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The New York Times Edits Khamenei

4:44 PM, Feb 5, 2012 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
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On February 3, during a rare Friday prayer lecture at Tehran University, Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that Iran would "support and help any nations, any groups fighting against the Zionist regime across the world, and we are not afraid of declaring this." Khamenei continued, “The Zionist regime is a true cancer tumor on this region that should be cut off. And it definitely will be cut off."

This threat by the most powerful man in the Iranian regime to eradicate the nation of Israel was televised and reported by many news outlets. The "cancer tumor" quotation was in the third paragraph, for example, of the Washington Post's Saturday story.

The New York Times also covered Khamenei's speech Saturday. But the paper--amazingly--chose not to quote the "cancer tumor" remark. Here's how the Times reported Khamanei's speech:

In Tehran, the speech by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, made during Friday Prayer and broadcast live to the nation, came amid deepening American concern about a possible military strike on Iran’s nuclear enrichment sites by Israel, whose leaders delivered blunt new warnings on Thursday about what they called the need to stop Iran’s nuclear program. Israel considers a nuclear-armed Iran a threat to its existence. [...]

The ayatollah also issued an unusually blunt warning that Iran would support militant groups opposing Israel, an action that some analysts said could be held up by Israel as a casus belli.

Reinforcing the concern, ABC News reported on Friday that Israeli consular officials were warning of possible attacks on Israeli government sites abroad and synagogues and Jewish schools. ABC quoted an internal Israeli document as saying, “We predict that the threat on our sites around the world will increase.”

Without being specific, Ayatollah Khamenei said that Iran “had its own tools” to respond to threats of war and would use them “if necessary,” the Mehr news agency reported.

Ayatollah Khamenei referred to the sanctions as “painful and crippling,” according to Iranian news agencies, acknowledging the effect of recent measures aimed at cutting off Iran’s Central Bank from the international financial system. But he also said the sanctions would ultimately benefit his country. “They will make us more self-reliant,” he said, according to a translation by Iran’s semiofficial Fars news agency.

And you won't learn just what Khamenei said in Sunday's New York Times either.

So, if you read the news pages of the New York Times, you would know that Khamenei "would support militant groups opposing Israel," which isn't startling news. You wouldn't know that the leader of this regime, speaking just after International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors had left Iran after an unsatisfactory visit regarding the regime's nuclear weapons program, had threatened--no, promised--to destroy the state of Israel.

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