Ahmadinejad’s unbridled attack on Israel causes foreboding. Ashkenazi sees "tough ordeal" possible soon
February 20, 2008, 8:29 PM (GMT+02:00)
Threatens Israel as "dirty microbe" and "savage animal"
DEBKAfile’s military sources report that the increasingly belligerent statements issuing from top Iranian leaders since the death of Imad Mughniyeh in Damascus earlier this month are seen as betokening serious intent. Israel's chief of staff Lt. Gen. Gaby Ashkenazi told graduating officers Wednesday, Feb. 20, that he could not rule out a possible "tough ordeal" in the near future. Israel must aim for quick victory.
President Ahmadinejad said earlier: “World powers have created a black and dirty microbe named the Zionist regime and unleashed it like a savage animal on the nations of the region.” He was addressing a rally in the southern city of Bandar Abbas, site of the Revolutionary Guards’ command center and main bases. His speech was broadcast in full by state television.
Also Wednesday, an exiled Iranian opposition leader Mohammad Mohaddessin claimed Tehran had accelerated its nuclear weapons program, including the production of nuclear warheads.
DEBKAfile: Sunday, Gen. Hassan Firouz-Abadi, commander-in-chief of all Iran’s armed forces, said at a ceremony in memory of Imad Mughniyeh: “Many millions across the world will soon receive the joyous news of the Zionist entity’s destruction.”’ He did not explain how Iran intended to perform this objective, but alluded indirectly to nuclear or radioactive measures.
The next day, Revolutionary Guards chief Mohammad Ali Jaafari referred to Israel, which denied involvement in the murder, as a “cancerous microbe.”
DEBKAfile’s sources report that in Washington and Jerusalem, these unbridled speeches are taken as an orchestrated campaign to raise Middle East temperatures up to the climax of an Iranian attack on Israel.
It is noted that Ahmadinejad’s speech was delivered on the last day of the Islamic month of Haram, during which Muslims are prohibited from embarking on attacks. The month of Safar when it is permitted to strike enemies of Islam begins Thursday, Feb. 21.
The president went on to accuse world powers of arming Israel with billions of dollars of weapons to create “a scarecrow" to frighten and dominate other nationals in the region”.
With regard to the death of Mughniyeh, Iran’s senior international terror tactician, Ahmedinejad said: "They assassinate pure and pious people [sic] and then they celebrate it, like what happened to the son of Lebanon who had stood against the savage onslaught of the Zionists and broke the Zionists' horns."
Mohaddessin, of the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran, claimed that, for the first time, Tehran had established a command and control center to work on a nuclear bomb and that southeast of the capital it was also setting up a center to produce warheads.
He called the US NIE report “not accurate" and reported that Iran had closed down one center only to open another later with the same purpose.