Since winning election in June 2005 on a platform of bringing about a “Second Islamic Revolution,” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for Israel’s destruction and repeatedly denied the Holocaust. In October, the Iranian President called Israel a “disgraceful blot” and declared that it must be “wiped off the map.” In the wake of Hezbollah’s initiation of hostilities against Israel and Israel’s military operations against that Iranian proxy, Ahamdinejad declared, “The real cure for the conflict is elimination of the Zionist regime.” In addition, he has repeatedly described the Holocaust as a “myth.” The world can ill afford to stand aside while Ahmadinejad foams at the mouth so to speak. Ahmadinejad actually means what he says. If not checked, he may well gain the ability to pursue his radical vision.
Ahmadinejad is a charismatic leader. Charismatic leaders possess an often extraordinary ability to appeal to the masses in building support for their vision. It is precisely that attribute that allowed the then relatively little-known Mayor of Tehran to make a meteoric ascent to the Presidency. Such leaders can accomplish a lot during their tenure or they can bring about great harm. Adolf Hitler was one who inflicted catastrophic harm. Given his ideology and ambitions, the Iranian leader is a charismatic leader who could prove most dangerous.