Iranian Diplomacy | Hamidreza Assefi: US officials say Israeli F15 fighters were used for a raid on two military bases in Syria last week. Former Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Hamidreza Assefi has discussed the recent episode in a brief interview with moderate news agency, Khabar Online.
Are the Israeli attacks against a response to the trilateral summit among Iran, Turkey, and Russia, held in Moscow?
Basically, the Zionist regime seeks to create crises in the region and seizes every single opportunity to do so. Because the Syrians have the upper hand on the field, the Israelis are trying to take the initiative from Syria and divert their attention to yet another enemy, with their aim being to provide a break for the opposition and terrorist groups including Daesh and the like.
Of course, the foreign ministers summit of the three countries in Russia could be yet another motive because the US is being seen as passive and secondary actor in Syria, with Western media outlets admitting that Iran and Russia have the initiative in Syria. Therefore, this missile-throwing can be message trying to say that we will destroy and sabotage if we cannot contribute positively.
How do you evaluate US Secretary of State’s Middle East visit at the same time with the attacks?
The new Secretary of State Pompeo was on his first Middle East visit last week, which included Saudi Arabia, the Occupied Palestine, and Jordan. In my opinion, his visit means that the US cares for its allies and wants to assure them that it will stand by them. Before starting his new job, Pompeo had announced his first visit would be to be meet officials of the Zionist regime, famously saying Netanhayu had a special place in his heart.
Moreover, Pompeo seeks to make the US-Israel-KSA axis more active because the US has never been so isolated in the region. Apart from one or two reactionary countries, countries in the region have distanced themselves from the US in practice. Turkey, Pakistan, and other countries to name a few. That is why Pompeo seeks to strengthen the axis and at the same time increase pressure on the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Do you think the visit and Pompeo’s remarks were linked to the Israeli missile raid on the T4 base?
Note that the Israeli missile-throwing at Syria came at the same time with the visit. It clearly demonstrates the Americans seek to create insecurity, instability, and conflicts in the region, to deteriorate the crisis. In order to cover issues like those of Yemen and Syria, and milk Saudi Arabia on these pretext more than ever.
How do you evaluate the Palestinian summit that came at the same time as Pompeo’s Jordan visit?
This simultaneity means that the Americans want to show their opposition to Palestinian move to fight for their rights and demonstrate their alliance with the Zionist regime too. They have just announced that they will move the US embassy to al-Quds in coming months. Therefore, the visit can be said to be after creating trouble and gaps between different Palestinian groups, and to influence the talks.
In Saudi Arabia, Pompeo enumerated US’ goals against Iran, providing assurance for his Saudi counterpart that the US is on their side. What do you think Iran’s approach and diplomacy should be to achieve the best interests in this game?
With these links, the Americans want to press Iran for concessions whether in the nuclear deal or other issues. Even Mr. Macron had pointed to this in his talks [with Trump]. Of course, it is a ripe opportunity for the Americans to use the illiterate and inexperienced Saudi crown prince for maximum financial exploitation. Therefore, Iran should do two things at the moment. First, to illuminate its partners and friends and use public diplomacy as much as possible. In addition to that, we should express our firm and uncompromising positions both in talks and in public remarks. If the Americans sense that their pressures are working, they will intensify them with more measures. However, if they find out that these pressures and threats lead nowhere but risk their interest, they will reconsider their approach.