THE BLOG
01/19/2007 01:48 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Arash Norouzi Explains the "Wiped Off the Map" Controversy - What Iran's President Never Said

Robert Naiman, Just Foreign Policy, January 19, 2007

Arash Norouzi, co-founder of the Mossadegh Project (which incidentally has really cool "No Iran War" t-shirts), is no apologist for Ahmadinejad or the Iranian government, as the last paragraph of this article makes clear:

'Iran's President has written two rather philosophical letters to America. In his first letter, he pointed out that "History shows us that oppressive and cruel governments do not survive". With this statement, Ahmadinejad has also projected the outcome of his own backwards regime, which will likewise "vanish from the page of time."'

This article carefully explains several aspects of the controversy, including the original birth of the mistranslation (IRNA, the Iranian news agency, not Western media), how the mistranslation was corrected by IRNA but not Western media and was further distorted by Western media and Western politicians in the service of an agenda of confrontation, and Ahmadinejad's repeated failure to disavow the mistranslation when challenged by Western reporters.

The article leaves out a piece of the story that Juan Cole has emphasized in his blog: subsequent statements by Ahmadinejad and Khamenei that Iran is not a threat to any country, including Israel. See: Juan Cole, "Ahmadinejad: We are Not a Threat to Any Country, Including Israel," Sunday, August 27, 2006.

Of course, it could be argued that after the Holocaust denial conference, attempting to establish the truth in this matter is a fool's errand. But you never know when the truth is going to matter, so it's good to know what it is, just in case.

Arash Norouzi, "WIPED OFF THE MAP" - The Rumor of the Century, Democracy Rising, Thursday, 18 January 2007

Ask your Representative to co-sponsor the DeFazio and Jones "Iran War Powers" resolutions, re-affirming that President Bush must have Congressional authorization for any attack on Iran:

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/involved/warpowers.html