August 3, 2006 No.

Iranian and Syrian Reactions to the Latest Developments in the Middle East Crisis

In statements made over the last few days, various Iranian figures referred to Iran's connection to the war in Lebanon. Iranian Expediency Council Secretary Mohsen Rezai called to increase Iran's involvement in the war. Hujjat Al-Eslam Ali Akbar Mokhtashemi-Pour, one of the founders of Hizbullah-Lebanon, stated that the Hizbullah fighters had acquired some of their training in Iran. He added that Hizbullah is equipped with Zilzal-2 missiles and has the courage to use them.

Syrian government dailies harshly criticized the Arab leaders, saying that "they are not worthy of treading the ground they walk on, or of occupying the seats they occupy." The Arab leaders were also characterized as "the worst leaders the Muslim nation has ever had" since the dawn of the Islamic era.

The following are excerpts from Iranian and Syrian reactions:

Iranian Expediency Council Secretary: Iran's Security Hinges on Lebanon's Security

In an August 2, 2006 speech, Iranian Expediency Council Secretary Mohsen Rezai, former commander of the Revolutionary Guards, explained Iran's defense doctrine as it is reflected in the current war between Israel and Hizbullah. Reiterating statements by the heads of the Iranian regime, he said that Iran's national security hinges on Lebanon's security, and called on the Iranian government to increase its involvement in the fighting in Lebanon. The following are excerpts from his speech as it appeared in the reformist Internet daily Rooz: [1]

"Iran is a model and example for Hizbullah. The Iranian faith, tactics and experience are being put to practice in Lebanon... Hizbullah looks to Iran for tactics and moral [support], and we are proud that our experience [serves] other Muslim countries.

"Because our region is rich in energy sources, whoever controls it actually controls the whole world. That is why America, through its 'Greater Middle East' plan, wants Iran to eventually be under its control. It believes that the future of the entire world will be in its hands. The attacks on Afghanistan, Iraq and Lebanon were all [meant] to serve this aim; Egypt and Iran are also [included] in this future plan.

"Iran supports Hizbullah not only for Lebanon's sake. Iran's own national security hinges on the national security of Palestine, Lebanon and Syria. Iran is of supreme importance in the Middle East, and the war in Lebanon will undoubtedly spread to Syria and Palestine. That is why Iran is currently aiding Hizbullah - because there is solidarity among the Muslims, and especially among the Shiites...

"I am deeply grateful to the Iranian government and to the Honorable Supreme Leader [Khamenei], but the government must make a greater effort, since Palestine and Lebanon are not the only issue [at hand]. The entire world is in danger, and we must be more significantly involved, since this war is of [great] importance. The infidel world has now risen, in all its might, against Islam and [against] Hizbullah, and we must stand firm against this worldwide heresy."

Hujjat Al-Eslam Mokhtashemi-Pour: "Hizbullah has Zilzal-2 Missiles... and the Courage to Use This Weapon"

In an August 3 interview with the reformist Iranian daily Sharq, Hujjat Al-Eslam Ali Akbar Mokhtashemi-Pour, who was a founder of Hizbullah-Lebanon and belongs to the reformist camp in Iran, described Hizbullah's military capabilities. The following are excerpts from the interview:

"Hizbullah has Zilzal-2 Missiles with a range of 250 kilometers, which can reach any part of occupied Palestine... There may be some countries that have this weapon but lack the courage to use it. Hizbullah, [however], has both the know-how and the courage to use this weapon which is in its possession...

"Hizbullah acquired some of its know-how and capabilities on the Iranian battle fronts... Most of Hizbullah's trained forces [consist of men] who fought in the [Iran-Iraq] war for eight years. Here in Lebanon, they take part in operations directly or covertly." [2]

Syrian Government Daily: Not a Single Arab Voice has Expressed Opposition [to the War] or Willingness to Help [Hizbullah]

An article published in the Syrian government daily Teshreen said: "Oh Lebanon, you have been left by yourself, [trapped] between the jaws of the Zionist crocodile. You have been abandoned to burn, to be destroyed and attacked from the air, sea and ground. In the meantime, [the Arabs] are preoccupied: some [are busy] with the ceasefire... some are drafting statements condemning the violence, and some are wandering among the capitals of the [various] superpowers begging for a ceasefire or for any other settlement that will put an end to the slaughter...

"[But] no Arab capital has lifted a finger in attempt to reach a real solution, and no Arab capital has found a basis for real and effective action that can [actually] help the Lebanese and Palestinians who are [being killed] with cluster bombs... No Arab capital seems to have done a thing in order to end this war...

"We have not heard a single Arab voice expressing opposition or willingness to help those who are standing firm, to fight with them, to defend them or to die honorably by their side. On the contrary, all we hear are cries of surrender, and calls [urging] the steadfast fighters of the resistance to lay down their weapons and give in... No one is feeling any stirrings of Arab pride or nobility.

"Don't we have the right to question the silence of the Arab [officials]? [Don't we have the right to question] this conspiracy and [wonder why] the Arabs are helpless to save our Lebanese and Palestinian brothers as they are led to the slaughter in front of the entire world, in broad daylight? Don't we have the right to wonder about the humiliating and despicable positions of the Arab regimes?

"[On the one side,] we see the honorable stand of the resistance fighters - both the martyrs and the living fighters - who are preparing to make this honorable stand. On the other side we see Arab capitulation, desertion, and collapse, in these unfortunate times, when all values of Arab [nationalism] and pan-Arabism have [collapsed]. These are times in which hatred and hostility prevail among the [Arab] brothers, and there are many breaches [in our defenses], allowing [Arabs] to team up with the enemies and turn [their backs] on their brothers...

"[These] Arab leaders and decision-makers are not worthy of treading the ground they walk on, or of occupying the seats they occupy - and it is not inconceivable that one day they may lose them...

"Oh Arabs, if you are capable of dying only in the arms of your wives and your lovers, at least allow others to die, since martyrdom is the most noble form of sacrifice, and since martyrdom is the only form of sacrifice that is required and acceptable at this particular time. Life, oh Arabs, is only [fighting] for one's honor, but martyrdom is the purest form of sacrifice..." [3]

Teshreen: "This [Muslim] Nation is Now Afflicted With the Worst Leaders it has Ever had"

Another article in Teshreen also criticizes the Arab leaders: "Some Arab leaders are not yet accustomed to seeing a wise man [i.e. Nasrallah] who faces the world without hesitation and tells the truth. Since they cannot get their hands on him, they make do with distancing themselves from him. [They] accuse him of being a hasty [man] with a group of hasty followers, or [of being] an adventurer who gets his adventurous followers into trouble - all this, while ignoring the masses who applaud and bless [this man]. These masses yearn for wise leaders and hope that [such leaders] will bridge the gap between words and deeds...

"What is happening in Lebanon should be a lesson to us all, and especially to our rulers who lack wisdom in leading the best nation in the world [i.e. the Muslim nation]. This nation is [now] afflicted with the worst leaders it has ever had since the divine message [of Islam] brought it out of the darkness of ignorance.

"The time of our revival has now begun, for in South Lebanon, a wise leader has emerged from among the herd of weak-fleshed leaders - leaders who accept humiliation and take pride [in the fact] that they will never fight against anyone, for the era of wars has ended, [and leaders who] erroneously believe that the nation is helpless and incapable of fighting. They announce this in public with boldness that borders on insolence, smiling with their pearly white teeth, and demanding that the nation not be subjected to what it cannot bear. [But] they do not ask themselves who rendered the nation incapable of fighting. Is it the peoples who have lost their wisdom, or is it the leaders?... Did they consult with their people or conduct some survey before taking these decisions? Or did they take these decisions independently, disregarding the mood [of the people] in the streets?...

"The wise man who has emerged in South Lebanon [i.e. Nasrallah] [trusted the people] in the street, and that is why he has won. He is fighting and announcing that the era of war has not yet ended, and will never end as long as rights and land are plundered... This wise man has become a leader owing to everyone's allegiance [to him]. Indeed, he has gained everyone's allegiance, from the [Atlantic] Ocean to the Gulf. For everyone is yearning for a captain who will bring the ship back on course, as the sea gushes and the waves rise. The sea can only be crossed in a strong ship with a stalwart and courageous captain." [4]

"The Coffin that They [America and Israel] Have Prepared for the Resistance Will Eventually Be for Them"

A third Teshreen article said: "America and the artificial entity [it has created, i.e. Israel] want to annihilate the resistance, but it has never crossed their minds that the coffin they have prepared for the resistance will eventually be for them. This does not mean, of course, that the resistance will achieve a military victory that will [lead to] the liberation of Palestine - [it means] that the spirit of resistance and steadfast determination... will overwhelm the aggressors and cause their defeat. [The war] will also severely weaken the ability of the most arrogant power in the world [i.e. Israel].

"In their constant aggression, [the Zionists] have provided all the reasons that will motivate each and every Arab citizen to take part in the Arab-Zionist struggle - a struggle that will inevitably be won by the peoples whose rights have been denied and whose holy places, homelands and honor have been assaulted.

"Oh Master of Resistance [i.e. Nasrallah], you have cloaked yourself in honor merely by writing the first page in the book of deterring and defeating the Zionist-American invaders, along with all those who are hiding behind them. No one thinks that the [war] will be won today, tomorrow, or [even] next year - but it is the beginning of the end, and the road towards victory has begun..." [5]

[1] Rooz, August 2, 2006,

[2] Sharq, August 3, 2006.

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

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

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