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July 09, 2008



I think that if Iran's nuclear project will be stopped (or at least interrupted) it will be by the Israeli Air Force, not the 'political leaderships of the UK, France and Germany'. Like Russia, Europe can live, if somewhat uncomfortably, with a nuclear Iran; for Israel the problem is existential

Bogdan of Australia

Sorry Oliver, but I tend to agree with szeni. When you or anyone expresses his or her confidence in the EU leaders, I immediately begin thinking of buying my lot on the local cementary... By the way how after more than five years of ridiculous diplomatic chicanery conducted by the European "powers" that have constantly been undermined further by Russia and China it is still possible to keep deluding ourselves that there is any room for so called "diplomacy"?

Gilliam Suttle

Iran has never talked about "the extinction" of Israel, except as a Zionist state as opposed to a Palestinian state.

As for antisemitism, there are thousands of Jews living in Iran, they support Iran (if not the mullahs), and they have a minister in the Iranian parliament. They are not persecuted at all -- which makes hash of your "fiercely antisemitic" foolery.

Is it illegal or in violation of any treaties to think or speak in a manner giving evidence you are antisemitic? If this is so in some societies should those laws be duplicated in the United Kingdom?


"Iran has never talked about "the extinction" of Israel," (Suttle)

"Ahmadinejad’s statements have also been reviewed by experts on the Middle East and the Persian language.
Michael Axworthy served as the Head of the Iran Section of Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1998-2000 and then subsequently as a lecturer at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter. He clearly rejects the notion that Ahmadinejad has been mistranslated and misinterpreted: “The
formula had been used before by Khomeini and others, and had been translated by representatives of the Iranian regime as ‘wiped off the map.’ Some of the dispute that has arisen over what exactly Ahmadinejad meant by it has been rather bogus. When the slogan appeared draped over missiles in military parades, that
meaning was pretty clear.”50 Viewed in context, the statements of Iran’s leaders and, in particular, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad constitute incitement to genocide of the people of Israel. They are alarmingly similar to the coded statements
of incitement that preceded the Rwandan genocide of the Tutsis in 1994,51 and should therefore alarm all
peace-loving peoples."



"there are thousands of Jews living in Iran.... They are not persecuted at all" (Suttle)

"In a 1979 meeting with five of the Iranian Jewish community leaders, Khomeini summarized his position on the local Jews in one of his quintessentially coarse one-liners: “We recognize our Jews as separate from those godless Zionists.” The line has served as the regime’s position on the Jewish minority ever since. So important were these words that they were painted on the walls of nearly every synagogue and Jewish establishment the day after the ayatollah spoke them.

It did not prevent Jews from being relegated to second-class citizenry, nor did it enable them to thrive in post-revolutionary Iran. But it recognized the legitimacy of the Jewish existence in Iran and allowed the community to live on, albeit extremely restrictedly."


I think Suttle may entertain different notions of what constitutes deathbearing talk against another country, or antisemitism and persecution against minorities.


But why shouldn't Iran have nuclear weapons? Surely it has just as much right to nuclear arms as the US or the UK, especially if it is feeling threatened?

Oliver Kamm

There are numerous reasons that Iran must not have nuclear weapons, but one that I should hope we can all agree on is that Iran would thereby be in violation of Article II of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, of which it is a signatory.


Limpole, Iran isn't claiming to be developing nuclear weapons in any case, but a civil nuclear power programme.

Whether Iran really is developing nuclear weapons or not is what there is a disagreement about.

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