How Iran and Syria Benefit From Mideast Crisis

This is a partial transcript of "The Big Story With John Gibson," August 14, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

JOHN GIBSON, HOST: Hezbollah declares victory. Israel says it came out ahead. Our next guest says it wasn't either Israel or Hezbollah. He says the winners were in fact Iran and Syria.

Terrorism analyst Jerome Corsi joins us now. He's the author of "Atomic Iran."

So, why Iran and Syria?

JEROME CORSI, TERRORISM ANALYST: Ahmadinejad and Iran have been the force behind this violence to start with.

I mean, President Bush should realize that until Iran is brought under control, even with the problems we are having in Iraq, this civil war that is being started with the Shiites, death squads attacking Sunnis, that is Iran. And Iran is supplying and will continue to supply Hezbollah.

We had revolutionary guard from Iran firing missiles with Hezbollah right now. There is nothing in the U.N. resolution that says those revolutionary guard are going to leave. They are going to stay in Lebanon and work with Hezbollah and rearm Hezbollah through Syria.

GIBSON: But why is it, by that logic — I think President Bush understands this was a confrontation in a way between the U.S. and Iran. You just saw those southern suburbs. How could the Hezbollah or Iran consider that a victory to have so many of its people suffer such devastating destruction of their infrastructure, roads, houses, the apartment buildings where they live? How is that a win?

CORSI: Well Hezbollah will blame that on the United States and Israel. Hezbollah is also a social force and a political force in Lebanon. My guess is that in southern Lebanon today, Hezbollah will strengthen its control over the local population. My guess is Hezbollah will come out of this increasing its number of seats in parliament.

President Bush kept Israel on a very short leash in this war. And Ahmadinejad and Syria took full advantage of it. I suspect they will even intensify their violence now in Iraq, saying the United States is weak.

GIBSON: But Mr. Corsi, if Ahmadinejad looks at this and says: What happens if we cause the United States to attack us? Can we afford to have our suburbs devastated like this? Could we afford to have this many people homeless? Could we afford to be trying to rebuild infrastructure as Lebanon is.

He can't want that for his own country?

CORSI: Well, we have to remember that Ahmadinejad and Iran, they've gone through an eight-year war with Iraq in the 1980s. They turned that to their advantage and have continued to.

Iran also has missiles. We have troop concentrations in the area. Ahmadinejad is well aware he could kill thousands of Americans if he chose to in any war that involved Israel or the United States.

Ahmadinejad is going to feel in a very strong position, going to feel like in Lebanon we were beaten by Hezbollah in 1983 when Reagan pulled out. In 2000, Israel pulled out and now again there has been a cease-fire and Israel did not accomplish the goal of disarming Hezbollah, which was the stated goal of the war.

GIBSON: Let me turn to your other argument that Syria somehow comes out the winner. Syria is Iran's stooge in this deal. They're likely to suffer if they induce an attack, in the same way that Lebanon did.

How could this possibly be a win for Assad in Syria?

CORSI: Well Assad right now, I mean, the U.N. resolution said nothing about Assad, didn't even blame him when Assad and Syria really have been controlling Lebanon for years. They still haven't pulled out their military intelligence.

The current government in Lebanon is really a puppet government to Syria. Syria was unscathed in this war and they are going to be able to resupply Hezbollah. Hezbollah was not disarmed. I bet Iran and Syria right today are figuring out ways to get new arms back to Hezbollah.

GIBSON: Jerome Corsi, author "Atomic Iran," thanks very much. Appreciate it.

Content and Programming Copyright 2006 FOX News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2006 Voxant, Inc. (, which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon FOX News Network, LLC'S and Voxant, Inc.'s copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.