‘U.S., Israel won’t allow the likes of Saudis to acquire atomic bomb’

June 8, 2019

TEHRAN – An expert on Middle East affairs believes that the United States and Israel would never allow the likes of Saudi Arabia to acquire nuclear weapons because the Zionist regime wants to be the only superpower and nuclear power in the region.

“I am certain that neither the U.S. nor the Zionist regime would ever allow any other country to reach nuclear weapons,” Seyyed Hadi Seyyed Afghahi said in an interview with the Tehran Times.

Asked whether reports of the major contracts struck between Riyadh and Washington over the former’s nuclear program should be considered worrisome, Seyyed Afghahi said such contracts are merely over Saudi Arabia’s nuclear energy program.

“The Zionist regime wants to be the only superpower and nuclear power in the region. Hence, I highly doubt that the U.S. and the Zionist regime would allow Saudi Arabia or any other Arab country to acquire nuclear weapons.”

He cited Washington’s constant pressure on North Korea over its nuclear weapons as an example that the U.S. would never allow other countries, “let alone Arab ones”, to build atomic bombs.

Seyyed Afghahi also referred to Israel’s bombardment of Iraq’s nuclear facilities as yet another example.

“The reason Israel would not attack Iran is that firstly it is afraid of doing so, and secondly we have brought our nuclear activities under the law,” he reasoned.

‘U.S. would destroy the region if it could’

The Middle East expert was asked to comment on the defeat of Daesh and Washington’s plan for a post-Daesh Middle East, to which he responded, “The U.S. either wants to destroy the entire region or it wants to at least bring the region under its full control according to its New Middle East plan.”

This has always been Washington’s goal but different administrations have adopted different policies and strategies to reach that end, he explained, adding, “The U.S. would destroy the region if it could.”

“The U.S. aims to weaken the countries of the region, their military, infrastructure and economy through its proxies in order to bring security to Israel.”

‘Syrian government is the final decision-maker’

Asked about media speculations about disagreements between Tehran and Moscow on Syria, Seyyed Afghahi said, “These are merely rumors and psychological warfare.”

“I’m not saying that our relations with the Russians are ideal. At the strategic level, the two countries’ goals are identical, and the two countries share similar views. But at the tactical level, sometimes there are disagreements between Iran, Russia and Syria,” he remarked.

He then said when there are disagreements between Iran and Russia on the Syrian crisis, Tehran’s stance is much closer to that of Damascus compared to Moscow.

The key point, he said, is that the Syrian government is the final decision-maker “whether we or the Russians propose the solutions.”

According to Seyyed Afghahi, Russia is an international player while Iran is a regional one.

“When Moscow wants to adopt a tactic, it must take into account ten different things, including the status of the Zionist regime,” he said, adding, “But Iran and Syria do not have such considerations.”

Seyyed Afghahi also rejected rumors of disputes between the Islamic Republic and Syria’s Ba'ath Party, saying Iran’s relations with Syria and the Ba’ath party is “beyond strategic”.

“The Supreme Leader [Ayatollah Khamenei] said in his meeting with Bashar al Assad that Syria is Iran’s strategic depth and Iran is Syria’s strategic depth. It shows how close and intertwined the two countries are.”

“Therefore, we will be beside Syria as long as Bashar al Assad is president and shares the same stance on the Axis of Resistance and the Zionist regime,” he concluded.

‘Iran, Syria relations with Hamas is in detente’

Asked about the prospects of Tehran-Hamas ties, especially after Yahya Sinwar was named the leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, he said the development was a positive step in improvement of relations between Tehran and Hamas.

He pointed out that Iran’s relations with Hamas’s military wing has never been completely cut off, but it was tarnished by some issues, including the Syrian issue and the stances of Hamas’s political leaders toward regional developments.

Throughout all these years, Hamas’s office in Tehran was never closed, he said.

He also said Khaled Mashal, the former chairman of the Hamas Political Bureau, was playing a negative role in Hamas, adding that the defeat of the U.S. and Zionist-backed terrorists in Syria and also the developments in Egypt, especially the coup against the Muslim Brotherhood, harmed Hamas and caused its leaders to review their stances with regard to regional developments. 

Fortunately, when Sinwar became the leader of Hamas and Ismail Haniyeh became the chairman of the Hamas Political Bureau, Hamas’s relations with Iran improved, the expert noted.

“We need Hamas and we do not want to deny that Hamas is the biggest and most popular Jihadi group,” he stated, adding, “Today, Iran and Syria’s relations with Hamas is in detente.”

‘Abbas either imprisons Jihadis or hands them to Israel’

On Ayatollah Khamenei’s emphasis on the necessity of resistance in the West Bank, Seyyed Afghahi said, “The Leader has said the West Bank needs to be armed. He has not said this as an order to Hamas, but a moral obligation that anyone should fulfil.”

“With the West Bank being armed, the heavy burden that has been put on Hamas’s shoulders will be lightened,” he asserted.

“A few armed acts have occurred in the West Bank but not to a large extent, because the West Bank is under the rule of Mahmoud Abbas while there’s total freedom of action in Gaza since it is in the hands of Hamas and other Jihadi groups.”

Seyyed Afghahi went on to strongly criticize Abbas, saying he either imprisons the Jihadis in his prisons or hands them over to the Zionist regime or gives information to the Zionist regime so that it assassinate them.

He also said despite these issues, promising moves have been made in the West Bank, especially after the U.S. embassy relocation to al-Quds.

MH/PA

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