Ahmadinejad’s anti-Semitic statements caused discontent in Europe – and this is shocking since such statements are not new. Four years ago, President Rafsanjani had made a similar remark during a Friday’s sermon. His speech should have persuaded then anybody to believe that the Islamist Republic is inconsistent with the West values. Rafsanjani said: ‘If the Islamist world gets some day equipped with the same weapons Israel owns today, then the imperialist strategy will get stuck as only one atomic bomb will be enough inside Israel’s territory to destroy everything… such possibility is not unlikely’. US- and European-analysts hastened to say this was only a defensive attitude, but Iranian politicians on their side had understood perfectly all right - it was a clear threat of using the nuke tacitly, offensively.
As ever, Iran’s political and religious leaders have systematically urged their people to wipe out Israel. Up to Ahmadinejad himself, those same Iranian politicians have managed to hoodwink Europe or make it take one thing for another. For 20 years now, Europe has avoided to face the situation for fear of any confrontation and in the name of protecting its interests, closing its eyes to terror and to the several violations of Human Rights. Europe’s diplomatic goal is to allow Iran to gain time, basically in the nuclear subject.
But today it is clear that the European policy regarding Iran has failed for two reasons. First, the Iranian regime nuclear development is motivated by internal considerations and not by national defence, and diplomacy has no access at all to internal affairs. Discreet studies, talks and probes of the Iranian opinion show that 80% of the population expects nothing any longer from the current regime and hopes for a radical change. The situation is similar to that of the USSR in the days of Mihail Gorbachev’s government – people were not satisfied with the Glasnost and simply wanted to get rid of the communist domain. Only 10% supports Jatami’s reforms – the equivalent of Mijail Gorbachev’s followers then. The rest hold on to Ahmadinejad’s radical rhetoric, and as the inflexible Stalinists of those days, will always oppose any reform.
The second reason of the European failure is the Guardians of the Revolution. Withdrawn in themselves and in their fiercely reactionary positions, such guardians are the elite of the Islamist regime. They make up the ideological and xenophobic core of the group that owns the Iranian nuclear and ballistic program. Ahmadinejad’s denials and his threats to ‘wipe Israel off the map’ are deep-rooted in their ideology. The apocalyptic allusions recently formulated by Ahmadinejad, who thinks to be able to speed up the advent of the hidden Imam – a Shiite messianic figure – through a period of martial purification, should disturb the Europeans. Diplomatically speaking, all parties seem to be honest in their goals, but Ahmadinejad misses no chance to reassert his warlike over his peaceful posture.
Political problems can be settled through diplomacy but diplomacy cannot attack the ideological foundations of a hostile regime. Pol Pot could not be diverted away from its genocide xenophobia. Gamal Abdul Nasser could have never abandoned the Arab nationalism. Saddam has not renounced anything, even after his downfall. The Iranian leadership is not different. No matter how hard diplomacy might strive, it will never talk Iran’s religious leadership into forsaking the beliefs and principles it has of its particular theological vision. Iran’s leadership is as dangerous as its potential arsenal. Fortunately today, the openness of Ahmadinejad’s statements forces the European politicians to see the Islamist Republic as it is and not as they would like it to be.

Tyzden (Slovakia)

Iran Means What It Says”, by Michael Rubin, Tyzden, January 2, 2006.