In the run up to World War II there was a cottage industry of people who simply would not believe in the evil intentions of the Nazis regardless of the plain as day facts of the matter, including the very words of the Nazis themselves which were discounted as being unimportant. "Oh sure," the America First crowd intoned, "the Nazis say they want to annihilate the Jews, but they don't really mean it."
Of course, the Nazis did mean it.
Flash forward to a short piece penned by historian Niall Ferguson: Israel and Iran on the Eve of Destruction in a New Six-Day War
It probably felt a bit like this in the months before the Six-Day War of 1967, when Israel launched its hugely successful preemptive strike against Egypt and its allies. Forty-five years later, the little country that is the most easterly outpost of Western civilization has Iran in its sights.
There are five reasons (I am told) why Israel should not attack Iran....
5. A nuclear-armed Iran is nothing to worry about. States actually become more risk-averse once they acquire nuclear weapons.
The responsible nuclear Iran. Wait. We’re supposed to believe that a revolutionary Shiite theocracy is overnight going to become a sober, calculating disciple of the realist school of diplomacy ... because it has finally acquired weapons of mass destruction? Presumably this would be in the same way that, if German scientists had developed an atomic bomb as quickly as the Manhattan Project, the Second World War would have ended with a negotiated settlement brokered by the League of Nations.
I'm not sold on all of the points Ferguson makes in his piece, but on this I am absolutely convinced. You have to take the stated goals of the Iranian regime seriously. Ayatollah: Kill all Jews, annihilate Israel
The Iranian government, through a website proxy, has laid out the legal and religious justification for the destruction of Israel and the slaughter of its people.
The doctrine includes wiping out Israeli assets and Jewish people worldwide.
Calling Israel a danger to Islam, the conservative website Alef, with ties to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said the opportunity must not be lost to remove “this corrupting material. It is a “‘jurisprudential justification” to kill all the Jews and annihilate Israel, and in that, the Islamic government of Iran must take the helm.”
The article, written by Alireza Forghani, an analyst and a strategy specialist in Khamenei’s camp, now is being run on most state-owned sites, including the Revolutionary Guards’ Fars News Agency, showing that the regime endorses this doctrine...
Forghani details the Islamic duty of jihad as laid out in the Quran for the sake of Allah and states that “primary jihad,” according to some Shiite jurists, can only occur when the Hidden Imam, the Shiites’ 12th Imam Mahdi, returns. Shiites believe Mahdi’’s return will usher in Armageddon.
In the absence of the hidden Imam, Forghani says, “defensive jihad” could certainly take place when Islam is threatened, and Muslims must defend Islam and kill their enemies. To justify such action, Alef quotes the Shiites’ first imam, Ali, who stated “Waging war against the enemies with whom war is inevitable and there is a strong possibility that in near future they will attack Muslims is a must and the duty of Muslims.” In this regard, Ayatollah Khamenei has issued a fatwa in which he has even authorized carrying out primary jihad in the age of the absence of the Hidden imam under the authorization of Vali Faghih.
These are the people many in this country want to have atomic weapons - or at least do not wish to stop them acquiring them. To wit (though it is a crime against the English language to use the word in connection with the moronic site linked here):
What is the evidence, exactly, that Iran’s political elites are irrational or indifferent to the survival of the regime? Apart from the not-very-thinly-veiled racist implications (scary Muslims! Probably suicide bombers!), there’s nothing here.
This denial of the theocratic impulses to suicide attacks has to be denialism on the scale of those that deny the Holocaust happened. No one could get this accidentally wrong. There is no room for intellectual integrity in the making of such a claim. None. So ignorance cannot be an excuse.
As for the absolute faith this fool places in the idea that the religious leadership in Iran does not believe in their own millennial faith... well the word "blithering" comes to mind.
I hate to break it to people, but the German leadership class in 1938 absolutely believed in the idea of a German "master race"; the Russian leadersip class in 1920 absolutely believed in the idea of a "vanguard party leading the oppressed classes"; and the leadership elite of theocratic Iran absolutely believe "Armageddon" requires the destruction of Israel. The first two example led to the deliberate killing of over ten million human beings.
And that's not even counting the war dead.
In the face of extremist ideology you cannot assume they don't mean what they say. Well, you can, but it marks you as a scumbag of the fist order.