Following are excerpts from an interview with Hashemi Rafsanjani, Chairman of the Iranian Assembly of Experts and Expediency Council, which aired on Channel 1, Iranian TV, on January 2, 2009:
Hashemi Rafsanjani: The range of the rockets of Hamas is increasing on a daily basis, and they can reach new places. Israel faces the threat of Hizbullah's rockets in the north. In the center, it faces the potential threat of rockets launched from the West Bank, which could reach the [Mediterranean] Sea. Its south, which until now was the safest place, is again under [attack by Hamas]. They are facing a very frightening situation. We are familiar with the lifestyle of the Zionists from the Koran: "You shall surely find them the most covetous of life." That is their lifestyle – they are not inclined toward fighting or self-sacrifice, and their actions in this regard are materialist actions.
If their tank enter [Gaza], a very strange scenario will unfold. This time, the Palestinians have a type of weapon that can hit the tanks from a distance, which was not the case the last time [in 2002]. Back then, tanks that went in were hit [from up close] – for example, fighters would fire RPGs from behind the tank into its exhaust pipe, to neutralize it – but this time, they can destroy the tanks from a distance.
Today, the Palestinians have many more supporters than they had a week ago, who are ready... In Iran, people are ready to wage Jihad against Israel in Gaza, even though [Hamas] has declared that they have no shortage of soldiers, but only of resources, because all the people [in Gaza] are fighters.