Iranian military commander: Yeah, we’re totally going to annhilate Israel

posted at 11:21 am on May 21, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Just in case anyone doubts the intentions of the Iranian mullahcracy if they start producing nuclear weapons, the top-ranking military officer in the regime made it clear yesterday:

Iran is dedicated to annihilating Israel, the Islamic regime’s military chief of staff declared Sunday.

“The Iranian nation is standing for its cause and that is the full annihilation of Israel,” Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi said in a speech to a defense gathering Sunday in Tehran.

His remarks came on the day International Atomic Energy Agency director Yukiya Amano flew to Tehran to negotiate for inspections of Iran’s nuclear program. They were reported by the Fars News Agency, the media outlet of the Revolutionary Guards Corps.

While many within the Islamic regime, including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have often stated that Israel should be annihilated, until Sunday no one in the nation’s leadership has announced Iran’s determined intention to carry it out.

Historically speaking, Western nations have made two categories of error when dealing with rogue despotic regimes.  First, they have indulged in an odd transference in which they blame themselves for hostilities created by tyrants demanding acquiescence to territorial and/or political demands.  This usually takes the form of insisting that improved diplomacy will make tyrants more reasonable.  History shows what happens when appeasement is used to jolly tyrants into concessions; the only concessions made come from the Western democracies.

The second error?  Not taking tyrants at their word when they make nihilistic threats.  Usually, those threats come to pass, and in this case, Israel has good reason to have “mixed feelings” over optimism about talks between the West and a country threatening to wipe Israel off the map:

On the one hand, Israeli officials acknowledged that without Israel’s efforts and primarily Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s saber rattling, the world would not have imposed the sanctions it has and would not be taking the issue as seriously as it is.

On the other hand, the Israelis are at the same time concerned that under a deal that does not lead to a complete cessation of the enrichment of uranium, Iran will be able to continue to develop a nuclear weapon, albeit a bit slower than it is today.

Israel wants a complete cessation of all enrichment beyond the 3.5% level, which would allow for medical research and therapy and some power generation.  The West worries about an Israeli strike, which is the reason why they are pressuring Iran to get down to 20% and transfer all uranium enriched above that amount.  The Iranians, however, have played this game for almost a decade, which is another reason for Israel to have “mixed feelings.”  Tehran has toyed with the West since the exposure of their secret nuclear program in 2003, using talks like the Baghdad conference to stall for time.  By doing so, they have inched ever closer to the status of North Korea as a nuclear-armed nation, with one particular goal in mind.

Hassan Firouzabadi didn’t really say anything new this weekend.   He did, however, give evidence that the West would do well to take seriously, which tells the real story of Iranian intentions both apart from and integrated into its pursuit of highly-enriched uranium.  The only real solution in this case is to help the Iranian people rid themselves of their mullahcracy and the radicals in charge of their military.


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Comment pages: 1 2

I know that the answer is NOT “let Iran develop and field a nuclear weapon.”

Washington Nearsider on May 21, 2012 at 12:52 PM

That is a goal, not a way to get there, genius. So again, you have no solution, you just want to whine about the US not getting involved in an “Iranian Spring”. You, nor anyone including the local neocons, will go the next step and explain how an Iranian Spring (accompanied by US intervention/force/support/etc..) will stop nuclear development.

nottakingsides on May 21, 2012 at 2:48 PM

Denial, or de stupid?

I can’t tell from here.

Neville Chamberlain would be so proud.

OK, give me a link to the published intelligence report that they are seeking nuclear weapons.

For you guys, every two-bit tyrant with a 5th rate military is Adolf Hitler, and everyone who opposes attacking them is Neville Chamberlain. And you say I’m deluded.

jamesjtyler on May 21, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Nobody invades North Korea.

jamesjtyler on May 21, 2012 at 2:41 PM

I guess that’s why our troops are stationed on the border twixt North and South Korea, eh genius?

MadisonConservative on May 21, 2012 at 2:53 PM

I guess that’s why our troops are stationed on the border twixt North and South Korea, eh genius?

That’s a complete non sequiter.

Yet another stupid and money-wasting drain of American resources. South Korea, a country much richer and more populous than North Korea, cannot take care of itself?

jamesjtyler on May 21, 2012 at 2:58 PM

OK, give me a link to the published intelligence report that they are seeking nuclear weapons.

For you guys, every two-bit tyrant with a 5th rate military is Adolf Hitler, and everyone who opposes attacking them is Neville Chamberlain. And you say I’m deluded.

jamesjtyler on May 21, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Have at it.

(PDF)

hillbillyjim on May 21, 2012 at 2:59 PM

More here:

40. Previous reports by the Director General have identified outstanding issues related to possible military
dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme and actions required of Iran to resolve these.37 Since 2002, the
Agency has become increasingly concerned about the possible existence in Iran of undisclosed nuclear
related activities involving military related organizations, including activities related to the development of a
nuclear payload for a missile, about which the Agency has regularly received new information.
41. The Annex to the Director General’s November 2011 report (GOV/2011/65) provided a detailed
analysis of the information available to the Agency indicating that Iran has carried out activities that are
relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device. This information, which comes from a wide
variety of independent sources, including from a number of Member States, from the Agency’s own efforts
and from information provided by Iran itself, is assessed by the Agency to be, overall, credible.
__________________________________________________________________________________
36 GOV/2011/65, para. 37.
37 GOV/2011/29, para. 35; GOV/2011/7, Attachment; GOV/2010/10, paras 40–45; GOV/2009/55, paras 18–25; GOV/2008/38,
paras 14–21; GOV/2008/15, paras 14–25 and Annex; GOV/2008/4, paras 35–42; GOV/2011/65, paras 38-45 and Annex.

hillbillyjim on May 21, 2012 at 3:15 PM

That’s a complete non sequiter.

jamesjtyler on May 21, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Yeah, except not. You said nobody invades South Korea. Well…yeah, we did, a long time ago, and we’ve left troops there ever since to engage those a*sholes if they get out of line. Not just bases…but actual American troops STILL stationed on the 38th parallel, next to SoKo troops.

In other words, your comparison is a nonsequiter. They have nothing to do with one another.

MadisonConservative on May 21, 2012 at 3:21 PM

Not taking tyrants at their word when they make nihilistic threats.

Wanting to kill someone else isn’t nihilism, it’s aggression (indeed, evolutionarily, the point of violence is life-affirming: usually your own genes and culture over someone else’s).

There are six major philosophical forms of nihilism.

Mitchell Heisman on May 21, 2012 at 2:46 PM

So which kind/kinds of nihilist are you?

Not that it really matters… Damn, now you’ve got me doing it, too.

RINO in Name Only on May 21, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Perhaps the United States needs to reconsider reducing its stockpiles of nuclear weapons. It sounds like WWIII might be right around the corner.

SC.Charlie on May 21, 2012 at 1:45 PM

I am all for reduction, one bombing at a time. Iran nuclear facilites is the starting point, Damascus and most of Afganistan next on the list. Not much of a reduction, in real numbers, but its a start.

Japan learned the lesson and learned it well, sounds like another lesson should be in the making. These pople will only understand a big stick.

Interestingly enough, last year Putin was asked about Iran when sale of Russia’s best air defense system to iran was discussed. Putin’s response: “Israel will take care of Iran”. So, a) Putin knows their air defense system is not a deterrent to Israel’s military strike and b) he is assuming the strike WILL happen.

riddick on May 21, 2012 at 3:40 PM

I definitely don’t mind his demand to audit the Federal Reserve. Greedscam and then Bernanke were among the most faithful enablers of the Big Government. But yeah, Ron Paul’s immigration and foreign policies are thoroughly vomit-inducing.

Archivarix on May 21, 2012 at 12:35 PM

Isn’t Paul in the position right now to audit the Fed, as head of the House Banking (or some such) Committee?

cptacek on May 21, 2012 at 3:55 PM

” My fellow citizens….

Recent events in the Middle East have caused my administration to re-evaluate our policies in the region. The United States has been closely involved in the pursuit of peace in the Middle East and have participated in landmark discussion that have produced, among other agreements, the Camp David accords.

The United States has assumed the role of advisor and consultant to Israel while at the same time attempted to arbitrate the complaints of those nations and groups, such as the PLO and Hamas, have against the State of Israel. It is my conclusion that the United States has been more of a hindrance than a help in Middle Eastern affairs. Accordingly:

The United States reaffirms the relationship of alliance with the State of Israel and takes the position that we stand ready to defend, and in any way possible assist, Israel in maintaining their sovereign State. The United States accepts that the interests of the State of Israel are of primary concern insofar as they do not conflict with the interests of the United States.

The United States wishes to make clear that we will respond to an attack on the State of Israel as an attack on our soil. And, should Israel ask for our assistance, we will pursue her enemies with the same ferocity and purpose as we would pursue those who would attack us.

The United States does not wish to leave any impression by this change in policy except this: Those who wish for Israel’s destruction and take steps, however small, to accomplish that desire, do so at their own peril.

Thank you for your kind attention and God Bless America.”

Wouldn’t that be a hoot?

Anti_anti on May 21, 2012 at 4:04 PM

I still think that Iran is trying to provoke an Israeli attack, so that they can then prove to the world that they haven’t got a nuclear weapons program, then garner lots of sympathy as the victim of unjustified aggression, and thus obtain a green-light to have a nuclear weapons program. I do think they want nuclear weapons, but I’m not convinced they would use them against Israel in any hurry.

So why would they want nuclear weapons? The rhetoric about Israel might just be intended to provoke the attack mentioned above. Get out the map and look at the geopolitical neighborhood of Iran. It isn’t exactly upmarket, safe and friendly. If I was the president of Iran, I think nuclear weapons would be on my shopping list too.

YiZhangZhe on May 21, 2012 at 4:19 PM

I still think that Iran is trying to provoke an Israeli attack, so that they can then prove to the world that they haven’t got a nuclear weapons program, then garner lots of sympathy as the victim of unjustified aggression, and thus obtain a green-light to have a nuclear weapons program. I do think they want nuclear weapons, but I’m not convinced they would use them against Israel in any hurry.

So why would they want nuclear weapons? The rhetoric about Israel might just be intended to provoke the attack mentioned above. Get out the map and look at the geopolitical neighborhood of Iran. It isn’t exactly upmarket, safe and friendly. If I was the president of Iran, I think nuclear weapons would be on my shopping list too.

YiZhangZhe on May 21, 2012 at 4:19 PM

Maybe, but one would think they would soften the rhetoric a tad if they wanted to be seen as a ‘victim’.

Given that their ‘neighborhood’ isn’t all that friendly to them, there is NO country in the area that has spewed the same sort of threats or rhetoric towards them. On the contrary, we know that the Saudis (among others) fear Iran getting a weapon as much as Israel does. No, the only reason for Iran to want a weapon of their own is to force the other Islamic nations in the ‘neighborhood’ to accept Iran as the regional leader…with the capability of enforcing their ‘leadership’.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that ANY Islamic nation in the Middle East that pursues nukes would be a major concern for Israel. Since that would only inflame the tensions already present, it’s a no win for Iran…unless they intended to use them.

IMHO

Anti_anti on May 21, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Maybe, but one would think they would soften the rhetoric a tad if they wanted to be seen as a ‘victim’.

If my hypothesis is correct then Iran has to play a delicate game. The language must be gentle enough for them to be a victim, but sharp enough to provoke a response.

Given that their ‘neighborhood’ isn’t all that friendly to them, there is NO country in the area that has spewed the same sort of threats or rhetoric towards them. On the contrary, we know that the Saudis (among others) fear Iran getting a weapon as much as Israel does. No, the only reason for Iran to want a weapon of their own is to force the other Islamic nations in the ‘neighborhood’ to accept Iran as the regional leader…with the capability of enforcing their ‘leadership’.

They have fought a major war with Iraq and have had conflicts with Russia. Moreover, being Muslims themselves, I am sure they are only too well aware of how volatile Muslims in general and neighbours like nuclear-armed Pakistan in particular, could be at short notice.

Also they will be well aware that the 9/11 team were mostly Saudi’s financed by Saudis, and that the late Mr Bin Laden had as many grudges against Muslims as he did against ‘infidels’.

If I were in charge of government or the military in Iran, I’d be thinking very much about deterrence — and who needed to be deterred from doing what. So, I’m not sure that Iran wants to be a regional ‘leader’, but I’m sure they want to have multiple means of delivering ‘persuasion’ to nearby countries.

YiZhangZhe on May 21, 2012 at 4:47 PM

If my hypothesis is correct then Iran has to play a delicate game. The language must be gentle enough for them to be a victim, but sharp enough to provoke a response.

Really? So….

“The Iranian nation is standing for its cause and that is the full annihilation of Israel,” Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi said in a speech to a defense gathering Sunday in Tehran.

This is gentle? And, should they get the whacking they deserve, this language paints them as a victim? Maybe to a jury in San Fransicko but in my neck o’ the woods that statement would be used as justification for an Old Testament style pre-emptive smackdown.

As far as deterrence is concerned, you’re going to have to show me where and when the Saudi’s (or any other neighbor of theirs) has threatened Iran in ANY way. Iraq, yes, but that was Saddam and neither side could claim victory after TEN YEARS of epic battles. I think that’s when Iran shouted ‘B.S.!” and decided to get a nuke.

Pakistan unstable? Perhaps, but after years and years of tense standoff with their Number 1 enemy, India, no nuke has been used, and since when did Pakistan threaten Iran?

Nope….can’t make your argument fly for justifying Iran’s desire for nukes other than their publicly stated goal of destroying Israel.

Period.

Anti_anti on May 21, 2012 at 5:06 PM

So, I’m not sure that Iran wants to be a regional ‘leader’, but I’m sure they want to have multiple means of delivering ‘persuasion’ to nearby countries.

YiZhangZhe on May 21, 2012 at 4:47 PM

Ah, the magical power of wishful thinking.

When these guys say they wish to annihilate Israel, I believe they mean to annihilate Israel or martyr themselves trying.

hillbillyjim on May 21, 2012 at 5:18 PM

Ah, the magical power of wishful thinking.

When these guys say they wish to annihilate Israel, I believe they mean to annihilate Israel or martyr themselves trying.

hillbillyjim on May 21, 2012 at 5:18 PM

No, not wishful thinking at all.

If you prefer, I am contemplating the possibility that the Iranians might have more than one objective, and could be being deceitful about both/all of them.

Everybody is presuming that when an Iranian says they want to destroy Israel, that they are telling the truth, and the whole truth. That presumption might be correct, or it might be exactly what the Iranians want people to think in order to divert attention from some other plan.

The Iranian’s have been doing this diplomacy thing for centuries and they are not ‘stupid’ in the way that some of the adjoining countries are ‘stupid’. I think they are more than capable of playing complex games of double-cross and triple-cross and double-quadruple call your bluff. They have managed to run circles around the ‘international community’ for at least the past decade, and made it look simple.

I don’t think it is likely that “destroy Israel” is the whole truth. Or, in other words, I trust Iran even less than you do because you are willing to take their words at face value, and I’m not.

YiZhangZhe on May 21, 2012 at 7:23 PM

As far as deterrence is concerned, you’re going to have to show me where and when the Saudi’s (or any other neighbor of theirs) has threatened Iran in ANY way.

May I refer you to the following article.
http://newamericamedia.org/2012/03/the-myth-of-iranian-saudi-arabian-hostility.php
The article stresses the attempts made by the Iranians and Saudis to repair and strengthen their relationship, but the reason it needs repairing and strengthening is because they have had their conflicts, some of which are mentioned in the article.

Moreover, at a national level Saudi Arabia has never threatened the USA nonetheless 19 or so Saudi citizens sponsored by other Saudi citizens have had a massive, and mostly negative effect on the entire occidental world, causing us to redefine relationships between state and citizen, spend 10 years at war and have a huge knock on the economy. If the USA was not immune to this kind of non-state, ideologically motivated attack, how much less so Iran?

Finally, I am sure you are aware that in each camp of the Sunni-Shia divide there are persons who seem to like finding ways to slaughter members of the other camp. Its not like Muslims have mastered the art of just getting along with one another.

Iraq, yes, but that was Saddam and neither side could claim victory after TEN YEARS of epic battles. I think that’s when Iran shouted ‘B.S.!” and decided to get a nuke.

Despite your protests, you seem to be agreeing with me here. Iran wants a nuclear weapon because it doesn’t want another long-winded conflict like the one it had with Iraq. Instead it wants deterrence to make sure Iraq never tries that again. Similarly Iran would like to make sure that it has some persuasive influence should Russia move back into the region — which is not difficult to imagine.

Pakistan unstable? Perhaps, but after years and years of tense standoff with their Number 1 enemy, India, no nuke has been used, and since when did Pakistan threaten Iran?

In 40 years of tense standoff between NATO and the Soviet Bloc, no nuclear weapons were used, but both sides found it desirable to have them. The reasoning of the cold war applies here too. Similarly in 60 years of tense relations between Pakistan and India (including three shooting wars) neither side has actually deployed a nuclear weapon against the other, yet both sides have thought it desirable to possess them.

If your neighbor was more than just slightly bonkers, violent, ideolgically predisposed to disagree with you (Sunni -v- Shia again), and equipped with a battle tank, what would you want to do or have to ‘persuade’ him never to point the barrel at your house or drive it into your garden? Would you wait until his battle tank was loaded and aimed before thinking about deterrence?

Nope….can’t make your argument fly for justifying Iran’s desire for nukes other than their publicly stated goal of destroying Israel.

Period.

Anti_anti on May 21, 2012 at 5:06 PM

If you don’t find my arguments persuasive that is fine. However I am curious as to why you would believe what the Iranians have said. Do you think they consistently tell the truth? And if not, how do you decide when they are telling the truth and when they speak to deceive?

YiZhangZhe on May 21, 2012 at 8:26 PM

If you don’t find my arguments persuasive that is fine. However I am curious as to why you would believe what the Iranians have said. Do you think they consistently tell the truth? And if not, how do you decide when they are telling the truth and when they speak to deceive?

YiZhangZhe on May 21, 2012 at 8:26 PM

I don’t find your arguments persuasive because I have never been comfortable with arguments that favor nuclear proliferation or their proponents. I believe ‘the Iranians’ because the message delivered by their military chief is remarkabley consistent with previous messages delivered through their U.N. delegation, the current President of the country as well as the batsh!t insane ‘religious leaders’ of Iran.

I find your tired attempt to introduce the Saudi ‘straw man’ in referring to 9/11 inane (to be kind.)

The nice part of this whole thing is I am not required to analyze their statements as to truth. I merely have to know that the threat has been made and has been made publicly. Once they acquire the means to realize that threat I believe they are fair game…unless of course they would like to clarify their position in order to avoid the ass-kicking that will ensue.

Oh, I won’t explain my position any further than that, so please don’t ask.

Anti_anti on May 21, 2012 at 11:11 PM

This is what happens when you get a Democratic administration, a wishy-washy foreign policy and an anti-Israeli president. Combine that with riots in the streets of Chicago, and one must ask if there are any other reasons to vote them out. Just remember that Israel is only the little satan.

georgeofthedesert on May 22, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Wonder how “Sieg heil” sounds in Farsi when the Revulsionary Garbage Corpse yells–or do they only know “Margbar ________(Death to [you-fill-in-the-blank])?”

Olo_Burrows on May 26, 2012 at 5:10 AM

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