What is going on in Iran? The country’s ultra-Islamist president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has set off round after round of world-wide concern with his threatening statements, even as international concern builds over Iran’s development of nuclear technology.
President Ahmadinejad’s latest head-long dive into controversy came as he called the Holocaust a “myth” and suggested that Europe and the United States should relocate Israel outside the Middle East — moving Jews to Canada or Alaska. As The Guardian [London] reports:
In a speech broadcast live on Iranian television and calculated to generate maximum publicity, Mr Ahmadinejad described the Nazi genocide of 6 million Jews in the second world war as a fabrication concocted to justify Israel’s existence.
“They have invented a myth that Jews were massacred and place this above God, religions and the prophets,” he told an audience in the south-eastern city of Zahidan. “If someone were to deny the existence of God … or prophets and religion, they would not bother him. However, if someone were to deny the myth of the Jews’ massacre, all the Zionist mouthpieces and the governments subservient to the Zionists scream against the person as much as they can.”
Just a few weeks ago, President Ahmadinejad demanded that Israel be “wiped off the map.” This comes as world concern mounts over Iran’s apparent progress in developing a nuclear weapons program. The BBC reports that the Iranian press backs the president’s comments.
Iran represents one of the greatest threats to peace in its region, and its deliberate and reckless moves with respect to Israel should concern the entire world.