Friday, October 28, 2005
On Friday the Iranian Embassy in Moscow tried to soften the impact of Ahmadinejad's comment.
"Mr. Ahmadinejad did not have any intention to speak in sharp terms and engage in a conflict," the embassy said in a statement following the international criticism.
It added that Ahmadinejad "underlined the key position of Iran, based on the necessity to hold free elections on the occupied territories."
The embassy statement came after Russia, a key Iranian ally, joined criticism of Ahmadinejad's statement and summoned the Iranian ambassador to ask for an explanation.
Ahmadinejad joined thousands of Iranians in one of several rallies in Tehran. State-run television showed Ahmadinejad surrounded by demonstrators, many holding banners with anti-Israeli and pro-Palestinian slogans. "Death to Israel, death to America," read many of the placards.
Rallies also took place in other cities such as Mashad in Iran's east.
The state-organized demonstrations are part of the annual al-Quds Day — or Jerusalem Day — protests, which were first held in 1979 after Shiite Muslim clerics took power in Iran. Hundreds of thousands of Iranians have attended previous rallies.
Words have meanings, and Iran is proposing war against Israel. Coming as this does from a head of state, Israel would be entirely within its rights under law and morality to attack Iran.
For more perspective, do not miss Cox & Forkum.