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memri
July 18, 2006 No.
1208

Iran and the Recent Escalation on Israel's Borders (5): Reactions in Iran, Lebanon, and Syria

The conservative daily Kayhan, affiliated with Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, reported today that Sergei Kiriyenko, head of Russia's atomic energy agency, declared that Russia is opening a new center for uranium enrichment in Siberia, which will operate under IAEA's supervision.

Kiriyenko mentioned that the center would allow Iranf to develop its nuclear energy industry for civilian purposes.

In an interview on Russian TV, Kiriyenko said that Russia would cooperate with Iran [regarding the nuclear issue] based on two principles: First, Iran's right, as a NPT member, to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, and second, Iran must guarantee that it is not manufacturing any kind of nuclear weapon.

It is noteworthy that this is a recent Russian initiative that calls for establishing a corporation for uranium enrichment in Russia under IAEA supervision. [1]

The following is the fifth dispatch in the series on Iran and the recent escalation on Israel's borders [2]:

IRANIAN REACTIONS

Iranian Leader Ali Khamenei on Iranian TV, July 16: Hizbullah Will Not Be Disarmed

On July 16, 2006, Iranian leader Ali Khamenei gave a speech, aired on Iranian TV. The following are excerpts (translated by MEMRI TV, see: http://memritv.org/clip/en/1193.htm )

Khamenei: "The Zionists would like Lebanon to be meat between their teeth, so they could do to it whatever they want, whenever they want.

"Today, the strong arm of the Lebanese resistance and the Lebanese Hizbullah has prevented this nightmare of the Zionists from coming true. This is why the American president says Hizbullah must be disarmed. Yes, of course this is what you want. Of course this is what the Zionists want. But this will not happen.

"The Lebanese people value Hizbullah and the resistance, because they know it is this strong arm that has prevented the Zionists from doing whatever they want, whenever they want, to Lebanon."

Man in crowd: "Hizbullah is victorious. Israel is doomed."

Crowd: "Hizbullah is victorious. Israel is doomed…"

Khamenei: "Well, this is what I am saying too."

Kayhan Editor: The Annihilation of the Zionist Regime is Not Only a Religious and National Duty, but a Universal Human Duty; The Whole World Must Be Made Unsafe for the Zionists, [Including] Their Political and Commercial Centers. This Does Not Require the Governments' Approval

Hossein Shariatmadari, editor of the conservative Iranian daily Kayhan, affiliated with Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, called today (July 17, 2006) in his editorial to "wipe Israel off the map." He said: "There are many signs and portents indicating that 'the fateful day' is coming near. It is possible that this day... has already begun...

"The Muslim peoples and many other peoples think that, in global geopolitics, there is no such thing as the state of Israel, and that the [entity] which presently bears this name is a usurping and rootless state that has imposed its parasitic presence over the region and over Palestine with the support of the arrogant powers. [This entity] invents a new crime every day. It causes men, women, and innocent children to bleed to death, or else deports them from their homeland and turns them into refugees. In light of this 'problem,' which is perfectly obvious, the annihilation of the Zionist regime is not only a religious and national duty, but also a universal human duty, from which no Muslim or free human being can be exempt.

"Comprehensive support for Hamas and Hizbullah, political, logistically, militarily, and through sending combatant forces to this front are the minimal price that the Islamic countries must pay in order to maintain their own security and independence...

"The city of Haifa lies 35 kilometers [sic] from the Lebanese border, and the distance [from the Lebanese border] to Nazareth is about 50 kilometers. Tomorrow will come the turn of Herzliya, Natanya, and Tel Aviv... The Muslim peoples must not allow this conflict to remain within the boundaries of the region. The Zionists are dispersed in many places around the world, and it is not so difficult to locate and get [our] hands on them. The entire world can and must be made unsafe for the Zionists, [including] their political and commercial centers. This does not require the governments' approval... The fateful day may have begun, and fierce revenge on the barbaric Zionists is underway, Allah willing." [3]

Jomhouri-e Eslami: The Islamic Republic of Iran is the Center of the Muslim World; The Leadership of the Islamic Revolution has a Key Role in Leading the Islamic Nation

The conservative daily Jomhour-e Eslami, affiliated with the Islamic seminaries of Qom, reiterated in a July 17 editorial that "the conspiracy of bringing down the Twin Towers in New York with one plane, which was totally dubious, was a pretext for occupying Afghanistan and Iraq, and for [providing] unqualified support to the Zionist regime in its crimes against Palestine.

"Since then, the American government has worked to place many restrictions on the Muslims in America and Europe, to place even tighter constraints on the Muslim countries which depend upon it, to change each and every one of them... to impose on the Muslims the political, ideological, and social order that is convenient [for America], and to exert pressure on the independent Muslim states - so that no obstacle will stand in its way, and it will be able to grasp the entire Islamic world in its claws...

"America's collaboration with the Zionists in murdering the Palestinian people, destroying Lebanon, and [hurling] baseless accusations against Iran [regarding] nuclear activity - which is now coming to a head - is a new phase in America's crusade against the Muslims. This is exactly the point at which the leadership of the Islamic nation must play a role.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran is now the central [pillar] of the Islamic world, and the leadership of the Islamic Revolution has a key role in leading the Islamic nation. This unity with the leadership of the Islamic Revolution is now the national duty of Iran and of all the Muslim peoples. Only mutual ties of this sort can guide the Islamic nation, [enabling it to] pass this difficult [phase] and to defeat the Crusader and Zionist enemies, which together have declared war on Islam and on the Muslims." [4]

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Reza Asefi: "Iran Expects Russia and China to Defend Iran's Inalienable Nuclear Rights"

In response to the claim that Iran has ordered the Hizbullah attack on Israel in order to draw attention away from the G8 talks on its nuclear issue, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Reza Asefi said: "This is obviously a baseless accusation intended to rescue the Zionist regime from the quagmire [in which it has sunk]." He denied that Iran supplied arms to Hizbullah, saying: "Hizbullah has these capabilities on its own..." [5]

In his weekly press conference Asefi declared: "Iran expects Russia and China to defend Iran's inalienable nuclear rights... To support Iran's rights is to support the international organizations and treaties, [such as] the Non-Proliferation Treaty... [It is] not only support for Iran." [6]

LEBANESE REACTIONS

Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah on Al-Manar TV, July 16

On July 16, 2006, Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah gave a speech, aired on Al-Manar TV. The following are excerpts (translated by MEMRI TV, see http://memritv.org/clip/en/1194.htm ):

"I want to say a few words to the good, steadfast, honorable, and pure people, whom we have heard in recent days on the media. We have heard their perseverance, their support, and their love.

"You are truly a great people. I am not just saying this out of pride, arrogance, or flattery. This is a people of historic [greatness], on whom hopes are pinned to save Lebanon and the nation - the entire nation - from its state of degradation and humiliation, and to instill new hope in the nation.

"I tell you again that with your support, your embrace, with your love, your perseverance, and your steadfastness, we will be victorious. The buildings and places that are being destroyed - we will cooperate with the Lebanese state...

"But in this matter, I say to you: Do not worry about what the Israeli war machine can destroy. All we wish is that the wounded be healed, and that the living have a long and healthy life. As for what is being destroyed - with the help of Allah, and by cooperation with the Lebanese state... We too, as an interested party, are determined to be serious in rebuilding what is being destroyed.

"I tell you, without going into details now, that we have friends who are also serious in this, and who have a very great ability to help us with pure, clean, and honorable money, and without any political conditions.

"There is nothing to worry about regarding the rebuilding of our country. What is important is that we persevere now and emerge victorious from this battle...

"The last point I want to make... I would like to turn to the peoples of the Arab and Islamic world. I turn to them only to make things clear to them, and to face them up to their responsibility. I have no intention to appeal to them, to call upon them, or to request anything from them. From the first moment of Operation True Promise and the ensuing confrontations, I and my brothers have taken upon ourselves and have agreed that in this confrontation we would not ask for anything from any human being.

"Many have called us to offer their services, but we have said that we ask for nothing. We will not initiate any request - not on the material level, the political level, not with regard to the media, not on the popular level, or the military level. We make appeals, requests, and supplications only to Allah, because we believe in Him, in His capabilities, in His greatness, and in His true promise that the believers will be victorious.

"We place our trust in Allah. When I am turning now to the Arab and Islamic peoples, I am not doing so to ask them to save us or give us aid. No. We, Allah be praised, are fine. We are in a very strong position, and we are at the beginning of a confrontation on which we pin great hopes.

"But I would like to face them up to their responsibility. Yesterday, you - and especially the Arab peoples - witnessed the outcome of the meeting of the Arab foreign ministers, and saw what can possibly come out of the Arab League. They themselves talk about the failure of the so-called peace process, and it has become clear that they are incapable - as governments, leaders, and regimes - of doing anything.

"In any case, we do not place our bets there. You, the Arab and Islamic peoples, have an interest in taking a stand for the sake of your place in the world to come, if you believe in it, and for the sake of your life in this world, your honor, your strength, your future, and the future or your children and grandchildren. In other words, the way things are now… If, in this conflict, God forbid, Israel succeeds in defeating the resistance in Palestine or in Lebanon, the Arab world - both governments and peoples - will drown in eternal humiliation. It will have no way out. This will only increase the condescension of the Zionists and of their American masters towards the Arab governments and peoples. The American and Israeli interference in the affairs of these governments and peoples will only increase, along with the plundering of our resources, the eradication of our culture and civilization, and the disintegration and division of this region, which will be drawn into internal strife, and so on.

"Today, the Arab and Islamic nation is facing a historic opportunity to unite, to release themselves from the plan of disintegration, sectarian and civil wars, to which America is pushing the peoples of the region.

"Today, the peoples of the Arab and Islamic nation are facing a historic opportunity to accomplish a great historic victory over the Zionist enemy.

"The question is not who imposes his conditions on whom. Today, we have a great opportunity of this kind. I am not exaggerating. In 2000, we in Lebanon, with modest capabilities and efforts, and with a small number of mujahideen, with few supplies and little equipment, presented a model of how resistance can overcome an occupation army.

"Today, we are presenting a model, along with the Lebanese people and Lebanon in its entirety - although we serve as the spearhead, and although villages, towns, and neighborhoods affiliated with us are subject to killing and destruction... This is true of all Lebanese, but they are concentrating on us... We are trying to present another model - a model of steadfastness, resistance, perseverance, courage, and of the ability to defeat the enemy. We do this in a battle that is unbalanced in material terms, but in spirit, morale, determination, wisdom, planning, and in placing our trust in Allah, this battle is unbalanced in our favor.

"Where are you, oh Arab and Islamic peoples? What are you doing? How will you act? That is up to you. As far as we are concerned, when we began the resistance in 1982, we did not look beyond our borders at all. We looked only to Allah. We relied only upon our people and our mujahideen. Today, we are the same. But what I wanted to tell you at this sensitive moment, and following many military successes in recent days, and following many surprises - and more surprises are yet to come, Allah willing - is that Hizbullah is not waging the battle of Hizbullah or of Lebanon. We are waging the battle of the nation, whether we like it or not, whether the Lebanese like it or not. Lebanon and the resistance of Lebanon are waging the battle of the nation. Where does the nation stand with regard to this battle? This question is directed at you, for the sake of your life in this world and in the world to come."

Sa'd Al-Hariri: There Should Be a Reckoning With the Adventurers who Embroiled Lebanon in the Crisis

In an interview with the Saudi government daily Okaz, Sa'd Al-Hariri, chairman of the Al-Mustaqbal party, said: "The recent position [taken by] the [Saudi] kingdom is rational and is characterized by political acumen... In its declaration [i.e. its criticism of Hizbullah and Iran], the [Saudi] kingdom said the whole truth. These adventurers [i.e. Hizbullah] have placed us in a difficult situation because of their irresponsibility, and in fact, the Saudi position [presented] the present situation as it really is... We support this stance because we are fed up with the exaggerations and the slogans... which ultimately brought about the destruction of the Lebanese infrastructure and the murder of innocent Lebanese. We demand a reckoning with these adventurers who embroiled Lebanon in a crisis it does not need. The truth must be stated even if it is painful and difficult, as it was stated by [Foreign Minister] Saud Al-Faysal in his speech at the Cairo [Arab foreign ministers] meeting...

"...Lebanon has been embroiled in a war, and we do not know how it will end. [Those responsible] did not consult anybody, and did not coordinate [this] with the government... We do not want the continuation of this destruction..."

Regarding the Arab rift [that emerged] in the meeting, he said: "The position of the [Saudi] kingdom, Egypt, Jordan, and the Gulf states was positive, and those hypocrites [i.e. Syria and Iran] calling for battle, are in fact the people most distant from this struggle. They want to bring the region into an all-out war..." [7]

Lebanese Daily: There is No Alternative but to Extend Lebanese Sovereignty Over All Lebanese Territories

An editorial in the Lebanese daily Al-Mustaqbal called for extending Lebanese sovereignty over all Lebanese territories: "A declaration saying that Lebanon has a sovereign government is the only way out [of the crisis]... The primary goal must be to stop the [Israeli] aggression, and in order for the aggression to end, there is no alternative but for the state to extend its sovereignty over its territories and to be the only one to speak in the name of the country...

"If the price that must be paid for stopping the aggression is the extension of the state's sovereignty over all Lebanese territories, then that is the cheapest price, and it cannot be compared with the prices that have been paid up until now or to the price [that it is liable to pay] if the aggression continues..." [8]

SYRIAN REACTIONS

Syrian Daily Criticizes Arab States for Calling Hizbullah Operation an "Adventure"

An editorial in the Syrian government daily Al-Ba'th harshly condemned the Arab states for criticizing the Hizbullah operation and calling it an "adventure": "Isn't it a disgrace that some [of the Arabs] speak as though they are on the side hostile to the Lebanese people, to its resistance, and to its national symbols?...

"The Lebanese and Palestinian national and Islamic resistance [forces] are not being 'adventurous.' They are defending the land, people, and honor of Lebanon and Palestine.... The 'adventurous' ones are those for whom honor and homeland have become contemptible [matters]..." [9]

Syrian Information Minister Muhsin Bilal: "Syria Supports the Struggle of the Lebanese National Resistance Against the Israeli Aggression"

Syrian Information Minister Muhsin Bilal said: "In any case of attack, we will respond with the strength and in the manner appropriate to the [nature of the] enemy... Syria supports the struggle of the Lebanese national resistance against the Israeli aggression... The Israeli aggression is losing and the resistance will triumph..."

Bilal added: "Victory will be on the side of the truth, and the victors will be those fighting for truth, justice, liberty, and the holy [places]. We seek truth and justice, and believe in our right and in our land..." [10]


[1] Kayhan (Iran), July 17, 2006, http://www.kayhannews.ir/850426/2.htm.

[2] For the previous MEMRI reports, see: Iran and the Recent Escalation on Israel's Borders, Iran and the Recent Escalation on Israel's Borders (2): Reaction in Iran, Lebanon, and Syria, Iran and the Recent Escalation on Israel's Borders (3): Reactions in Iran, Lebanon, and Syria, and Iran and the Recent Escalation on Israel's Borders (4): Reaction in Iran, Lebanon, and Syria.

[3] Kayhan (Iran), July 17, 2006, http://www.kayhannews.ir/850426/2.htm.

[4] Jomhouri-e Eslami, July 17, 2006. http://jomhourieslami.com/1385/13850426/index.html.

[5] IRNA, July 16, 2006.

[6] IRNA, July 16, 2006.

[7] Okaz (Saudi Arabic), July 17, 2006.

[8] Al-Mustaqbal (Lebanon), July 17, 2006.

[9] Al-Ba'th (Syria), July 17, 2006.

[10] The Syrian-Arab News Agency (SANA), July 16, 2006.