Is An Iranian Official Behind Hezbollah's Attacks on Israel?
This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," August 1, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.
ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Much has been made about the possible Iranian connection to the fighting in the Middle East. Did Iran instigate the current crisis to divert world attention away from their nuclear program? The key may lie in the movements of this man, Ali Larijani. He is the chief Iranian nuclear negotiator. And take a look at what we found when we investigated Mr. Larijani, and decide for yourself:
Iranian National Security adviser and former Iranian Revolutionary Guard member Ali Larijani met with European Union Foreign Secretary Javier Solana in Brussels, Belgium, to discuss international efforts to limit Iran's nuclear capability. Larijani said that a long process of consultations is needed to resolve a standoff over his country's nuclear program.
That evening, Larijani departed for Damascus, Syria. Larijani arrived in Damascus to meet with the president of Syria, Bashar al-Assad. During his stay in the Syrian capital, Larijani briefed Syrian intelligence officers about the nuclear talks in Brussels and the latest developments in Iran's mutual defense cooperation with Damascus. Larijani then met with senior Hezbollah representatives.
French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy issued the following statement: "The Iranians have given no indication at all that they're ready to engage seriously on the substance of our proposals. Iran has failed to take the steps needed to allow negotiations to begin. We express profound disappointment over this situation."
That same day, Hezbollah launched its operation against Israel's northern border, kidnapping two soldiers and killing eight others. Hours later, Israel launched a military offensive into southern Lebanon.
Just as world leaders readied themselves to confront the threat Iran's nuclear program poses to international security at this year's G8 Summit, the world's attention turned to the escalating violence in Israel and Lebanon and moved Iran's nuclear program off the front burner of the international agenda.
Larijani reportedly visited Damascus for talks on the Lebanese crisis with Syrian and Hezbollah leader Nasrallah.
Iranian officials do not confirm or deny Larijani's trip to Syria to meet with Hezbollah Nasrallah. An Iranian official went on to comment that, aside from this matter, the Islamic Republic of Iran supported Hezbollah, Hamas and the Islamic resistance who stand against "the Zionist regime's barbaric aggressions."
Syria's president called on Syrian forces to intensify efforts and training and to work for more preparations and raise readiness. "We must be aware that every effort and every drop of sweat exerted in training now will spare a drop of blood when the time comes."
Meanwhile, the U.N. Security Council passed a weakened resolution giving Iran until August 31 to suspend uranium enrichment or face the threat of economic and diplomatic sanctions.
COLMES: Did Iran get the diversion it wanted by convincing Hezbollah to attack Israel? We now continue with Captain Chuck Nash and Lieutenant Colonel Bill Cowan.
Colonel Cowan, do we believe that this was a plot that Iran said to Hezbollah, "Go do this now, take these Israeli soldiers. We want to divert attention away from our nuclear development"? Was this conscious? Is that your view?
LT. COL. BILL COWAN: Yes, absolutely, Alan. We better believe it. If we don't, we're being a little being naive. You know, military tactics on the athletic field, in politics, the best thing you can do, get your opponent to take his eye off the target, create a diversion somewhere. All of these trips, all of these meetings, what else could it be? They weren't just talking about, you know, what was happening in their families.
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Captain Nash, the bottom line here is, is that we're not paying attention to [Iranian President] Ahmadinejad. We're clearly not listening to his rhetoric, and we're clearly not putting the blame where it belongs here. It raises the question: What must the United States do with the Iranian problem? It's bigger than their nuclear ambitions, clearly.
CAPTAIN CHUCK NASH: It is bigger than their nuclear ambitions. And since the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979, they have been at war with the United States and the United States's allies. It's plain and simple. The reason why Hezbollah came into existence was because the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps stood it up, financed it, and has been supplying it ever since...
COLMES: Captain, we...
NASH: ... as a strategic leverage against Israel and us.
COLMES: We've got to part company. We thank you both very much, Captain Nash, Colonel Cowan.
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