Asharq Alawsat Newspaper (English): “At the other end of the spectrum, Iran’s ‘Supreme Guide’ Ali Khamenehi has echoed the views expressed by Rice and Blair. He, too, says that the war in Lebanon is about reshaping the Middle East. A week ago, his Foreign Minister Manuchehr Motakki presented that analysis in Beirut, drawing flak from Lebanon’s Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.
However, the most frank analyses of the situation on the Iranian side of the conflict have come from two close aides of Khamenehi.
The first was by Ali Akbar Velayati, the man who was the Islamic Republic’s Foreign Minister for 16 years. Now an advisor to the ‘Supreme Guide’, Velayati is regarded as a major voice in shaping Tehran’s foreign policy.
In a speech in Tehran last week, Velayati said that, by destroying the Taliban regime in Kabul and the Baathist dictatorship in Baghdad, the United States had created an historic opportunity for reshaping the Middle East.
However, the kind of the Middle East that President George W Bush wishes to create requires regime change also in Iran and its sole regional ally Syria. One way Iran and Syria could protect themselves against American ambitions is to put pressure on Israel through Hamas and Hezbollah.”


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