Iranian president accuses U.S. of “deception” for failing to censor anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims,” calls film an Israeli plot to foment sectarian conflict among Muslims • Iranian defense minister threatens to “obliterate” Israel.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad defiantly lashed out at the West and Israel on Friday over an American-produced anti-Islam film that has recently caused a major stir in the Arab world, as well as the publication of cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad in a French satirical weekly.
Ahmadinejad made his remarks during an extravagant parade marking the anniversary of the start of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war.
In a speech broadcast on national Iranian television, Ahmadinejad said that Iran was using “the same spirit and belief in itself” shown in that war to “stand and defend its rights” today against pressure from world powers, French news agency AFP reported.
Remarking on the film “Innocence of Muslims,” in which the Prophet Muhammad is depicted as a womanizer, religious fraud and child molester, which has sparked a wave of deadly violence across the Arab world, the Iranian president accused the U.S. of “deception” over claims they could not censor it.
“They stand against a question about a historical incident … they threaten and put pressure on nations for posing the question while at the same time in regards to the obscenest insults to the human sanctities and prophets … they shout adherence to freedom (of expression),” he said.
Ahmadinejad also hinted to his well-known opinion that the Holocaust never happened in efforts to lambast the West for what he described as selective censorship, AFP reported.
He went a step further, calling the film an Israeli plot to “divide [Muslims] and spark sectarian conflict.”
On Thursday, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier-General Ahmad Vahidi downplayed the West’s attempts to isolate Iran through sanctions and pressure, stressing that it would never be able to inflict any harm to the Iranian nation, semi-official Fars news agency reported.
He also said that Iran has enhanced its defensive military capabilities to an extent that can “obliterate the Israeli regime,” Press TV reported.