Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for “Israel to be wiped off the map”. He hopes that the Palestinian terror attacks would achieve that goal.
This has to be the the most outrageous statement of the century, and that too coming from a democratically elected leader. During a war like situation even a man like Musharraf has not made such statements. If the statement alone was given and asked to guess who said it, probably you would have said Hamas or Islamic Jihad, but never the President of a country. Even though most of Israel’s neighbours desire what was mentioned by Ahmadinejad, no one has the audacity to make such public statements. This speaks volumes about the direction Iran is taking under the leadership of Ahmadinejad.
Today in an interview with Terry Gross, a former counterterrorism official in the Clinton and Bush administrations, Richard A. Clarke spoke about the relation between Iran and terrorist organizations. Many Al-Qaeda operatives, like the members of the Shura and bin Laden’s oldest son, were captured by Iran and placed under house arrest which must be like how Pakistanis keep terrorists under house arrest. Iran has refused to hand them over to United States and this raises questions about the relationship between Iran and al-Qaeda. Besides this there is the Iranian support for Hezbollah
India does not seem to mind this terrorist connection and has even embarked on a project to build a pipeline to bring gas from Iran via Pakistan. Besides business relations, there are contacts at the level of Parliamentarians. But this does not mean that we remain silent on this statement by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Israel is one nation which has come to our help during times of need. Right from the 1962 war with China to the Kargil war in 1999, Israel has supported India even though we have always publicly kissed Arafat. When such calls for genocide are being made by the Iran, India should not use diplomatic channels to convey displeasure, but instead borrow a leaf from Musharraf’s book and use megaphone diplomacy.
Footnote: Ahmadinejad also mentioned that
“Anybody who recognises Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation’s fury, [while] any [Islamic leader] who recognises the Zionist regime means he is acknowledging the surrender and defeat of the Islamic world,” Ahmadinejad said.[‘Israel must be wiped off the map’]
This is going to be a serious burn for Musharraf.