Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is once again launching vicious verbal attacks on Israel. In a recent televised speech, he called Israel a “filthy germ” and “a savage beast.”
Mr. Ahmadinejad has engaged in this kind of viciousness many times since he became Iran's president in 2005. He has called for Israel to be wiped off the map. He has also denied the Holocaust, the systematic murder of six-million European Jews by Germany’s Nazi regime during the Second World War.
Nicholas Burns is U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. He says, “It is extraordinary. . .in the year 2008 that the president of an important country in the Middle East, President Ahmadinejad, would resort to such irresponsible and vicious public statements about another country”:
“We have one-hundred and ninety-two states in the United Nations system, and there is only one country that consistently says that the security of Israel should be undermined, that Israel has no right to exist, that there should be warfare on Israel – and that’s Iran.”
Mr. Burns says he does not know how many Iranians recognize the real effect of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s comments:
"He has denied the basis of the Holocaust, which every reasonable and sane person in the world understands was a reality, a dark horrible reality in the Second World War. He consistently questions the right of Israel to exist –- he is. . .the only world leader that does this.”
U.S. Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns says Iran’s President Ahmadinejad is besmirching the reputation of the Iranian people. “It is important,” said Mr. Burns, “that the Iranian people understand what he is doing to the name of their country.”