Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Majlis Leadership: The West Will Yield on the Nuclear Issue

Soheil Asefi, Rooz Online:
As the conflict in the Middle takes the direction of turning into a full fledged regional catastrophe, in an exclusive interview with Rooz Online the spokesman of Iran’s Majlis leadership Mohsen Koohkan-rizi explained to Rooz Online his views and the country’s policies on a range of issues. READ MORE

On the current war in the Middle East, Koohkan-rizi said:Those who view the current crisis at the superficial level will not understand it. Those who believe that the West, and particularly the United States of America, have long term plans and desire to implement them through one step at a time are closer to reality.”

Calling the government of Israel ‘beastly’, he said the veto right that some countries exercised was in fact the "license to brutality". The Majlis (Parliament) representative said that the current events were the materialization of the “Nile to Forat” goals of the Jewish Khakhams. [Nile and Forat are the two large rivers spanning Arab lands in Northern Africa and Middle East.[ “We do differentiate between Zionist Khakham and Jewish ones. They pass decrees to murder women and children and pronounce that if these decrees are not implemented, this would amount to disrespect to Israel and to the Zionists,” he said.

He ruled out cease fire under the current situation, calling it absolutely senseless and asserted that “resistance and alertness of the leaders” during this period had fully paid off. And by that he meant the resistance of the Lebanese Hezbollah and the Shiite clerics of Iraq. “They have negated foreign presence in Iraq and showed that to remain fearful as they had during the past 45 years amounted to suicide. Not being cautious and acting without thought too carried high risks and massive damage. Therefore, all means must be used to express views, publish opinion, and arouse different people,” he said adding that if they increased their pressures, then “they must be struck with full force.”

On whether Hezbollah was responsible for this flare up, Koohkan said, “You see, I do not accept this analysis. Those who present this argument are ignorant of the nature of the fake Zionist regime. Hezbollah has a considerable number of prisoners in occupied Palestine. They tried different international methods to achieve their goals, to no avail. From the perspective of international standards, when two countries are not in a state of peace, Hezbollah’s actions are not unrealistic. Israel has acted, and now Hezbollah has responded,” he said.

“During the recent weeks political experts and some officials from the White House and Tel Aviv had said that the Islamic Republic of Iran had pushed Hezbollah in Lebanon to open a second front against Israel in order to reduce pressure on the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip while at the same time diverting the attention of the G8 states away from Iran’s nuclear issue on to the Middle East crises,” Koohkan said, rejecting this theory “because Iran was not and is not pursing such policies and is not linked to them.” “But we have ideological affinity with Hezbollah and Hamas. Just as we do with other groups. Even if there was a plan for this, it was solely Hezbollah's judgment. There are no documents to link Iran to them,” he continued.

On Iran’s support of Hamas, he said that these were purely spiritual and for Hezbollah ideological. “At the time when exporting the revolution was the subject, some argued that Iran was after money, arms and other means for its goal. The Imam( Ayatollah Khomaini) too made a reference to this and said that our revolution had already been exported. Hezbollah accepts our way of thinking. The Hezbollah fighters who are in combat today support seyed Hassan Nasrollah while putting on a head band. This is an ideology. Anyway, this side has responded while those on the other side too believe they have responded,” he said about the link between Hezbollah, Hamas and Iran.

On Hezbollah’s use of Iranian made weapons such as missiles and pilotless aircraft he called for proof. “They think that Muslims only talk. What if Hezbollah itself built these weapons? Since they cannot believe that, they blame others. A good example of this was the war exercises that the Islamic Republic recently had in the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman. First they did not believe what they saw, then they said that others had given the weapons to Iran. They cannot believe that a Muslim too can be a better innovator than them,” Koohkan said.

On dispatching Iranian martyr volunteers known as the Esteshhadiyoon to Lebanon, and regarding some statements that there already were groups of Islamic fighters in Lebanon, Koohkan said, Martyr brigades are not linked to the state, just as they are not to the government, the Majlis (Parliament) or the judiciary,” he said.

“There are those who wish to fight the Zionists in Lebanon because of their beliefs, and there they should not be stopped,” Koohkan said. The Majlis will not engage in sending groups to Lebanon. But if you as a Muslim conclude that you must go and help or defend some people, you will go and fight,” he said adding that the regime did not tell the Esteshhadiyoon martyr brigades what to do.

The Majlis representative said that he viewed the Middle East events positive to Iran’s nuclear dossier and its righteousness. And claiming that countries in the Third World had demonstrated their supported of Iran’s nuclear position and activities at the Malaysian conference, Koohkan said it was unlikely that an international consensus would be formed against Iran. He viewed ending Iran’s one-year suspension of uranium last year to be a positive event and said, Since the time we have ended our suspension, the West would initially say something and then retreat from its position. While some believe that eventually China, Russia, the United States and Europe would reach a consensus on Iran’s nuclear issue, we do not think so,” Koohkan said.

Koohkan pointed out to the vast economic interests of both China and Russia in Iran and said that Russian membership in the WTO, which could only come about through the American approval, was merely a green light to Russia and added that energy, gas resources of the region and the future of fossil fuels in the world were the most important things for these countries. He completely ruled out US or Israeli air strikes against Iran’s strategic facilities if the nuclear talks completely stalled. He downplayed the significance of reports about US and Israeli reconnaissance over-flight in Iranian airspace “This is not a new phenomenon. These cannot be interpreted to mean preparations for military measures,” Koohkan added.

He concluded his interview by sounding optimistic that the West would eventually respect Iran’s red lines that need not be crossed.