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

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.