OpinionIran in the World PressAhmadinejad does Europe

Ahmadinejad does Europe

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Wall Street Journal – REVIEW & OUTLOOK: Whatever Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s other faults, lack of candor isn’t one of them. This week the U.N. Security Council is set to begin discussing the imposition of (very) limited sanctions against Iran for refusing to halt uranium enrichment to build a nuclear weapon. The Wall Street Journal

REVIEW & OUTLOOK

October 24, 2006; Page A18

Whatever Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s other faults, lack of candor isn’t one of them. This week the U.N. Security Council is set to begin discussing the imposition of (very) limited sanctions against Iran for refusing to halt uranium enrichment to build a nuclear weapon.

And so, with his usual sense of timing, the Iranian President issued the following public warning to Europe last Friday: “We have advised the Europeans that the Americans are far away, but you are the neighbors of the nations in this region. We inform you that the nations are like an ocean that is welling up, and if a storm begins, the dimensions will not stay limited to Palestine, and you may get hurt. It is in your own interest to distance yourself from these criminals (Israel). . . . This is an ultimatum.”

China and Russia are the main opponents of tough sanctions for violating the U.N.’s August 31 enrichment deadline, but the Iranian must be thinking he can also shake the resolve of European leaders with a little fear of the Mahdi. Short of that, he might be hoping he can begin to intimidate European public opinion. Iran’s ballistic missiles can already reach much of Europe, and his threat will be very real once those missiles can be armed with nuclear warheads.

The temptation in many quarters in the West is to assume that Crazy Mahmoud can’t really mean what he says; he must be acting out for “domestic” political reasons. And even if he does mean what he says about wiping Israel off the map, well, Europeans and Americans don’t need to worry about that. Call us conservative, or even neoconservative, but when a leader relentlessly seeking weapons of mass destruction starts issuing apocalyptic ultimatums, our instinct is to believe him.

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