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This interview appears in the July 28, 2006 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Iran Does Not Want Escalation of War

Dr. Guldimann is the former Swiss ambassador to Iran. He was interviewed by Muriel Mirak-Weissbach on July 21, 2006 in Germany.

EIR: The U.S. and Israel have said that the current military operation in Lebanon is justified, to defend Israel from Hezbollah attacks, which both say have been planned, or ordered, by Syria and Iran. Is this true?

Guldimann: I heard that the U.S. Administration used the word for the Iranian role in these acts: "inspired" by Iran, which could mean different things. I think that it's true that Hezbollah has been created by Iran, or by a very substantial Iranian participation in its creation and build-up; therefore, Iran has also its share of responsibility in the development. Moreover, although it is wrong to say that this was ordered by Syria or Tehran, it can be assumed that Hezbollah consulted Iran before going ahead, but given the nature of the Iranian regime, it remains open whom they have "consulted."

EIR: If, as they say, Iran is behind the Hezbollah operations, why? What would Iran stand to gain in such a conflict? Does Iran want an escalation, or not?

Guldimann: Iran might support provocations against Israel. Iran hopes for a strengthening of the anti-Israeli attitude in the region; however, Iran definitely does not want the escalation. Iran was among the very few (Switzerland is also among this tiny group) governments which were for a cease-fire, [as stated by] Minister of Foreign Affairs Mottaki in Damascus.

Interesting is that only the Speaker [of the Parliament] and the grandson of Khomeini made radical anti-Israeli statements. Ahmadinejad made—according to an Iranian newspaper of July 17—very interesting statements (which were totally overlooked!). Addressing the Zionist regime, he said: "Just as you founded the occupying regime on lies and conspiracy, you had better disintegrate it yourself. If you apologize to the people of the region, the noble regional nations will disregard the past. The Zionists should lay the cornerstone for a positive and constructive exchange with the regional nations, otherwise the fury of the world nations will rise, and they will investigate the crimes committed by the regime and its supporters. If you are unable to end such conspiracies, and can hardly manage to apologize for your aggressive moves, let the Palestinian people have a free election to decide their own fate."

Of course, we know that there are some ambiguities in his vocabulary, but still, this could be good stuff. By the way, he also has watered down his point on the Holocaust, saying that we do not know how many had been killed, maybe more than 6 millions.

EIR: What is Iran's real position in this Lebanon conflict?

Guldimann: Iran wants to be respected as a regional power and would like to be addressed as a fireman in the Near East. They could play not only a negative role, but also a positive one (as they did before in a moderating influence on Hezbollah after the Israeli withdrawal of 2000).

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