Behind Iran's open threat to Israel

Amir Taheri writes in the New York Post about what may lie behind Iran President Ahmadinejad's naked threat to obliterate Isarel:

Ahmadinejad has gone several steps further — presenting the destruction of Israel as a major goal of his government. Why?

One reason may be his desire to distance himself as far as possible from his predecessor, Muhammad Khatami, and from Hashemi Rafsanjani, the powerful mullah—cum—businessman who still heads a key faction within the regime.

Ahmadinejad has criticized the "softness" of Khatami and his mentor Rafsanjani, which led to "a decline in revolutionary spirit." Thus the new stand on Israel may be part of a package of measures to revive the regime's original radical message.

Another reason may be Ahmadinejad's belief that Israel is preparing to attack Iran's nuclear sites as part of a broader U.S. plan against the Islamic Republic. He may thus be trying to mobilize Iranian and Arab public opinion for the coming showdown.

But the real reason for Ahmadinejad's Jihadist outburst may well be his deep conviction that it is the historic mission of the Islamic Republic to lead the Muslim world in a "war of civilization" against the West led by the United States. One of the first battlegrounds of such a war would be Israel.

Understanding the enemy is the first step in defeating him. The mullahs must be overthrown. That is far preferable to a military attack by Israel or others, to remove nuclear weapons from the Iranian arsenal. But either is preferable to enduring a nuclear attack aimed at the stated aim of the President of the Islamic Republic.

Thomas Lifson   10 28 05

Amir Taheri writes in the New York Post about what may lie behind Iran President Ahmadinejad's naked threat to obliterate Isarel:

Ahmadinejad has gone several steps further — presenting the destruction of Israel as a major goal of his government. Why?

One reason may be his desire to distance himself as far as possible from his predecessor, Muhammad Khatami, and from Hashemi Rafsanjani, the powerful mullah—cum—businessman who still heads a key faction within the regime.

Ahmadinejad has criticized the "softness" of Khatami and his mentor Rafsanjani, which led to "a decline in revolutionary spirit." Thus the new stand on Israel may be part of a package of measures to revive the regime's original radical message.

Another reason may be Ahmadinejad's belief that Israel is preparing to attack Iran's nuclear sites as part of a broader U.S. plan against the Islamic Republic. He may thus be trying to mobilize Iranian and Arab public opinion for the coming showdown.

But the real reason for Ahmadinejad's Jihadist outburst may well be his deep conviction that it is the historic mission of the Islamic Republic to lead the Muslim world in a "war of civilization" against the West led by the United States. One of the first battlegrounds of such a war would be Israel.

Understanding the enemy is the first step in defeating him. The mullahs must be overthrown. That is far preferable to a military attack by Israel or others, to remove nuclear weapons from the Iranian arsenal. But either is preferable to enduring a nuclear attack aimed at the stated aim of the President of the Islamic Republic.

Thomas Lifson   10 28 05