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[Newsmaker] Bomb thrower-state leader riles Israel, West yet again

No stranger to incendiary rhetoric, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad riled Israel and the West once again with his remarks on Monday that the world’s only Jewish-majority state had no roots in the Middle East and would be “eliminated.”

Speaking in New York ahead of the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, Ahmadinejad also dismissed the credibility of Israel’s threats to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities, and condemned the “Innocence of Muslims,” the film trailer depicting the prophet Muhammad as a womanizer and pedophile that has sparked violent protests across the Muslim world. The Iranian president had been warned earlier by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to avoid inflammatory rhetoric. 
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Regularly condemned in Western media as anti-Semitic, Ahmadinejad throws verbal hand grenades in the calculated manner of a class bully impervious to sanction. Among his many infamous statements, he has referred to Israel as a “tumor,” denied the Holocaust happened, and questioned the official account of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

More seriously, the U.S. State Department accuses the regime that Ahmadinejad represents of being a major state sponsor of terrorism, assisting the Taliban, Hezbollah and al-Qaida, among other terrorist groups.

It comes as no surprise, then, that Israel is determined that the Iranian regime does not acquire nuclear weapons, vowing military action if deemed necessary. Ahmadinejad maintains that his country’s nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only. The U.N., U.S. and EU aren’t convinced, and have applied numerous economic sanctions on the country in recent years.

While there is disagreement among analysts about the scale of the threat Iran represents to Israel and the greater region, there can be no doubt about the immensity of Ahmadinejad’s buffoonery.

Any state leader who indulges in the invective of the sort that Ahmadinejad does with such regularity is a disastrous diplomat. More than that, he is an embarrassment to his country.

By John  Power (