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Oh Mehdi!

Another blooper from the Senior Editor of the Staggers, Mehdi Hasan.

Mehdi Hasan is, of course, arguing against a strike on Iran’s nuclear missile programme. His thesis is that destroying weapons technology will just make Iran want it more. His piece for Comment is Free starts:

On 7 June 1981 a phalanx of Israeli F-16 fighter-bombers entered Iraqi airspace on the orders of the then Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin. Their mission, codenamed Operation Babylon, was to destroy Saddam Hussein’s nascent nuclear programme. In less than two minutes the eight F-16s dropped 16 1,000-kg bombs on the unfinished Osirak nuclear reactor, situated 10 miles south of Baghdad. It was an audacious attack: the world’s first air strike on a nuclear facility.

Oh dear Mehdi. That’s not right though:

This article was amended on 26 March 2012. It originally stated that the 1981 attack was the world’s first air strike on a nuclear facility. It was the first successful strike, but the Iranian air force had also tried (and failed) to destroy Osirak a year before. This has now been corrected

Mehdi Hasan is a Shi’ite lay preacher, who believes that Iran cannot be developing nuclear weapons because he respects Ayatollah Seyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei as a trustworthy and honest authority on matters of religion:

Ayatollah Khameinei has issued a fatwa saying the stockpiling, the production, the use of nuclear weapons us forbidden under Islam. Spot on. Islamic Republic of Iran. The fatwa of the Supreme Leader.

Not a serious journalist.