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What Mofaz REALLY Said

With Iran threatening to retaliate against Israel if the latter strikes its nuclear facilities, the Voice of Israel Farsi (Persian) Section has issued a statement in which it claims that Israeli Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz was misquoted by media outlets.

Here is an example of how he was quoted in the Israeli media:

An operation to destroy Iran’s nuclear capabilities if necessary is under consideration, according to Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz. Speaking in Persian last week on Israel Radio, Mofaz said that if the need arises to destroy Iran’s nuclear capability, “the necessary steps will be taken so that Iranian citizens will not be harmed.”

The implication here is that Israel will unilaterally decide if the need has arised.

The Iranian press then reported Mofaz’s statements as follows:

The Tel Aviv daily Haaretz Sunday quoted Israeli Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz as warning that the Jewish state was considering striking the nuclear facilities of Iran, now regarded as its archfoe, despite an agreement earlier this month to submit them to snap UN inspection.

The wording here is more ominous, with Mofaz now apparently trying to intimidate and threaten Iran.

Now here is what was apparently said:

Question of listener (in Farsi): ‘Israel’s nuclear strategy is based on the premise that if Israel is subject to an Iranian nuclear attack, Israel will respond with a nuclear attack. But the problem is that the leaders of the Islamic regime in Iran have repeatedly declared that they attribute no importance whatsoever to the lives of Iranian citizens. Isn’t Israel’s strategy on this issue mistaken? What does the Minister think about this issue?”

Answer of Minister Shaul Mofaz (in Hebrew): ‘Currently, the United States, together with the [UN] Security Council is leading the additional protocol process vis-a-vis intrusive inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities and I believe that, at the present time, this is the correct thing to do.’ The Minister continued: ‘If – Heaven forbid – in the future, Iran obtains nuclear weapons and threatens to use them against the State of Israel, the State of Israel will know how to defend its citizens without harming Iranian citizens.’ We have the full transcript and will put it at the disposal of all who so wish. Minister Mofaz’s remarks were made in Hebrew and may be heard exactly as they were broadcast. The Minister’s remarks contained no statement that could be interpreted as indicating aggressive intentions toward Iran on the nuclear – or any other – issue, such as Iran’s increasing support for Palestinian terrorism.

This game of “chinese whispers” is a potentially dangerous one. It also goes to show you that the media have the power to not only inform people about world conflicts but also cause them.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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