TEHRAN, Sep. 28 (MNA) – A Lebanese journalist has said US tries to connect all things to Iran nuclear dossier to bargain for what it wants to gain in the region.

Ali Hashem is a Lebanese journalist who worked for BBC, Al-Jazeerah English and now works for Al-Mayadeen. He has lived in Iran for over a year and in an interview with Mehr news commented on Iran from political and non-political views.

Hashem described Iran as a country ‘not only famous for its economy and diversity of religions,’ but also ‘for its natural environment and tourism.’ “Despite sanctions, Iran is a developed country and it is a center for art” he added.

About ISIL threat in the region Hashem mentioned that Iran had warned over terrorism in the region two years before any international coalition could ever take a position. The west supported ISIL since they were opposition back in Syria crisis; but in Iraq they decided to establish a coalition against them.



Following is the transcript of the interview with Ali Hashem.

As a Middle East correspondent, how do you evaluate recent developments in the region?

Bringing peace back to the region should be among the most important matters for international community. Nowadays small groups bring chaos in the region and there is not much peace in some countreis here.

All the region will be affected but the Islamic Republic of Iran for its Shia population is less in danger while the Saudi Arabia for Wahhabi teachings is more under the danger of the terrorist groups taking action here. Since Wahhabi teachings are closer to the Takfirits thoughts, Saudi Arabian are capable of leaning towards these terrorists than any other country.

How do you see the role of the Islamic Republic of Iran on solving the regional issues like that of the ISIL terrorism in Syria and Iraq?

Iran had warned over terrorism in the region two years before any international coalition could ever take measures. The west supported ISIL since they were the opposition back in Syria crisis but in Iraq they decided to establish a coalition against them.

Why do you think the US and other countries decided to establish a coalition against the ISIL in Iraq?

The US herself knows that the threat of the ISIL is not a regional but international threat because it is not like Al-Qaeda, it is a dangerous phenomenon moving to different countries; it is in Syria, in Iraq, and it might be in other countries as well.

US knew it was a threat to the whole world and established a coalition to fight against it in Iraq while the Islamic Republic warned agaisnt its threat two years before US even think about it;  had warned its threat and asked to fight against it.

Do you think that the beheadings of two US journalists and the British human rights activist were the reason for the US to establish the coalition?

US did not decide to launch airstrikes against the ISIL after beheadings of the journalists it feared when it felt that ISIL would destabilize EU and US.

Why had not the US wanted to fight ISIL back in Syria?

Because the US did not want to fight oppositions of the Syrian government, but in Iraq they felt the danger and decided to fight the ISIL group.

Syrian issue is an international issue, it is not regional or national; regional interferences caused people start killing each other and the first country which talked about fighting terrorism to solve the crisis in Syria was the Islamic Republic.

About US-led coalition, Iran said that everything should be under the UN laws and started fighting terrorism in the region when the west was supportive to them back in Syria.

US wants to form the coalition with the help of other countries but what the Islamic Republic wants is that it should be under the international laws and the UN.

As a visitor to Iran how do you see its role in the regional and international fields?

Iran is an important and powerful country in the region, it is not any usual country, not only for its economic and religion and political issues; it also embraces art and beautiful nature; despite all sanctions it is a developed and cultured land.

The world uses propaganda against Iran but things are different in Iran. Actually West is using two tools against Iran which are propaganda and sanctions; but things are different inside this country.

Iran’s issues gain momentum both regionally and internationally, because its power presents in several phases and its nuclear issue is an international issue of the day.

Iran is the main gate to the Middle East for it controls Strait of Hormuz which is strategic and important.

Its politics are really interesting because you see different points of view in this country, there are both reformist and conservative parties and there are several lines within every party and they are all together.

What is your opinion on Iran nuclear issue?

When Imam Khamenei says it is haram to have nuclear weapon this is not because of fear of west or any other country or anyone but it is Islam which is against killing but the US tries to connect all things to the nuclear file to bargain for what it wants to gain in the region.

No one in the region has concern over Iran nuclear program except for Israel. People know that Iran is pursuing its rights. Iran cannot give up its 20 percent enrichment and it is what west wants to reach in the nuclear negotiations.

Ali Hashem, a prominent Lebanese journalist and a senior Al-Mayadeen correspondent and a writer of Iran Pulse of Al-Monitor, joined BBC in 2007. When in BBC, Hashem reported from various locations and covered several stories. After a couple of months of experimentation with newly launched Al-Jazeera English Service, he joined it. At Al-Manar TV he covered the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah and Israel.

Interview: Zahra Karimy, Mohamamd Mazhari



News Code 104163

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