official uncivilized threats? An open act of war!

    Hell, if they pass a resoultion, it will be condemning George Bush for inviting the threat, and poisoning of the Islamic atmosphere, with his invasion of Iraq!

    This will be followed immediately by demands from Howard Dean and Hillary for the impeachment of Bush!

  2. ATS says:

    “Iran run by extermists and radical fanatics NUKE IRAN NUKE IRAN NUKE IRAN”

    Rather like a snake biting its tail, isn’t it.
    Almost as alarming as “Nationalist regime introduces nuclear weapons into the Middle East.” NUKE ISRAEL NUKE ISRAEL NUKE ISRAEL.

    What about a new concept? Minding our own goddamn business.

  3. McGehee says:

    What about a new concept? Minding our own goddamn business.

    Great idea. Why don’t you show us how it’s done?

  4. Ron P says:

    maybe the UN will send Iran a really nasty letter. well not that nasty. maybe just peevish.

  5. kww says:

    Israel is our only true allie in Mid East and the only true democracy in the Mid East…so the survival of Israel is USAs business. And it should be the business of the UN, EU and the rest of the industrialized free world.