I am one who believes that we need to do all we can to move expeditiously towards a two-state settlement between Israel and the Palestinian leadership.
But I have to say that statements like this from the President of Iran really muck up efforts of both sides to be responsible in trying to generate stability and fairness in an agreement, maintain security, and to work towards a very different environment in the Middle East.
This kind of statement deserves attention and condemnation — but at the same time — we need to find out quickly whether Mahmud Ahmadinejad is someone we can eventually work with though we may dislike him — or whether this guy is completely irreconcilable.
Here’s an excerpt:
Iran’s President Mahmud Ahmadinejad yesterday cited comments by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic revolution, when he declared, “As the imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map.”
Ahmadinejad told an audience of 3,000 students that there was “no doubt the new wave [of attacks] in Palestine will soon wipe off this disgraceful blot from the face of the Islamic world.”
The remarks were immediately condemned by a number of countries including Israel, which said that Iran should be expelled from the United Nations.
I’m not supportive of any effort to expel Iran from the United Nations — but clearly some brave diplomacy has to occur here. It won’t come from the U.S. — but I suspect China has incentives to begin getting involved in Iran’s reckless diplomacy.
— Steve Clemons