As the International Atomic Energy Agency continues to compile evidence of Iran’s intent to build a nuclear weapon, the leader of that country is stepping up incitement against the intended target of that program: Israel. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad used the meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to launch a tirade against Zionism as well as the West.

The SCO is a creation of Russia and China who have attempted to use it as a counter-force to NATO. In addition to Ahmadinejad, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, and the leaders of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, India, Pakistan and Mongolia attended the meeting of the group in Astana, Kazakhstan. In his speech, Ahmadinejad blasted 60 years of Zionism as well as the United States and the West whom he blamed for most of the world’s ills. Ironically, among his litany of American sins was its use of the first atomic weapons that ended the Second World War.

While such screeds are nothing new for Ahmadinejad, his speech is yet another indication efforts to pressure Iran via mild international sanctions are not having a moderating effect on the Islamist tyranny. Iran has thumbed its nose at the West and President Obama for the last two and a half years, and the U.S. push for sanctions appear to be meeting with the same indifference in Tehran as Obama’s previous desire for “engagement” with the regime.

But despite the growing international consensus about Iran’s nuclear intent, perhaps Ahmadinejad is hoping those Western apologists for his country will ultimately prevent concerted action to stop it from obtaining nukes. The most prominent of those apologists, the New York Times’s Roger Cohen, wrote earlier this week to say  all the evidence about Iran’s nuclear program should be ignored because the Iranians are too incompetent to actually build a bomb. Of course, this is the same writer who earned infamy two years ago saying the regime was too cosmopolitan to be anti-Semitic. That’s not very flattering for the Iranians (as well as vaguely reminiscent of conspiracy theories about 9/11 that posit Arab and Muslims were not clever enough to pull off such a diabolical scheme), but since Cohen’s main goal is to diminish concern for the security of Israel, I’m sure they’ll take it.