Teleconference with Ambassador Uri Lubrani
Ambassador Lubrani is one of the world’s leading experts on Iran. Ambassador Lubrani has had a long and distinguished career in the service of the State of Israel. His posts have included Head of Mission to Iran, Government Coordinator for Lebanese Affairs, Coordinator of the Rescue of Ethiopian Jews, chief negotiator for the release of Israeli hostages, and Ambassador to several countries including Ethiopia and Uganda.
Ambassador Uri Lubrani (BBC) discussed the internal politics of Iran, the impact of the war, the politics of the region with Iran in the ascendancy.
On a personal note, Ambassador Lubrani sounded very much in sync with Natan Sharansky:
* Both are committed to democracy.
* Both see Iran as the very serious regional threat.
Ambassador Lubrani: Iran’s curriculum is a curriculumm of war. The regime’s teaching is a political one and not a religious one.
Despite the so-called moderate tenures of leadership (president) in before Ahmadinejad, the mullahs have always depicted the US as an evil.
Hostility to US is apparent throughout the school text books. Israel is the small Satan, while the US is held as the Big Satan. The reason being, is Israel just has a very small part to play in their plans.
This latest 30 day war is part of this grand design by the mullahs.
The US is the main target and this is taught to the Iranian children.
This “America the Great Satan” is a directive initiated by Khomeini.
The bright side of the situation in Iran, is that a great part of Iranian youth ignore the indoctrination and look up to the US as an ally and a dream to be fulfilled for them. Many have relatives in the US and don’t take everything as gospel.
This Iranian regime is out to stir a conflict with the West believing it is “God’s will.”
This particular brand of terrorism is out to start a war. This seems to be a regime on a threshold. The only decision to be made is will the war be of our choosing, or Iran’s choosing.
Allen Roth: (One Jerusalem) Has Iran’s role been enhanced by the latest 30 day war in Iran?
Lubrani- Lebanon is Iran’s southeastern front. It is Iran who trained and supplied the arsenal to Hezbollah. It is an Iranian arsenal. It was assembled in Lebanon in order to be directed against Israel.
John Hawkins- (Right Wing News) Do you see Iran getting off scott-free?
Lubrani- This started and managed by Hezbollah, planned by Iran. The only way to deal with it is to see the Iranians will not achieve nuclear weapons.
Lubrani- Iran suffers from at least a 20% unemployment rate. The economic situation very bad.
Allen Roth- Is it fair to say that rather than engaging in the regime, speak over the regime?
Lubrani- Bush has been effective at placing Iran into ‘Axis of Evil‘ but much more must be done. There is not enough being done. More effort and funding is needed.
Question- There must be more invested into Iran, $300-400 million, What else is required?
Lubrani- The US needs to decide together. Once the US decides something, really decides something, there will be a way.
Question- What about Iranian missiles/weapons used against the US in Iraq?
Lubrani- Iran is out to be the dominant influence in Iraq. US Iraqi ambassador is complaining about affairs in Iran. He did so this week. Iran does not want Iraq to succeed.
Lubrani- Gulf states are neighbors of Iran, yet they fear Iranian retribution if they go against Iran.
Allen Roth- What about Iranian oil dependence?
Lubrani- Iran is dependent on importing gas. 40% of the gasoline they need has to be imported because of refining capacity.
Q- Will Hezbollah become the government of Lebanon?
Lubrani- Hezbollah wants to show the people that they are rebuilding Lebanon. The Lebanese government needs assistance with funding for rebuilding to outperform Hezbollah who is being funded again by Iran.
TigerHawk- What needs to happen to see a regime change?
Lubrani- There needs to be a Constitution that gives the new leadership legitimacy. They need a new constitution. The people need to be given their right to choose their own government.
GP- Financing Hezbollah, how is this affecting the regime?
Lubrani- The regime has invested in Hezbollah, and therefore they have invested in Lebanon. It was not money thrown away. They have created the Hezbollah movement with their financial support.
Lubrani- Military option is only a last resort.
Q- What about an August 22 Surprise?
Lubrani- With Ahmadinejad- noone can predict – but 8-22 has a religious significance.
(The Jerusalem Post announced tonight that Iran is going to launch major military maneuvers in the next several days.)
And related to Uri’s talk, FrontPage says that Iran is gearing for war with West.
John Hawkins has much more from the conference call.
West Bank Blog has a very good analysis of what was talked about.
Jerry Gordon at Israpundit also has a very thorough analysis of the situation in the region.