on Fox’s “Your World”: Iran Enemy Number One of Iraq
Fox News Channel
December 20, 2004
Iran Enemy Number One?
Terry Keenan: Well, when it comes to Iraq, is Iran the number one enemy? My next guest says, yes.
Alireza Jafarzadeh is the president of Strategic Policy Consulting and he is
also a FOX News Foreign Affairs Analyst and welcome. Good to have you with us.
Jafarzadeh: Thank you very
Terry Keenan: You know we just heard congressman Nadler
saying Iran isn’t the biggest impediment to the outcome in Iraq. You disagree, right?”
Alireza Jafarzadeh: I certainly do. I think Iran has all the cards in its hand. They have
been working very hard in the past year and a half. There are some ten thousand
clerics; Iraqi clerics who are on the regular payroll of Iran, thousands of others are being constantly
paid by Iran. Some thirty media outlets, Iraqi media outlets --including radio,
television, and newspapers-- are being funded by Iran. Hundreds of mosques and religious centers
have been built by Iran and they’ve appointed pro-Iran clerics, some of whom
have lived in Iran for some twenty five years, fomenting violence and
anti-Americanism and building support for the extremists, and the Iranian brand
of government they want to see there, so clearly Iran is a threat both in the
short term and also in the strategic, longer term.
Terry Keenan: If the Iranians are holding all the cards
here, we certainly have been looking at their hand as you mentioned for the
last twenty-five years, shouldn’t we have anticipated this outcome?
Alireza Jafarzadeh: Well that’s a very good question, Terry. I think this should’ve been
anticipated. It was very obvious that Iran is going to emerge as the big bully in the
region. Iran is definitely the bigger country. Iran’s population is three times as big as Iraq’s and four times bigger country than Iraq is. The biggest border of Iraq is with Iran, some 900 miles. Three quarters of the Iraqi
population live within a hundred mile distance from the Iranian boarder. The
majority of the populations are Shiites and Iran has had this desire for many years to
establish an Islamic republic there, in Iraq. The whole Iran-Iraq war, for eight years
was all about that as far as Iran was concerned. So, I think that should’ve
been taken into serious consideration.
Terry Keenan: What happened to those millions of young
Iranians that were going to push for democracy, there was a lot of focus on
that until the last couple of years once we moved into Iraq.
Alireza Jafarzadeh: Well, I think you’ve touched on a very very
important issue. Those young Iranians are there and they are, even more vocal,
more active. Just last week the Iranian regime’s president was speaking before the
students where he was heckled by the students. They called him a liar, they
called for change in the regime and there are thousands of the Iranian
opposition figures who are now in Iraq calling for regime change in Iran and I think that is one place the US should really focus. They are the weak
point, the Achilles heal of the Iranian regime is its own opposition. The
students and the opposition groups and that’s where the US and I think the
Iraqi government need to focus if they want to counter Iran’s threat.
Terry Keenan: How does the US respond to this threat in a non-aggressive
way through diplomacy? Is it possible?
Alireza Jafarzadeh: Well, certainly you have to go through that channel; definitely I think
first president Bush spoke today, warning Iran and Syria against their meddling. I think that needs
to be stepped up and that needs to be backed up with other statements from
other officials to send a very strong signal to Iran that they need to stop they’re meddling. And
also the very porous border between Iran and Iraq needs to be sealed off completely. Those
agents of Iran who have been arrested need to be brought to justice to be tried and
also the diplomatic representation of Iran, Their embassies need to be shut down unless
Iran cleans its act.
Alright, a long laundry list for us thanks for joining us.
Alireza Jafarzadeh: Always a pleasure, Terry.
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