Following are excerpts from an interview with Abd Al-Malik Rigi, leader of the Jundallah movement in Balochistan, which aired on Al-Arabiya TV on August 7, 2008.
Reporter: Behind me are the mountains of Iran, to my right the mountains of Afghanistan, and in front of me the mountains of Pakistan. In this area, after a two-day journey, I met with the leader of the Jundallah movement, Abd Al-Malik Rigi. This is a country of no law – the republic of drug smugglers, arms smugglers, and outlaws, the kingdom of all those who have rebelled against their government. The meeting was held at this tri-border area between Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. The armed men took us through this harsh desert and its black-clad mountains en route to the place where we would meet the Emir.
Our car broke down in the middle of nowhere.
Driver: Don’t worry, I have fixed the problem. We are now close to the Emir, and we will reach him soon.
Reporter: After several hours in these mountains, Jundallah’s armed men were waiting for us. At this point, filming was forbidden. A few moments later, the armed men of Jundallah came to take me to the Emir. Abd Al-Malik Rigi, Iran’s most wanted man, was sentenced to death for his involvement in the kidnapping and killing of soldiers, and the establishment of an armed group fighting the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Abd Al-Malik Rigi: Now we are able to carry our operations to Tehran, and Allah willing, we will do so. But before carrying out any operation, we consider its implications and how it will benefit us.
Reporter: Rigi says that he is determined to achieve his goals, and that he is now capable of expanding his group’s activities to include all of Iran. Even though he says that he is independent and is not subordinate to anybody, Iran accuses him of terrorism and of connections with Al-Qaeda, and of being a tool used by the U.S. to exert pressure on the Islamic Republic.
Abd Al-Malik Rigi: This is not true. The cause of the Sunnies in Iran and Balochistan has nothing to do with the U.S. I’ve said time and again, and I would like to reiterate, that any government that defends its people and gives it all its rights – no force, neither America nor Europe, will be able to withstand it. But if that country does not give its citizens their rights, it is only natural that it will not be able to face any external threat. If the U.S. attacks Iran, we will hold consultations with the Sunnis in Iran and Balochistan. If the U.S. attempts to deprive us of our rights, we will definitely confront it. The claim that we are operating in favor of the U.S. is being spread by the Tehran regime. At the same time, they are saying that we are connected to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. But I stress that we have no ties with Al-Qaeda or the Taliban.
We are trying to expand the range of our activities to reach all of Iran, even within Tehran. We are constantly considering how to expand our activities. We will continue our activities until our people achieves all its rights.