A recent article in the New York Times made me think back to this Liberal Conspiracy thread. I had mentioned that the actions and words of Iran’s leaders almost suggested that they wanted to be attacked, possibly for reasons connected to Islamic End Times theology. Another commenter found this a perverse perspective, because even Iran wasn’t that bonkers, and argued, not unreasonably, that such ideas might be exaggerated by those anxious for war. But recent statements by Iran’s Deputy Prime Minister seem so extraordinarily, so bizarrely, inflammatory, as to suggest some kind of death wish.
Mr. Rahimi, second in line to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said the Talmud teaches to “destroy everyone who opposes the Jews.” The “Zionists” are in firm control of the illegal drug trade, Mr. Rahimi said, asking foreign dignitaries to research his claims. “Zionists” is Iran’s ideological term for Jews who support the state of Israel. “The Islamic Republic of Iran will pay for anybody who can research and find one single Zionist who is an addict,” Mr. Rahmini said. “They do not exist. This is the proof of their involvement in drugs trade.” … Mr. Rahimi, who spoke after Mr. De Leo, told stories of gynecologists’ killing black babies on the orders of the Zionists and claimed that the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 was started by Jews.
A Western diplomat who was present certainly had the strong impression that Iran was deliberately spoiling for a fight:
“We’ve heard speeches like this before but this was so much worse than the usual rhetoric. This wasn’t about drugs. It seems the Iranians want to create an issue and are deliberately looking to stir things up,” the diplomat told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
Although I am sure some will point to Rahimi’s token distinction between ‘good’ Jews and Zionist ones, as though that cleared everything up.