We Are Reaching The Limits of Diplomatic Options
Fox News, August 22, 2006
Bob Beckel: Welcome back to Hannity & Combs, I’m Bob Beckel sitting in for Alan Combs. Iran continued today to reject demands to stop the enrichment of uranium which the United States and other countries are calling for. Instead Iranian officials including Chief Nuclear Negotiator Ali Larenjani are telling diplomats Iran is prepared to enter “serious negotiations.” But is this yet another stall tactic by the Iranian government? Joining us now is National Security Reporter for the Washington Times, Bill Gertz and author of the upcoming book The Iranian Threat: President Ahmadinejad and the Coming Nuclear Crisis, Fox News Foreign Analyst, Alireza Jafarzadeh.
How are you gentlemen, it’s good to see you. Bill Gertz what do you think about what the Iranians said today?
Bill Gertz: This is definitely a stall tactic. I think that we’re reaching the limits of the so-called diplomatic option. I think it’s clear the Iranians are playing a double game. They have no intention of giving up their enrichment program and the US intelligence assessment is they’re going to have a nuclear bomb in four years. As we’ve seen in the recent fighting in Lebanon, Iran support for that terrorist group, Hezbollah, shows that this is more than just a regional threat, this is a global threat
Okay let me ask Alireza Jafarzadeh. Did I say that
right? I got it right, thank you very much. We just
solved the debate here. You said something fascinating
that I read today. You said that the Iranians were
directly involved with the Hezbollah planning and
ordered Hezbollah, in fact, to cross into Israel in the
event that started the war between Israel and Lebanon.
Are you convinced that that was the case and that
Iranians, in fact, were ordering that attack?
Alireza Jafarzadeh :
Absolutely Bob because about a week before the fighting
started, Ali Larenjani went to Damascus and they had a
summit in the Iranian embassy in Damascus. One of the
top commanders of the revolutionary guards was there; in
fact the commander of the chief was there. A number of
officials were there; Hezbollah officials were present
and some Syrian security officials were there. They had
discussions back and forth. Again, Larenjani traveled
there on July 11th, the day before the conflict started,
and then they worked out all the details and then the
Sean Hannity: Alireza, this is all about one thing: Ahmadinejad wants to stall for time to enrich uranium. That’s why they were fighting this war and funding Hezbollah. Is that analysis wrong?
Alireza Jafarzadeh: Absolutely corrects Sean because Iran is clearly intent on getting the bomb as rapidly as possible; they welcome opening up a new front to get the international community engaged. Such is the case in Lebanon. They’ve gotten the front in Iraq; they’re trying to establish an Islamic republic in Iraq and then they’re continuing to defy the international community. Iran has no intention whatsoever to abandon its enrichment program or to abandon its nuclear weapon program. In fact the reason that you have Ahmadinejad as president is because of that, to accomplish that objective.
Bill, the Iran Supreme Leader urging Muslims to paralyze
the US, Ahmadinejad saying the West must bow and
surrender, we all know, it’s been widely quoted, the
statements about Israel, and annihilation and denying
the Holocaust. You know, this may be an opportunity.
What point does the world open its eyes and see the real
nature of this rising Nazism in this area.
Bill Gertz: You’re right Sean absolutely. Ahmadinejad is clearly the poser child for a new policy of regime change. You know there are options between diplomacy and military action and that is political action. We need to organize; we need to develop both overt and covert political action that can be used to oust that regime and develop a democratic system in Iran. The elements are there; there’s a nascent opposition inside Iran. You could attract military officials in Iran outside the country. Set up a government in exile. That’s the direction we need to go.
Bob Beckel: Okay thank you both very very much.