So where did the phrase “wiped of the map” originate? According to Norouzi and others, the phrase actually originated from Iran’s own Islamic Republic News Agency. The agency sent out a press release and the story was picked up by international media such as The New York Times, Al-Jazeera and the BBC. In its article, IRNA used the word “map” as the English interpretation for “safheh-ye ruzgar.” Not only was the translation inaccurate, Norouzi says the IRNA was inconstant. It also translated the phrase as “earth” in other articles.
To make things even more complicated, Ahmadinejad actually misquoted Khomeini, according to a New York Time’s article. Khomeini’s original words were actually “sahneh roozgar” meaning “stage of time” not Ahmadinejad’s “safheh-ye ruzgar” meaning “page of time.”
According to The Times:
“The phrase was widely interpreted as ‘map,’ and for years, no one objected. In October, when Mr. Ahmadinejad quoted Khomeini, he actually misquoted him, saying not ‘sahneh roozgar’ but ‘safheh roozgar,’ meaning pages of time or history. No one noticed the change, and news agencies used the word ‘map’ again.”
While there is debate on the most accurate English interpretation of Ahmadinejad’s phrase, “safheh roozgar,” it is clear Iran’s president was speaking of regime change, not annihilating a nation. Despite this fact, 411 members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of H. Con. Res. 21, a bill “Calling on the United Nations Security Council to charge Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with violating the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and United Nations Charter because of his calls for the destruction of the State of Israel.”
Only two House member, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), voted against the legislation. Kucinich wanted alternative translations of Ahmadinejad’s words included in the bill — translations describing a regime change, not “wiping Israel off the map.”
Paul believed the legislation to be a precursor to yet another war. In his speech before the U.S. House of Representatives, May 22, 2007, he said:
“Having already initiated a disastrous war against Iraq citing UN resolutions as justification, this resolution is like déjà vu. Have we forgotten 2003 already? Do we really want to go to war again for UN resolutions? That is where this resolution, and the many others we have passed over the last several years on Iran, is leading us. I hope my colleagues understand that a vote for this bill is a vote to move us closer to war with Iran.”
President Ahmadinejad has spoken much about the “regime” of Zionism. He has never spoken of “wiping Israel of the map,” “driving it into the sea,” “killing every Jewish person” or “destroying a nation.” Iran itself has denied such claims. Such phrases are merely war propaganda being spread by the mainstream media to prep Americans for yet another war.
‘Wiped off the Map’ — The Rumor of the Century by Arash Norouzi
‘We don’t Want Your Stinking War!’ by Professor Juan Cole