The inflammatory "wiped off the map" quote was first disseminated not by Iran's enemies, but by Iran itself. The Islamic Republic News Agency, Iran's official propaganda arm, used this phrasing in the English version of some of their news releases covering the World Without Zionism conference. (Arash Norouzi, "'Wiped off the Map' -- The Rumor of the Century," The Mossadegh Project)Sometimes, however, errors in translation are more than entertaining. Take the headline of this dispatch from the Islamic Republic News Agency: "Ayat. Jannati: Enemies Disparate over Iran's N-program" (6 June 2008). The ayatollah, of course, said the enemies are "desperate" (ناامیدیی) (as is correctly rendered in the text of the dispatch itself) -- not "disparate" (which means "markedly distinct") -- in a propaganda attempt to raise the morale of Iranians. But, in this case, the error in the headline comes closer to reality than the most faithful translation of Ayatollah Jannati's own words: though enemies of Iran are far from desperate, they do have disparate interests and different positions, so the Iranians need to drive a wedge among them and divide and conquer them.
The Americans who laugh at Iran and other foreign nations for their occasional production of sometimes hilarious, sometimes dangerous errors in English ought to pause and reflect: but for a great quantity of spelling-bee prodigies that India exports to the United States, you, too, may find yourself in the same predicament. Confusing "desperate" and "disparate" is a common error among native speakers of English in the USA, perhaps especially under this education president who once asked: "Is our children learning?"