Following are excerpts from an interview with Mohsen Rezai, Secretary of the Iranian Expediency Council, which aired on the Iranian News Channel (IRINN) on July 25, 2006.
Mohsen Rezai: Israel and America want NATO to be deployed [in South Lebanon]. NATO is, in fact, a military force. Deploying NATO means the occupation of Lebanon, this time not by Israel, but by Israel's partner. If NATO is deployed in South Lebanon, it will be an explicit and clear occupation, albeit with a diplomatic tone and language, and a peaceful appearance. In fact, it is a type of occupation. After all, NATO is not a peacekeeping force. NATO is an army. It is the kind of army that attacks and conquers. It is an interested party in this matter. It faces Syria, and it has problems with China and the Islamic world. Therefore, NATO is different from the UN forces and the Lebanese army.
Can they drive Hizbullah north, beyond the Litani River, deploy NATO forces there, and then ask... Disarm Hizbullah? Who would dare? Who has the power to disarm Hizbullah? Today Lebanon is in the hands of Hizbullah. The security of Lebanon - even the security of the streets and alleys in Lebanon - is run by Hizbullah. The border and the sea are in the hands of Hizbullah.
If the patience of Hizbullah runs out, and it enters a new phase, the war will change dramatically. First of all, there will be chaos in Tel Aviv, as well as in many cities between Haifa and Tel Aviv. There are atomic and chemical arsenals right between Haifa and Tel Aviv, and there might be problems there. An unexpected situation might develop. So far, Hizbullah has demonstrated manliness, restraint, and humanitarianism. But as of yesterday, they began attacking the towns and villages south of the Litani like madmen, and I don't know what will happen in the days to come.
Interviewer: So if they push Hizbullah to the Litani, Haifa may still get hit?
Mohsen Rezai: Haifa goes without saying...
Interviewer: Tel Aviv as well?
sMohsen Rezai: Hizbullah has trump cards, but Israel has exploited Hizbullah's humanitarianism. The Israelis think that since the Hizbullah men have not carried out their initial threats, they have nothing up their sleeves. This has made these [Israeli] gentlemen somewhat audacious.
In my opinion, it would be best if the legal experts of the Islamic world prepare some kind of legal action against Ms. Rice. I think this lady is the first ever female war criminal, and she should be brought to trial. She has explicitly declared - and I think this was a political mistake by her - that she is giving Israel a free hand to attack Lebanon. This in itself is enough to prepare a case against her as a war criminal.