Oops

12.12.06

Ehud Olmert found out the hard way that Prime Ministers aren’t allowed to have slips of the tongue. . . especially when the subject in question is nuclear weaponry:

Israel’s prime minister spent Tuesday trying to put the nuclear genie back into the bottle after a remark in an interview was interpreted as confirming that Israel has nuclear weapons – widely assumed to be true, but never officially admitted by Israel.

Meanwhile, ambiguity has never been the strong suit of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today told delegates at an international conference questioning the Holocaust that Israel’s days were numbered.

Ahmadinejad, who has sparked international outcry by referring to the killing of six million Jews in World War 2 as a “myth” and calling for Israel to be “wiped off the map”, launched another verbal attack on the Jewish state.

“Thanks to people’s wishes and God’s will the trend for the existence of the Zionist regime is downwards and this is what God has promised and what all nations want,” he said.

“Just as the Soviet Union was wiped out and today does not exist, so will the Zionist regime soon be wiped out,” he added.

Was Olmert’s statement a deliberate warning in response to Ahmadinejad’s blustering? Or was it an honest mistake? If the latter, then just chalk it up to Olmert’s long list of gaffes. But if the former, it seems nobody has ever bothered to explain Israel Double-Standard Time to Olmert. Either way, he’s likely going to pay the price for this one.

(Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust-denial conference, by the way? It’s amazingly sparking protests among Iranian students. This is bound to be deeply embarrassing to the Iranian dictator, and he will probably take some sort of steps to quell the dissent. Keep an eye on this one – it could be a big story.)

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