In response to Peter Oborne on nuclear Iran

2 May 2013

I am pleased that Peter Oborne concedes that his co-author David Morrison was ‘foolish’ and ‘clumsy’ in his statements. Perhaps Morrison was indeed attempting ‘to be as accurate as he could about what he understood to be the facts’. But that is a statement about the understanding of Mr Oborne’s co-author, not a statement about the facts.

I still cannot see how anybody who accepts that President Ahmadinejad is a Holocaust denier could have said what Mr Oborne’s co-author said last week. To recap, over at the Telegraph last week David Morrison said:

‘I have never come across a statement from Ahmadinejad saying that the Holocaust didn’t happen. He’s said other things that question the Holocaust and the numbers killed in the Holocaust, yes, but I’ve never come across an absolute denial of it.’

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The fact that Mr Oborne this week assures us that his co-author now ‘fully accepts’ and finds ‘utterly odious’ comments which last week he had ‘never come across’ is, I suppose, progress of a kind.

And that makes me even more delighted to accept Mr Oborne’s offer to debate ‘any time, any place.’ I have already accepted a third party’s invitation to arrange this. After all, if the Oborne-Morrison case can move so swiftly after just one blog, what might be achievable over an hour or two of public debate?

In the meantime, one thought. The title for Mr Oborne’s riposte is, ‘No, Iran does not possess nuclear weapons.’ In his post he says ‘not one of our critics have even tried to deal with the central, factual points of our short book: that Iran isn’t in possession of nuclear weapons and isn’t building them.’

If these are indeed the ‘central, factual points’ of the book then customers should ask for a refund. I do not know of anybody who claims that Iran is already in possession of nuclear weapons. As to whether Iran seeks to acquire nuclear weaponry, I look forward to our meeting to set things right on that matter as well.

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Show comments
  • Shoe On Head

    look forward to these two eminent arabists digesting each others tongues.

    *raise glass* Pip-pip.

  • Md.Sultan Mahmud

    What are the real powers?


  • Hugh

    Since all the countries of the world (with a few significant exceptions) are signed up to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, it would seem sensible to concentrate on implementing relevant provisions of this treaty. This would involve assisting Iran in developing nuclear power stations. For a leading oil-producer, it’s important that they should have alternative means of power production for domestic consumption to preserve their oil stocks for export. The other important provision, of course, is nuclear disarmament by existing nuclear weapons powers.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Israel bombed Syria last Thursday. Helps explain why even the slightest negative comment about Israel was deleted.

    • Adam

      Yes – I mean how crazy that they are concerned about chemical weapons being used on their citizens in light of the fact that such weapons have indeed been employed by Assad in this conflict – no doubt you would be completely relaxed at such a prospect if it were you and your family.
      Jews defend themselves nowadays from murderous dictators like Assad – live with it.

      • ProffessorPlum

        ” in light of the fact that such weapons have indeed been employed by Assad”

        Absolute rubbish. two people in two different places claiming to be victims of a Sarin attack by government forces is not proof of their use.

        Here’s some evidence of use of chemical weapons

        • David Kravitz

          When Obama visited Israel in March, Netanyahu showed him evidence of a Sarin attack in Syria but it took the USA some three weeks to react when information came from another source.

          • ProffessorPlum

            “When Obama visited Israel in March, Netanyahu showed him evidence of a Sarin attack in Syria”

            And how exactly did Prince Nut Job do that. Take his poodle on a day trip to Syria?

            Seems today the UN has stated that there is strong evidence that use of sarin is down to the so called ‘rebels’ or deathsquads in Syria:


            • David Kravitz

              You are one sad sicko who does not merit a response. And I stopped playing with people’s names when I was five.

            • Adam

              Unbelievable…rooting for Assad just because you hate those Jews in Israel so much…

        • Adam

          Still questioning the Holocaust Plum?
          Now we know the origins of your obsessive hatred of Israel.
          What a surprise.

  • Uri

    Iran has not attacked any country for the last 200 years comparing to some western countries. All these propagandas and baseless claims about Iran nuclear program is because of oil. George bush once said that america is addicted to oil. USA would do anything to get it.

  • JabbaTheCat

    “I have already accepted a third party’s invitation to arrange this[debate].”

    Can you make sure the debate audio or video is posted on Youtube?

  • andy_gill

    Oborne is a smug git with a highly inflated opinion of his own intelligence and grasp of the facts. I’m pleased to hear that Douglas will soon be tearing great lumps off this bug-eyed oily loony in their forthcoming debate. You can bet your bottom dollar Oborne will lose control, he’s a fanatic under the surface.

    • jjjj

      I’m not sure about Osborne losing control. In the debate with Con he sounded subdued. At the time I thought it was because he wanted his sidekick to face the music as much as possible. I would never underestimate an adversary.

  • ProffessorPlum

    “The fact that Mr Oborne this week assures us that his co-author now ‘fully accepts’ and finds ‘utterly odious’ comments which last week he had ‘never come across’ is, I suppose, progress of a kind.”

    Perhaps he has been threatened and made to changed to his story. Because Ahmadinejad has never said the Holocaust didn’t happen. Do you know the story of Lord Northcliffe who, because all other newspaper were just reporting the facts as given to them by Chaim Weizman decided to go to Palestine and see for himself what was happening. Being the owner of The Times asked his editor, who was a comitted zionist to print his report. The editor refused and instead had Lord Northcliffe declared insane and banned from The Times offices. Lord Northcliffe died a few months later.

    • Adam

      Plum, as someone on record lauding Holocaust denial, why would anyone listen to you seriously?

      • ProffessorPlum

        ” as someone on record lauding Holocaust denial”

        Really, whose record did i appear on?

        While you’re at it could you tell me, how the number of 6 million jewish victims was arrived at?

        • David Kravitz

          ” how the number of 6 million Jewish victims was arrived at?”

          At Yad Vashem they are creating a record for each and every victim, all supported by witnesses. They have currently transcribed over five million people, that’s me, women and children.

          As you have nothing better to do with your time, why not visit Yad Vashem. Its in new Jerusalem and look at the records yourself. They may also be online and, if not now, soon.

          The figure of six million was arrived at on the basis of two sources: first on the evidence of a former SS officer, Wilhelm Hottl, who before the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials stated that Adolf Eichmann, head of the Jewish Division of the Gestapo, had told him that 4 million Jews had died in concentration camps and 2 million had died “elsewhere”. (Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal, Nuremberg, Germany, Vol. XXI, Doc, 2738-PS, p. 85).

          The other source for this is a statement taken from the former commandant of the Auschwitz camp, Rudolf Hoess, who in a written statement declared that four million Jews had been killed at Auschwitz alone. Hoess was hanged at Auschwitz by the Soviets immediately after making this statement.

          • ProffessorPlum

            “At Yad Vashem they are creating a record for each and every victim, all supported by witnesses.”

            Living witnessess or dead ones?

            “Rudolf Hoess, who in a written statement declared that four million Jews had been killed at Auschwitz alone.”

            He must have been forced into making that statement. Besides that if you go to Auschwitz they will tell you 1.6 million jews were killed there. Considering that Jews were only a small portion of the inmates and a small portion of those killed a fair estimate on the 1.6 million number would be 6.4 millon deaths thats over 10,000 killings a day. working on your 4 million number and you are realms of pure fantasy.

            What the west knows of the killings is from the photos when allied soldiers arrived there; by that time the Russians had been in control of the camps for a couple of months and judging by the photos hadn’t stopped the killing. The Russians of course were killing anyone who wasn’t communist.

            • David Kravitz

              You are one sad sicko and not worth the effort of a response.

              • ProffessorPlum

                “You are one sad sicko and not worth the effort of a response.”

                And you are someone who makes wild claims they cannot substantiate and then when you are unable to dig yourself in any deeper, acts like a baby who has just thrown her bottle out of the pram and wants it back.

                • Adam

                  You mean like your Holocaust denial Plum?

            • Adam

              Plum, you have given the game away.
              You are a Jew hater.

              • ProffessorPlum

                “You are a Jew hater.”

                You’re getting emotional.


                This is what Wing Commander Yeo Thomas said of Buchenwald:

                ““The three chief internal administrators of the camp, called Lageraeltester, were Communists.” Under the supervision of these men, “prisoners were inoculated with typhus and other germs and their reactions, almost always ending in death, under the various vaccines, studied.” Only three of this officer’s group of thirty-seven captives survived, the others being hanged on hooks in the crematorium wall and slowly strangled to death. The three survivors “had to fear their fellow-prisoners almost as much as they had formerly feared the Germans; for the Communists, if they learned that officers had managed to cheat the gallows, would certainly denounce them.”

                • Adam

                  This is relevant to what?
                  And don’t you dare quote Yeo-Thomas.
                  Incidentally, you’re still a Holocaust denier and consequently a Jew hater.

          • Jer

            Wikipedia suggests 1.3m, which is still 1,200 people per day.
            You know these guys are murderers and fanatics, you should at least consider the possibility they are liars as well.

        • Adam

          Your own record – it speaks for itself. In fact, the remainder of your post really digs you in deeper.

    • David Kravitz

      Yet another trawl through anti-Semitic material by Plum. This time the source would appear to be Kevin Alfred Strom of Stormfront.

      You have to feel very sorry for Plum. He is clearly deranged with his racist views and either spends all day trawling through garbage to support his views or, more likely, is fed references by his “masters”.
      He is totally impervious to all the negative responses he gets (short for “thick-skinned) and must spend all his time between answering calls from his muezzin creating his venom. Obviously unemployed and unemployable. If he spent less time showing his jealousy of Jews and more time working on his own failings, he might just find some sort of success.
      Either way, it is not worth entering into any sort of dialogue with him.

      • ProffessorPlum

        Well if it that were true, which it isn’t. It doesn’t alter the fact that the zionist editor of the Times in 1922 was able to get its owner Lord Northcliffe certified insane in order to stop him publishing anything that showed zionism for what it was.

        • jjjj

          Plum, if anyone should be certified insane…

        • Stephen Rothbart

          …which was?

        • David Kravitz

          “Well if it that were true, which it isn’t”
          That’s your “expert” opinion.

        • David Kravitz

          “the zionist editor of the Times in 1922”

          The editor of The Times in 1922 was Henry Wickham Steed. From his biography in Wikipedia, I quote:

          [Steed] An anti-Semite and an Germanophobe, in an editorial published in The Times on 31 July 1914, Steed labelled efforts to stop the impending war as “a dirty German-Jewish international financial attempt to bully us into advocating neutrality”. From 22 July 1914 on, Steed in close agreement with The Times’ proprietor, Lord Northcliffe, took a very bellicose line and in editorials written on 29 July and 31 July, Steed urged that the British Empire should enter the coming war.

          In 1920, Steed endorsed the notorious anti-Semitic forgery The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion as genuine in an editorial in The Times. In the same editorial, Steed blamed the Jews for World War I, the Bolshevik regime and called Jews the greatest threat to the British Empire.

          From anti-Semite to Zionist in ten years?

          • ProffessorPlum

            “From anti-Semite to Zionist in ten years”

            I don’t see where you get the idea he was an anti-semite from.

            There were definitely those within the jewsih community who wanted war. It was predicted my Max Nordau, in 1903 after the zionist vote to accept Uganda.

            Anyway, there were many who were against zionism and

            inexplicably changed their minds.

            • David Kravitz

              “I don’t see where you get the idea he was an anti-semite from”

              Daily Mail on 28 March 1919
              Times editorial 1920 Steed blamed the Jews for World War
              But, so what? This is almost 100 years ago.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        Play the ball not the man, Dave. Now would that be a Jewish name?

        • Adam


  • John Pitcher

    The level of irrelevance of whether Peter Osborne or Douglas Murray is right about past statements by Ahmadinejad cannot be easily overstated; meanwhile the reason for Iran’s quite probable ability to quickly progress to nuclear weapons construction continues to be muddled up with the apparent obsession of the Iranian regime over the Jews in Palestine and their fixation with the destruction of Israel. They are not that stupid as to want to destroy Israel but are happy to be thought so.

    The real threat to Iran is not Israel, or the existence of Israel, it is Sunni Islam That threat goes back hundreds of years. Iranians know that if you clear the Jews from Palestine they will be back. It is a waste of time and lives and money. They further know that Saudi and the Gulf States, with America, are trying to create an arc of Sunni influence throughout MENA that encircles Israel and protects it. No one gives a damn about Palestine. It can be Arab or Jewish, or a mixture. no one anywhere really cares. Instructions in silly religious texts are of no importance except to enthuse the ob and give the fearful something simplistic to understand.

    The Palestinian Arabs have no friends and neither do the Jews of Israel; they will all be sold down the river if necessary by the real powers.

    Saudi/Qatar and the Gulf States are backing the rebel forces taking Syria in the full knowledge they are backing the political power of the Muslim Brotherhood and Sunni Islam. After Syria, Jordan will fall to the new paradigm.

    King Abdullah of Saudi apparently (See Wiki-leaks told the Americans to ‘cut off the head of the snake’. He meant the snake of Shia Iran. The American invasion of Iraq freed-up the Sunni minority there and closed off the north of the country; where the most oil is. Iraqi Sunni fighters are now with the rebel forces fighting in Syria; armed and financed by Saudi/Qatar/America.

    This is what Iran is frightened of and why it needs a nuclear weapon. It does not need weapons to destroy Israel; that will be done by the intransigence of the Israeli government and by America as the satrap becomes a liability. Iran needs nuclear weapons to defend itself against its oldest enemies: The Arabs and their version of Islam. The only weapon that will work for Iran, isolated and vulnerable, is a nuclear weapon so they desperately need one.

    Whether Iran’s politicians believe in the Holocaust or not, and whether they have ever said so, is so peripheral to reality it is amazing anyone mentions it let alone bothers to write a book about it and start an argument.

    • ProffessorPlum

      “they will all be sold down the river if necessary by the real powers.”

      What are the real powers?

    • Stephen Rothbart

      The real threat to Iran is its current leadership. Iran has been a destabilizing force in the Middle East since the fall of the Shah. For all his faults, the Shah was at least trying to bring Iran back into the 20th Century and since his fall, the Clerics who now control everything in this once proud nation are just taking it back to the Middle Ages.

      Furthermore you write your piece in the way to make it look like the Sunni Arabs are trying to take over Iran.

      But it is Iran that is trying to put its proxy armies in place with Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon and of course Iraq.

      Some years ago, Syria threatened to invade Jordan and remove the Hashemites. King Hussein turned to…Israel, who immediately started large scale military exercises in the Golan heights and Syria backed off.

      You say no one cares about the Palestinians, but this is simply not true (just ask Google!). The Arabs care very much about Palestine, just not the Arabs who they have kept in their refugee camps for 60 years. It’s the one thing they have used to excuse their own failed sates and economies.

      No Islamic state really wants Jews or for that matter Christians living in the Middle East, so no matter how intransigent or flexible Israeli leaders become, there will never be peace in this conflict.

      The other people who very much care about Palestinians are Obama, Kerry and Hagel. All three are on record saying solving this issue is the most important mission to bring peace to the region! Nothing like pouring oil on to a simmering fire. These three are also very supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood and believe them to be the only organisation to bring stability to the region.

      Even Turkey has warned them off that idea, although King Abdullah of Jordan says both Turkey and the MB are as bad as each other with their intentions to control the region entirely.

    • Shoe On Head

      this is more and more in alignment to a lot of pacific US braintrusts.

  • jjjj

    ‘If these are indeed the ‘central, factual points’ of the book then customers should ask for a refund. I do not know of anybody who claims that Iran is already in possession of nuclear weapons.’

    Exactly. They have framed their viewpoint in this debate with this banal point. What is more interesting: They say that Iran is not building one. How can they be so sure? Have they got access to intelligence? Are they being used by a disgruntled Intelligence person/cabal?

    • Daniel Maris

      Agreed. And they can only have built a book on that narrow point for a purpose.

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