Saturday, February 20, 2010
Ahmadinejad Says Finish Israel Off - If Repeats Mistakes
By Sam K. Parks-Kia
In a telephone conversation with the Hezbollah secretary general, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said, "In the event of recurrence of [the past] mistakes the Zionist regime [of Israel] must be finished off." He went on to say that "the Iranian nation will stand side by side of the nations of the region and Lebanon in this regard."
A statement appearing on the official website of the Iranian president read that President Ahmadinejad's Thursday telephone conversation with the secretary general of Hezbollah Resistance Movement, Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah, was aimed at discussing the latest developments in Lebanon and the region.
"Stressing on the importance of maintaining readiness in the face of potential threats by the Zionist regime [of Israel], the president said: The level of readiness should be to such an extent that if they (the Israelis) ventured upon repeating their past mistakes, they will be finished off and the region will rid them for once and for all, and the Iranian nation will stand side by side of the nations of the region and Lebanon in this regard," read the statement dated Thursday, February 18, 2010.
Although one could argue that the remarks are merely a show of solidarity and moral support, the comments could be roughly taken as an indication that the Islamic Republic is wiling to offer military support to Lebanon in the event of another Israeli aggression.
During the last Israeli-waged war on Lebanon — which was the second of its kind — more than 1,200 Lebanese, mostly civilians, were killed, more than 4,000 others were injured and Israeli landmines and cluster bombs planted in southern Lebanon continues to claim innocent lives to date.
Eventually after 33 days of fire, Israel was forces to retreat without achieving any of its objectives as a result of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701.
Ever since what became to be commonly known as "Israel's humiliating defeat in Lebanon," Tel Aviv has been threatening Beirut with another military offensive, while Israeli fighter jets have been conducting regular overflights in violation of Lebanese airspace.
Recently officials in Tel Aviv have adopted a harsher and more aggressive tone, saying that another conflict with Lebanon could be imminent.
Yossi Peled, an Israeli cabinet minister and a former army general who has experienced the conflict on the northern border, said on Saturday, January 23, that another confrontation with Hezbollah was almost inevitable but he could not say when it would happen.
The minister without portfolio said that according to his "estimation, understanding and knowledge," it was "almost clear" to him that another conflict on the border with Lebanon was imminent.
"It does not necessary have to be between us and Hezbollah, other elements may be involved in this," Peled said.
The Israeli minister's use of the term "other elements" could be interpreted that Tel Aviv already knows that it has drawn the ire of the whole region and that any other act of aggression that it conducts could have a united response from the countries in the Middle East.
Iran, Lebanon and Syria, along with a number of other states in the Middle East, see Israel as the main obstacle on the region's path towards peace and stability, and the heads of these states have made no efforts hiding their views.
The most recent of such expressions came from Syrian President Bashar al Assad, who said on Wednesday, February 17, that he believed "stability will not be established [in the Middle East region] under Israel's disingenuous approaches toward peace."
The Hezbollah Resistance Movement in Lebanon, and its charismatic leader Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah, have on numerous occasions remarked that Israel is the most dangerous — if not the only — threat in the Middle East.
The movement says Tel Aviv threats are the reason behind the fact that Hezbollah is maintaining its weapons despite the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, which calls on the group to lay down its arms.
"…Weapons are the result of the Resistance's existence and the Resistance [Movement of Hezbollah] is there because of the presence of the enemy (Israel)," Hezbollah's Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem said on Saturday, February 6.
Iranian President Ahmadinejad has his own fair share of opinions about Israel. Perhaps one of his most quoted comments about the Tel Aviv regime is that Israel should be "wiped off the map" — a comment which he later on explained was misunderstood and that what he actually meant was that Israel would "disappear" the same way that Apartheid and the Soviet Union disappeared.
President Ahmadinejad maintains that "The Zionist regime [of Israel] is an artificial regime — a fictitious regime. You brought people from different parts of the world and you have built this state. No, that cannot last, it is not sustainable. If they do not listen to our solution, this will happen one day."
In his recent conversation with the Hezbollah secretary general, however, President Ahmadinejad said he highly doubted that Israel would dare launch another attack on Lebanon.
"The Zionists are extremely afraid of the Resistance [Movement of Hezbollah] and the people of Lebanon and the region. But they seek to make up for their previous defeats in the Gaza [Strip] and Lebanon, because they feel that their dignity and existence is threatened. Yet they dare not do this (launching another attack on Lebanon) either, because they fear the consequences," Ahmadinejad was quoted as telling Nasrallah by the statement on the official website of the Iranian president.
The statement goes on to quote the Hezbollah secretary general as saying that "strategically speaking, the Zionist regime [of Israel] is in no position to initiate a new war; however, it seeks to spread fear and intimidation through its threats and psychological warfare — although, at any rate, it will not achieve anything [through such efforts]."
It remains to be known whether Israel will dare to launch another attack on the Lebanese territories or not. However, one thing is for sure: In the even of such an aggression the regional states will form a united front against Israel — at least that is what Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa believes.
"If a new attack or aggression is in the process of being prepared, they (Israel) will not get away with it easily," Moussa said after meeting with the Lebanese Foreign Minister Ali Shami in Beirut on Wednesday, February 17.
"We learned the lessons of 2006, and the Arab position is to stand by Lebanon," he said.