TEHRAN (Reuters), International concerns about Iran's uranium enrichment program suddenly eased on Friday when Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared that his country is now a Jewish state.
"Yup, we all converted and are now all Jewish," Ahmadinejad asserted at a news conference here in Tehran. "Getting some of the Ayatollah's in line for this was quite a struggle, I can tell you."
The surprise move immediately caused world leaders to rethink their opposition to the formerly Islamic fundamentalist state and its nuclear activities.
Ahmadinejad went on to describe how every mosque in Iran had quietly been converted into a synagogue, and that the Koran has been replaced with the Old Testament in religious worship throughout the state. Classes are now teaching the populace the Hebrew language.
The unusual mass religious conversion came just after Russia declared its opposition to the current draft UN resolution imposing limited sanctions against Tehran.
The draft resolution had been drawn up by Britain, France and Germany but it had run into opposition from the USA which argued that it was "not tough enough" to deal with Iran's refusal to suspend uranium enrichment despite a package of incentives offered in the summer.
Iran has always stated that its nuclear program is "totally peaceful and designed to meet growing energy needs" and not to produce nuclear weapons. However, the US and Israel and some other paranoid countries have been convinced Tehran is determined to make a nuclear bomb.
But with Iran's religious conversion, everything changes.
Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, said that "now that Iran is a Jewish state, they can enrich as much uranium as they want." She said that there was now "no need" for the UN to adopt sanctions against Iran's nuclear program.
"In fact," said Rice, "We now like Iran so much that we will start giving that country billions of dollars of aid and loans annually just like we give to Israel."
Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert praised the conversion of Iran to Judaism, and promised the country "lots of help in adapting to the Jewish religion and culture."
He said that Israel was immediately dispatching several tankers filled with chicken soup and matzoh balls, as well as trucks of gefilte fish, to Iran.