In an interview with Egyptian media published yesterday, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is making the first visit between leaders of the two nations since the Iranian revolution in 1979, declared that Iran is “already a nuclear state.” He vowed that Iran would resist those who want them to “go backward.” In addition, he spewed out a number of anti-Semitic remarks, including the claim that the “Zionists are taking over the places of wealth, money, and politics in deceiving the world.”
On the visit, Ahmadinejad offered financial help to the Egyptian government, which is struggling on the brink of economic collapse. Things have gotten so bad in Egypt that the government’s official advice to the people (according to a report in the Washington Post this week) is to “avoid overeating” and they announced they are cutting the food subsidy by 400 calories per person per day. The decline of tourism and foreign aid since the radical Muslim Brotherhood took power has taken a serious toll on the Egyptian economy.
And on Israel’s northern border, the fighting in the Syrian civil war this week has been reported to be the heaviest in months. The capital of city of Damascus, which has been heavily defended by government forces, has come under intense attack. The ongoing struggle places the fate of Syria’s chemical and biological weapons in doubt. The Israelis reportedly have struck at least two military targets in Syria and neighboring Lebanon, including what is believed to have been a chemical weapons research facility.