-AHMADINEJAD continues to grow from strength to strength

EDITORIAL COMMENT

OCTOBER 24, 2007 –  The following article appeared yesterday in UAEs the Gulf News. The writer, Amir Taheri makes it quite clear as to Ahmadinejad’s current status in Iran.

In addition, so that our readers have no doubts as to Ahmadinejad’s antisemitic ramblings, we have added clip excerpts from a public address delivered by Ahmadinejad, which aired on Channel 1, Iranian TV, on October 6, 2007.  

Ahmadinejad reiterates his proposal for a “Zionist State” in Canada or Alaska and suggests an international committee of “Truth-Seekers” examine the Holocaust. View this clip at The Middle East Media Research Institute’s (MEMRI) site: http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/1585.htm 

Round One to Ahmadinejad

Until a few weeks ago, the conventional wisdom was that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the firebrand President of Iran, was on his way out. It was said told that he would soon lose control of the nuclear dossier and face a coalition of new and old moderates who are determined to show him the door. Ahmadinejad, however, shows no signs of clearing his desk in anticipation of handing over to anyone.

 

Last week he reasserted his authority by sacking Ali Larijani and himself one of the most radical elements in the second generation of Khomenists. More importantly, perhaps, Ahmadinejad managed to sidetrack Russian President Vladimir Putin’s opportunistic mission to Tehran by refusing to offer the slightest concession on the nuclear issue.

 

“That file is closed,” Ahmadinejad told Putin, making it clear that Iran was not prepared to fudge the issue as Putin had suggested. Over the past two months, we have had a number of “emissaries” from Tehran peddling the fiction that “the reformists” are ready to make a comeback in next spring’s general election. A similar message is spread by lobby groups sympathetic to the Iran in Europe and the US…

 

The “reformists” claim that any tough action against Iran would strengthen Ahmadinejad’s position. In other words, if you want to get rid of Ahmadinejad the best thing to do is to surrender to him…

 

There is no doubt that Ahmadinejad has radicalised the Khomeinist regime’s domestic and foreign policies to a degree not known since the early days of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1981-83…

 

At home, he has launched a massive crackdown, which has included, the arrest of almost a million people over the past six months, highest number of executions since 1988, disbanding of independent trade unions and the jailing of hundreds of their leaders and activists…

 

He has also imposed a new “Islamic” dress code, and the revival of the ban on private musical concerts and other cultural events…

 

All this does not look like the record of a leader afraid of imposing his agenda.

 

Ahmadinejad’s performance on the foreign policy scene is even more impressive, and includes:

 

Iran was invited to the summit of the Shanghai Group, something that Ahmadinejad’s predecessors coveted but failed to achieve. The group consists of Russia, China, Kazakhstan and the four Central Asian republics…

 

Ahmadinejad’s “reformist” critics who, incidentally, are unable to say which reforms they ever proposed let alone implemented, point to the fact that some of the sanctions imposed by the US Treasury have begun to bite…

 

This, they say, is the price that Iran is paying for Ahmadinejad’s “excesses”. And this is precisely what they want to do away with so that Ahmadinejad can do as he pleases without risking even such mild sanctions.

 

The US Treasury’s sanctions have so far persuaded some Western banks to cut their ties with Iran without affecting the estimated $38 billion in trade with the European Union…

 

Iranian banks have managed to render the sanctions meaningless by operating through Malaysian and Turkish banks, which, in turn, work through the Western banks that have severed ties with Tehran…

 

The “reformists” do not understand that Ahmadinejad will not stop unless he is stopped. He has been probing his way carefully: each time he realised that he could say or do something even more radical and outrageous without risking punishment he did it.

 

Whether anyone likes it or not, Ahmadinejad has achieved the profile of a winner. He has done exactly what he said he would do and paid no price, either at home or abroad. So, why should he stop?

 

Amir Taheri is an Iranian writer based in Europe. His original article can be read at: http://www.gulfnews.com/opinion/columns/region/10162309.html

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