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memri
August 16, 2006 No.
1250

‘We Have Reentered the Era of Victory Through Resistance’: Iranian and Syrian Reactions to the Crisis – August 13-14

The following are excerpts from the Syrian press and reactions by Iranian leaders to the crisis in the Middle East and to Security Council Resolution 1701:

Syrian Reactions

*Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad: "Syria is Prepared for War"; "This is a New Stage in the History of the Nation"; "The Golan Will Be Liberated by Syrian Hands"

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad told the Egyptian opposition weekly Al-Usbu' in an interview that the Golan Heights would be liberated by Syrian hands, and warned that Israel will pay a heavy price if it enters into war with Syria:

"Syria has been prepared and ready since the first day of the war, especially since it understands the Israeli way of thinking. In addition, it has followed [Israeli] affairs consistently and with great attention since the rise to power of the previous [Israeli] Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. [Sharon's] having been elected by such a large majority meant that the Israeli people do not want peace, and it also meant that the option of resistance was the basis for dealing with the belligerent aspirations of Sharon and his government

"We and the resistance [i.e. Hizbullah] read clearly [this state of affairs, and knew] that the day of confrontation was definitely approaching. The current war is five years old, and there were widespread preparations for this day.

"The disagreement between us and others was how problematic the resistance would be. Some thought that there was no hope for the resistance to make a firm stand against satellites capable of detecting and following everything and thus of dealing a crushing blow to the resistance. But the course of the battles proved exactly the opposite." Al-Assad added that "the military battle was decided in favor of the resistance, and we need to win the political battle [as well]… To this day no one in American intelligence or Israeli intelligence knows what the true capabilities of the resistance [i.e. Hizbullah] are…"

Turning to the changes that occurred in the Arab world during the war, Al-Assad said: "Some believed that there is no alternative to the peace that they are trying to impose on the [Arab] nation, but the firm stance of the resistance and the change that is occurring in the Arab street - where millions of youth are waving the banner of Hizbullah and the resistance, have proven that there is a new stage in the history of this nation…" Al-Assad added that "the role of the Arab intellectual is not to weep or to cry over the ruins, but rather his role is to present people with the culture and the ideology of the resistance…"

Further on in the interview, Al-Assad emphasized once again the preparations Syria has made to deal with any war that may come, and said that he is "convinced that steps [towards] peace have fallen off, and that the Golan [Heights] will be liberated by Syrian hands." In reply to the question of what the expected results would be if Israel were to enter into a war against Syria, Al-Assad said: "If Israel acts with adventurism and enters into a war with Syria, this will be the beginning of a heavy price that it will pay." [1]

*Editor of Government Syrian Daily: "Hizbullah has Won; This Victory is the Crowning Glory... of the Resistance"

Following U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701, an editorial in the Syrian government daily Al-Thawra announced that Hizbullah's way had triumphed: "Intensive efforts were made in the U.N. and in capitals around the world to usurp [Hizbullah's] victory. But nobody can steal the fruits of this victory which is the crowning glory of the way of the resistance [i.e. of Hizbullah].

"The legendary acts of bravery [performed] by the Lebanese resistance amazed everyone, and forced the Americans to make huge diplomatic efforts aimed at preventing these victories from being translated into a new political reality. These efforts, it turns out, focused on placing obstacles that would prevent [Hizbullah's] military victory from being crowned as a political victory that would be imposed on the region. This victory has buried the New Middle East [plan]...

"The resistance has won - its way, its conduct and its approach [have won]. This victory ensures the dissemination of the culture [of resistance], which succeeded in Lebanon just as it succeeded in Palestine and Iraq, and is bound to become the [most] shining example for all [those on] the paths towards restoration of the Arab rights. This is a Lebanese and Arab victory which marks the beginning of a new [era] in handling the major Arab problems, and at the same time, it is a distinct Israeli downfall which has irreversibly [refuted] the cliché about [Israel's] invincible army.

"The outcome [of the war] demonstrates that Syria's approach of supporting the resistance in Palestine and Lebanon bears excellent fruits, and there is no choice [but to acknowledge] that this approach, which has won thanks to Hizbullah's victory, is further evidence for the validity of the Syrian positions. Now is the time to start talking about the implementation of all U.N. resolutions regarding Israel and [its] withdrawal from the occupied territories… " [2]

*Grand Mufti of Syria: "Resistance Against Occupation and Aggression is an Islamic Duty and One of the Noblest Kinds of Jihad"

The Syrian government daily Teshreen printed the following statements by Grand Mufti of Syria Ahmad Badr Al-Din: "Syria chose the path of resistance, sacrifice, martyrdom, confrontation, resolute stand and nobility, out of its belief - which is shared by both the government and the people [in Syria] - that this is the true way and the [only] way towards peace, [since] peace without strength will be nothing but surrender, humiliation, compliance and shame...

"Resistance against occupation is an Islamic duty and one of the noblest kinds of jihad. For Allah the Almighty said in the Koran: 'Go forth, light-armed and heavy-armed, and strive with your wealth and your lives in the way of Allah! [Koran 9:41].' [It is told that] one of the Prophet's companions once came to wage jihad for the sake of Allah, but his sons prevented him [from joining the fray] because he was lame. His sons [thought to] spare him the hardships of fighting, because the Koran says: 'There is no blame for the blind, nor is there blame for the lame, nor is there blame for the sick (that they go not forth to war) [Koran 48:17].' But this companion of the Prophet replied confidently that Allah would grant [the believers] victory, [and said]: 'I want to enter Paradise with my limp, and you will not deny me this [privilege]...'

"Resistance stems from one's wish to drive back aggression, to drive off the occupier, and to restore sovereignty and honor. Consequently, [the resistance] needs no [permission in the form of a] fatwa issued by some individual sitting comfortably in an office somewhere..." [3]

*Syrian Minister of Expatriate Affairs Calls to Inculcate the Culture of Resistance in Future Generations

Syrian Minister of Expatriate Affairs Buthayna Sha'ban wrote in the Syrian government daily Teshreen: "The Arab peoples recovered sooner than the [Arab] officials from the pleasant surprise [that Hizbullah caused them by defeating Israel]. They adopted the courageous position of the resistance [i.e. Hizbullah], and realized that humiliation and shame are not the unavoidable fate of the Arabs and Muslims... [They also realized] that the [excellent] performance and the resolute stand of the resistance - not only its military [success], but also its cultural, moral, ideological, political and media [success] - have roused the Arabs and the Muslims and have [taught them] an important truth: surrender means eradication of [one's] identity, honor and rights, [whereas] resisting the oppressive and dangerous aggression through action, learning, orderliness, transparency, and honesty is the only [way to] guarantee [our] continued existence in dignity and glory...

"The victory of the resistance over the enemy is not [only] a military victory but a political, moral and human victory - and that is why nations all over the world are endorsing it. All Arabs and Muslims should reinforce it by internalizing the literature, art, poetry, language, morality and transparency of the resistance. We must all work to inculcate these [values] in future generations, so that they will not know the taste of defeat and shame..." [4]

*Teshreen: Resistance Should Be Taught "in the Home, in Schools, and in [All Parts of] Society"

A Teshreen editorial stated that "deep-rooted and comprehensive resistance, with all its military, political, cultural and media aspects, is [just] as effective as the various forms of military, political and economic invasion. There is no way to foil the [enemies'] plans [and to counter their] invasions, occupation, destruction and annihilation, except through sophisticated, complex and comprehensive resistance, and by disseminating the culture of resistance through education in the home, in schools and in [all parts of] society...

"The heroic resistance has shown that the power of faith, the power of will, and sound preparation are effective deterrents against the enemy. In the future, [this deterrent] may intensify and develop, becoming a comprehensive national [pan-Arab] strategy. The legendary stand of the resistance, the extensive losses it caused the enemy, the profound shock it caused to [the enemy's] commanders, the resounding collapse of [the enemy's] combat doctrine and of the morale of its soldiers - all these restored the self-confidence of the Arab citizen and his sense of pride and honor. In the great majority [of us], they also planted the belief that defeat is not the Arabs' [unavoidable] fate, and that he who has faith, awareness, will-power and readiness to become a martyr can never be defeated." [5]

*Syrian Information Minister: "[We] Have Reentered the Era of Victory Through Resistance"

At a convention on "the significance and [various] aspects of the victory [achieved by] the Lebanese resistance," which was attended by editors from the Syrian media and by Lebanese officials, Syrian Information Minister Muhsin Bilal announced that the Arabs had reentered "the era of resistance": "On July 12 [2006, the day Hizbullah kidnapped the two Israeli soldiers], the Arab region and the Arab people reentered the era of victory through resistance... The resistance [i.e. Hizbullah] managed to win the confrontation with the enemy through its legendary [fighting], which was unanimously characterized, by its allies and enemies [alike], as truly miraculous. Through its resolute stand and its heroic battles, the resistance managed to frustrate all the enemy's plans. It humiliated [the enemy's] war machine that [the enemy] used to tout as invincible, but which [collapsed] when faced by people whose only goal was to defend their homeland and their nation..."

Bilal added that "the courageous acts of the heroes of the resistance in Lebanon prove that Syria made the right choice in opting for resistance and for a resolute stand... This is the most effective way to restore [the Arabs'] rights." [6]

Iranian Reactions to U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701

*Iranian President Ahmadinejad in a Telephone Conversation With Russian President Putin

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad held a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin on August 11, 2006, before the adoption of UNSCR 1701. During the conversation, Ahmadinejad said: "Every day that the war and the Zionist aggression against Hizbullah continues, the level of rage of the nations of the region, especially among the Muslim youth, greatly heightens, and we are very concerned about a human explosion in the region that would be impossible to contain and would expand the dimensions of the crisis." Ahmadinejad emphasized the need for an immediate ceasefire in Lebanon and called on non-aligned countries to "adopt common measures" in order to put an end to "the Israeli massacre in Lebanon and Palestine."

Putin expressed distress at the escalation in the situation in the region and at the Western countries' opposition to Russia's proposal for a 72-hour ceasefire in Lebanon. Putin also called for establishing regular and frequent contact between Tehran and Moscow in order to put an end to the war: "We want to establish contact and consultation between Iran and Russia in order to solve this issue…" [7]

*Iranian Foreign Minister Mottaki

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said during a visit to Yemen that "Security Council Resolution 1701 is completely one-sided and serves the interests of the Zionist regime... there are some corrections that need to be incorporated into the resolution. The opinions of the Lebanese public and its government need to be taken into account so that the resolution will be acceptable to them." [8]

*Iranian Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar

Iranian Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar said that "the United States and Israel have failed to achieve their strategic goals in Lebanon, thanks to the Lebanese people's resistance and the preparedness of the countries in the region... If the U.S. had succeeded in realizing its wicked plan, not only the countries of the region, but all of Europe would have turned into new U.S. colonies." The defense minister added that Hizbullah is "a symbol of the nation's will... Hizbullah taught the Zionist regime, the U.S., and all of the governments and peoples of the region a lesson in honor and resistance. The fact that senior officials in the Zionist regime admitted that they failed when up against the national will of the Lebanese showed Washington and Tel Aviv once again that they had made a big mistake, and that the 'iron fist' policy is no longer effective." [9]

*Majlis Council for National Security and Foreign Policy Head 'Ala Al-Din Borujerdi

The head of the Majlis Council for National Security and Foreign Policy, 'Ala Al-Din Borujerdi, said that "following the continuing defeat of the Zionist regime in Lebanon, the Security Council resolution [1701] reflects also the political failure of [this] regime."

Borujerdi added that the resolution is different from the previous resolution proposed by the U.S. and France: "In effect, the U.S. was forced to accept many of the Lebanese government's requests and to back down from its original position." As for the negative aspects of the resolution, he said that some of the content and the legal issues were worded in a way that is favorable to the Israeli interest.

Borujerdi addressed Article 1 of the resolution, according to which Hizbullah is called upon to stop all of its military activities, whereas Israel was asked only to stop its military attacks, and said that "from a legal perspective, the meaning of this is that Israel can continue its attacks in order to defend itself. Articles such as these prepare the ground for the Zionist regime to take advantage [of the situation]."

Borujerdi pointed to the recognition of Hizbullah as "a military and political reality" and said that this is "a positive point in the resolution": "In the resolution, Hizbullah is called on to stop its military activities... On the other hand, Israel also is called on to stop its attacks on Lebanon, which is important from the legal standpoint, and is considered a kind of recognition of Hizbullah's existence."

Borujerdi further pointed to "the withdrawal of the Zionist forces to the border as another positive point," and said: "The issue of the return of Lebanese captives is mentioned in the resolution, and this is considered to be a retreat on the part of the U.S. and the Zionist regime... Despite the American attempt to include a reference to Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter [which allows the U.N. to use force], they did not achieve this." [10]

*Iranian Majlis Representative Sa'id Abu-Taleb

Majlis member Sa'id Abu Taleb said of the Security Council resolution: "This was essentially an American-European resolution, aimed at saving face for the Zionist regime... The resolution will allow the Zionist regime to remain in Lebanon. There is no guarantee that the [Zionist] regime will withdraw its forces from the Shab'a Farms..."

He added that the resolution "guards the interests of the Zionist regime, and only a plan that guarantees a full withdrawal of the Zionist regime from Lebanese territory and an unconditional ceasefire will be acceptable... The U.N. peacekeeping forces need to be deployed in Israel [and not in Lebanon], since it is the one that started the war, and Hizbullah was only defending itself. The Zionist regime is the aggressor." [11]


[1] Al-Usbu' (Egypt), August 14, 2006.

[2] Al-Thawra (Syria), August 13, 2006.

[3] Teshreen (Syria), August 13, 2006.

[4] Teshreen (Syria), August 14, 2006. The article also appeared the same day in the London Arabic-language daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat.

[5] Teshreen (Syria), August 14, 2006.

[6] Al-Thawra (Syria), August 14, 2006.

[7] Kayhan (Iran), August 13, 2006.

[8] IRNA (Iran), August 13, 2006.

[9] Kayhan (Iran), August 13, 2006.

[10] IRNA (Iran), August 12, 2006.

[11] IRNA (Iran), August 12, 2006.