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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Mottaki didn't mean Israel

Over the weekend, the media here made a big deal out of a speech at the World Economic Forum by Iranian foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki, in which Mottaki purportedly said that Israel could not be wiped off the map:
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said yesterday that no country could be wiped off the map, contradicting a previous statement by Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calling for Israel to be wiped out. Mottaki, who attended the World Economic Forum in Jordan, was asked about Ahmadinejad's remarks. He also said, however, that Iran does not recognize the legitimacy of Israel's survival and that "without justice," no peace plan would end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
The problem is that Mottaki is now saying that he's been misunderstood:
He told IRNA, "I said to the meeting every pupil knows that a nation like Palestinians cannot be eliminated from the map." Some western news agencies quoted Mottaki on Saturday saying that every pupil knows it is impossible to eliminate any country from the map.

He added, "Although Shah had good relations with South African apartheid regime and the Zionist regime, after the Islamic revolution victory, the ties were severed."
"After the collapse of the apartheid regime in South Africa, now we have very good ties with that country," Mottaki said.

He stressed, "We cast a negative vote on the Zionist regime credential in the UN, which means we do not recognize the regime."
Why would anyone think the Iranians felt otherwise?


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