Archive for the ‘Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’ Category

Interpreting Ahmadinejad

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

An image of a banner said to have been erected outside a center of Iran's Basij militia.

As the Iranian nuclear program gains more attention and as the possibiliy of an attack from Israel on Iran becomes more likely, quotes from both sides are being thrown around. The most famous of these quotes is one from Ahmadinejad, often referenced by the Israelis. That quote is “Israel must be wiped off the map.” However, different circles of scholars have disagreed on whether or not Ahmadinejad did in fact say this. One of the reasons for the disagreement is that Farsi is often hard to translate word for word into English. The quote that is often referenced by Israelis comes from a speech that Ahmadinejad issued at the 2005 “World Without Zionism” Conference. In this speech, Ahmadinejad uses the often poorly translated phrase “must be wiped off the map;” however, many have noted that the word map is not used at all in this speech. It is also not clear whether Ahmadinejad’s quote was a threat or a prediction. In this video, Israeli Minister of Intelligence and Atomic Energy, Dan Meridor, agrees that Ahamdinejad never said that Israel must be wiped off the map. Meridor mentions other anti-Zionist and anti-Israel quotes issued by Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in this piece as well.

This article also mentions how Ahmadinejad has failed to correct those who have misquoted him because he is so adamant in his dislike of Israel that  [he does not want] “to be seen as stepping back from even threatening remarks he did not make.” This quote has been used so frequently in the news that it is now taken as common knowledge and used by many different people to indicate that Iran wants to see the end of Israel.