Iran: Disregard that whole “fatwa-against-nukes” thing, mm-kay?

posted at 5:21 pm on June 11, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Old and busted, Iranian style: Islam forbids us to have nuclear weapons, you paranoid leaders of the West!  New hotness: Iran has to have nuclear weapons to thwart the plots against Islam from the, er, paranoid leaders of Israel and the US:

Official Iranian media outlets published a commentary Sunday titled “The necessity for the Islamic world to have the atomic bomb,” laying the groundwork for Iran’s refusal to accept limits on its illicit nuclear program.

The essay’s author, Alireza Forghani, is the former governor of southern Iran’s Kish Province and an analyst and a strategy specialist in the camp of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

“The fatwa from Imam Khomeini [the founder of Iran's Islamic revolution] said ‘all Islamic countries have Islamic blood,’” Forghani wrote. “Therefore the Islamic world should rise up and shout that a nuclear bomb is our right, and disrupt the dreams of America and Israel.”

“Having a nuclear bomb is our right,” he argued. “Israel would have been destroyed completely 30 years ago” but has survived because it has nuclear weapons.

Well, no one took the Iranian state media seriously when they reported the anti-nuke fatwa in April anyway, or at least almost no one.  The New York Times’ James Risen offered this semi-credulous look at the statement two months ago, bolstered by former State Department officials on and off the record:

Like much of the information about Iran’s secretive and enigmatic government, Ayatollah Khamenei’s remarks are sometimes contradictory, and always subject to widely different interpretations. But as negotiations over the country’s nuclear program begin on Saturday in Istanbul, efforts to divine where Ayatollah Khamenei really stands on the nuclear issue have taken on critical importance.

Underscoring Ayatollah Khamenei’s direct involvement in the issue, Iran’s chief negotiator, Saeed Jalili, arrived in Turkey with a new title: “personal representative of the supreme leader.”

“Dismissing what he says out of hand is not useful for us,” said Greg Thielmann, a former State Department analyst. “I think the U.S. can exploit what he says.” …

Inside the government, each new reported remark by Ayatollah Khamenei is scrutinized for nuanced changes in tone and emphasis. If anything, one senior former intelligence official said, analysts should be studying the remarks even more carefully, to remain open to possible alternative assessments of Iran’s behavior. “I think, looking back, maybe we should have taken his statements more into account, particularly the religious statements,” the former official said.

Dennis B. Ross, who stepped down last fall after coordinating Iran policy for the White House, said that ultimately Ayatollah Khamenei’s comments revealed a leader who was stubborn and nationalistic, yet who still may be hedging his bets about whether to acquire a nuclear bomb.

Yeah, that worked out well, didn’t it?  Strictly from a theological point of view, this public flip-flop certainly suggests that fatwas by ayatollahs are unreliable at best, and self-serving and deceptive more than occasionally.  Otherwise, in a strict theocratic dictatorship like Iran, a public official wouldn’t dream of contradicting the Supreme Leader publicly in this fashion on a matter of religious doctrine.  Such a move would be a combination of heresy and treason … but only if the ayatollah was serious about it in the first place.  That’s obviously not the case.

The Daily Caller’s Reza Khalili has more analysis of the new statement, including Iranian thoughts on mutually-assured destruction — and its limitations.  Khameini himself appeared to hint at war in the near future against you-know-who, telling Iranians that “We are on a hillside,” and that “When the Iranian nation reaches the peak, all enmities [and] evils will end.”  That sounds like mutually-assured destruction as a goal rather than as a survival strategy, which is the reason why the West has been so concerned about the Iranian nuclear-weapons program.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Well this makes me feel better..
/

OmahaConservative on June 11, 2012 at 5:24 PM

Official Iranian media outlets published a commentary Sunday titled “The necessity for the Islamic world to have the atomic bomb,” laying the groundwork for Iran’s refusal to accept limits on its illicit nuclear program.

lol……..no way!

/

Tim_CA on June 11, 2012 at 5:27 PM

We are a religion of peace, but first…

I KEEEL YOU (with the nukes)!!!

Rixon on June 11, 2012 at 5:33 PM

Pakistan has nukes so Iran’s point in moot.

SansJeux on June 11, 2012 at 5:36 PM

…well, they disregard all our stern letters!

KOOLAID2 on June 11, 2012 at 5:37 PM

I think that Israel has allowed the farce of sanctions and group of thisorthat summits to go on long enough.

MJBrutus on June 11, 2012 at 5:37 PM

“It is against all of Islam’s most sincere beliefs to have or use nuclear weapons….except when it’s not”

Obamaish “flexibility”

HotAirian on June 11, 2012 at 5:39 PM

Paging Ron Paul and the Paulbots….. where are you? Yeah, I know, it’s our fault.

oldroy on June 11, 2012 at 5:42 PM

I always took the statements of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that it was not allowed to have a “stockpile” of nuclear weapons to mean that they should use them as they manage to put them together, rather than waiting with a stockpile.

General Sline (Spies Like Us): When we commissioned the Schmectel Corporation to research this precise event sequence scenario, it was determined that the continual stockpiling and development of our nuclear arsenal was becoming self-defeating. A weapon unused is a useless weapon.

J_Crater on June 11, 2012 at 5:47 PM

That sounds like mutually-assured destruction as a goal rather than as a survival strategy, which is the reason why the West has been so concerned about the Iranian nuclear-weapons program.

So, how many virgins will they get for this? Or, if they bring about complete nuclear destruction, do they get 72 Flukes?

Fallon on June 11, 2012 at 5:48 PM

Nukes for me, not for thee.

–Ayahatolla Itoldya.

Steve Z on June 11, 2012 at 5:49 PM

Who among us are surprised that the Iranians are mad about MAD? They want it bad and if they take out the world with it, that’s just too bad, but they’ll be glad.

My condolences to Larry the Cucumber for messing up his song.

AH_C on June 11, 2012 at 5:52 PM

This too shall come to pass.

Bmore on June 11, 2012 at 6:06 PM

The smell of O-Weakness.

Key West Reader on June 11, 2012 at 6:11 PM

So, how many virgins will they get for this? Or, if they bring about complete nuclear destruction, do they get 72 Flukes?

Fallon on June 11, 2012 at 5:48 PM

Here they are

Caution: Not safe for eyes.

Key West Reader on June 11, 2012 at 6:12 PM

Taqqiya, taqqiya, taqqiya.

We can’t believe anything they say. No treaty, no truce, no contract, no armistice, nothing, nada. It’s their nature.

slickwillie2001 on June 11, 2012 at 6:19 PM

…well, they disregard all our stern letters!

KOOLAID2 on June 11, 2012 at 5:37 PM

Wait until the POTUS extends the hand of friendship.

antisocial on June 11, 2012 at 6:20 PM

Anybody know how to say: “We’ll give you the 72 virgins if you’ll give us a 90 day notice” in Persian?

oldroy on June 11, 2012 at 6:35 PM

“Pssst!…. think they bought it, Achmed?”

viking01 on June 11, 2012 at 6:37 PM

But..but…but didn’t the Iranians say that they only wanted nuclear power for electricity?

GarandFan on June 11, 2012 at 6:37 PM

Iran only really needs two bombs, one for Tel Aviv and one for us.

Then the 12th imam will emerge from the well, and lead the muslem world to victory.

Rebar on June 11, 2012 at 6:42 PM

“Having a nuclear bomb is our right,” he argued. “Israel would have been destroyed completely 30 years ago” but has survived because it has nuclear weapons.

And they won the six day war how, again?

TexasDan on June 11, 2012 at 6:43 PM


Hudna!

profitsbeard on June 11, 2012 at 7:14 PM

It’s like numbers–if you torture the Koran enough, it can say anything.

ConservativeLA on June 11, 2012 at 7:48 PM

Rebar on June 11, 2012 at 6:42 PM

Thanks for posting that. I’d been sleeping way too well, lately.

MadisonConservative on June 11, 2012 at 7:50 PM

In my 25 years of Law Enforcement work I could not even come close to counting on my fingers and toes the number of people whom I’ve watched and heard raise their right hand and swear an oath to tell the truth — the whole truth — and nothing but the truth so help them God — before getting on the witness stand and subsequently lying like a mongrel dog.

Fatwa’s mean absolutely nothing when they come from mud hut dwelling blood-thirsty savages perpetually stuck living in the 14th Century.

FlatFoot on June 11, 2012 at 8:28 PM

To quote someone on this forum, if Iranians want a nuclear bomb we or Israel will be happy to deliver a few.

Archivarix on June 11, 2012 at 8:40 PM

“I think, looking back, maybe we should have taken his statements more into account, particularly the religious statements,” the former official said.”

He said, post-detonation?

To quote someone on this forum, if Iranians want a nuclear bomb we or Israel will be happy to deliver a few.

Archivarix on June 11, 2012 at 8:40 PM

Detonated at the point of delivery. Just to be sure they are in working order, of course.

IrishEyes on June 11, 2012 at 10:10 PM

Allahu Boombar !

Annar on June 12, 2012 at 7:05 AM

A fundamental religious theocracy with nukes… yeah, I’m SURE they’ll never use them….

*heads for the fallout shelter*

Turtle317 on June 12, 2012 at 3:24 PM