You know how we’re always being reminded that we have to read things in context. So here’s some context that may have been in Ahmadinejad’s mind when he referred to “torn paper” — since by all accounts he is a pious believer: at one point the Muslim prophet Muhammad wrote a series of letters to the rulers of the great nations surrounding Arabia, calling them to his new faith. To Heraclius, the Eastern Roman Emperor in Constantinople, he wrote: “I invite you to Islam, and if you become a Muslim you will be safe…” (Bukhari 1.1.6) He wrote a similar letter to Khosrau (Chosroes), ruler of the Persians. But after reading it, Khosrau contemptuously tore it to pieces. When news of this reached Muhammad, he called upon Allah to tear the Persian emperor and his followers to pieces (Bukhari 5.59.708): “Khosrau will be ruined,” Muhammad declared, “and there will be no Khosrau after him, and Caesar will surely be ruined and there will be no Caesar after him, and you will spend their treasures in Allah’s Cause” (Bukhari 4.52.267).
Of course, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, but in this case “torn paper” may not just be something worthless that the Thug-In-Chief is disregarding. It is a provocation. If the UN is “issuing” torn pieces of paper, he may be suggesting that it is behaving contemptuously toward him, and will ultimately pay for that contempt.
From Reuters, with thanks to Sr. Soph:
TEHERAN – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday dismissed any new UN sanctions resolution as “a torn piece of paper” that would not stop Teheran’s nuclear work, a local news agency reported.
“Issuing such torn pieces of paper … will not have an impact on Iranian nation’s will (to obtain nuclear technology),” the semi-official Mehr news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as telling a rally in central Iran.