Saturday, August 05, 2006

Ahmadinejad's hour

Iranian President’s visit to Malaysia on the occasion of the OIC’s emergency meeting on the Hizbollah-Israel conflict was prominently reported. Here is he (l) with our PM Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (r). Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said Israel is an instrument of the US and Britain to dominate the Middle East, and that “It is an illegitimate regime and there is no reason for its existence.” There’s a nice guy for you. He previously put the world on notice after his election by saying the Holocaust was fiction and that Israel had to be “wiped off the map.”

Now the man is here, welcomed and feted as “Man of the Hour” in the New Straits Times own words (Aug 4 06). Here’s what else he said during his brief visit in KL: “Although the main cure is the elimination of the Zionist regime, in this stage an immediate ceasefire should be implemented…”

Someone help me because I have difficulty understanding what the honourable President is saying. If someone’s avowed aim is to eliminate you and erase you from the face of the earth, what legitimacy does this person have in calling for a “ceasefire”?

Here's what a Singapore foreign ministry spokesman said:

"We are utterly appalled by the statement. The situation in Lebanon is very grave. The urgent immediate need is to secure humanitarian relief for the civilian casualties."

"Such irresponsible and provocative statements are obviously intended only to further inflame the conflict and not address either the immediate humanitarian needs or the longer term goal of a durable solution that will address the security concerns of all parties."

No prizes for guessing what Malaysia said.

Interestingly, on the same day NST carried an Op-Ed by Michael Slackman titled A STEP BACKWARDS FOR IRANIAN DEMOCRACY. A blurb beneath the header read, "Iran, backer of Hizbollah, is using the Lebanon conflict to suppress political opposition at home."It first appeared in the NYT
linked here from IranFocus.

See also: The Hizbollah Program

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