Following are excerpts from an interview with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, which aired on Al-Jazeera TV on February 8, 2010. The interview was held in English.
Manouchehr Mottaki: In our opinion, under the present circumstances, the Zionist regime will not be able to start another aggression, but they try to do so, every so often, because it is in their nature. We are facing a mad people, which is ruled by madmen. Therefore, all the peoples in the region – Syria, Lebanon, and the Palestinians – should always be prepared for any crazy action against them.
As far as Iran is concerned, we see no possibility that the [Israeli] regime will do anything against us, because they know what Iran's response will be.
Interviewer: In your view, is Iran prepared for any scenario and any military strike against it?
Manouchehr Mottaki: Practically speaking, we do not think there is any possibility of any new danger or threat, if you are referring to threats of military operations against us. We do not think that this is a viable option. I have already told you about the condition of the Zionist regime. The second possibility is that aggression will come from the US, which during the Bush administration, tried twice – in Afghanistan and in Iraq... But the US was unable to achieve its declared goals – neither in Iraq, nor in Afghanistan.
Interviewer: Returning to Iran – how will it respond, if Israel in fact deals a military blow to its nuclear installations?
Manouchehr Mottaki: Iran is definitely always ready to defend itself, but we do not think there is a possibility [that Israel will attack]. We would like to make it clear to our neighbors in the region that nobody can do anything against Iran.
Interviewer: What is your response to the recent declarations by Israeli Foreign Minister [Avigdor] Lieberman, who attacked and threatened Syria outright? How will Iran respond if Israel strikes a military blow against Syria?
Manouchehr Mottaki: We condemn such war-mongering declarations by the Zionist regime. There is no doubt that Iran will stand alongside all its Arab brothers, in the event that they face any problem or aggression.