When meeting him, the Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Ghadanfar Roknabadi made reservations to his answers about the relationship with Turkey and the abducted Iranians in Syria. All of what Mr. Ambassador disclosed was that communications are taking place regarding the case of the abductees, yet there is no news till the moment.
Roknabadi preferred to emphasize in the interview on the International Al-Quds Day and its importance on the level of returning the Palestinian cause to the top of the concerns in light of the changes taking place in the Arab World. The Iranian Ambassador, whose words are much serious and diplomatic, insists that the probability of political settlement in Syria still exists, and that overthrowing the Syrian regime aims at saving the Zionist entity.
What did Imam Khomeini want from devoting the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan a day for Al-Quds, the capital of occupied Palestine?
Even before the victory of the revolution in Iran, the Imam was concerned with Al-Quds and the Palestinian Cause, as well as all the just causes in the whole world. Imam Khomeini called all peoples of the world to support the Palestinian cause and liberate Al-Quds from Zionists. But when the revolution triumphed, the Imam worked harder to install this thought by closing the Israeli Embassy in Tehran and opening a Palestinian Embassy instead.
In addition to that, serious efforts were exerted to support the Palestinian cause. Among the steps was the Imam’s announcing the last Friday of every month of Ramadan the International Day of Al-Quds. Imam Khomeini specifically chose this day because he wanted it to be deep-rooted and alive in the conscience of every free person in the world without the need to change its duration.
Mr. Ambassador, in your opinion, why was the Palestinian cause absent from the Arab peoples’ conscience in light of the movements going on in their countries?
I don’t agree with what you have said. Israel wants the movements in the Arab world to negatively affect the Palestinian cause. Before those movements have started, Israelis were exerting their maximum efforts to divert attention from Palestine and the occupation of Palestine, as well as the cause of refugees.
They were adopting the discrimination policy based on the principle “you discriminate, you rule.” But the intensity of this policy grew higher after the movements that took place in the Arab countries especially after Husni Mubarak’s regime fallout, when the Israelis felt that this security backing regime has collapsed. And the Muslim Brotherhood group, which was chosen by the Egyptian people to be ruling, believes in the rightness of the just causes among of which is the Palestinian cause.
Consequently, Israel and Western countries are currently trying their best to control the Arab revolutions, especially the Egyptian one that is considered at the top for constituting an important change on the occupied Palestinian borders. Many revolutionists in the Arab world had shouted in favor of the Palestinian cause, such as the Egyptian revolutionists who tried to break into the Israeli embassy building, something which emphasizes that revolutions were reviving the Palestinian cause.
Are we still able to call what is going on in the Arab World an Islamic awakening, as Imam Ali Khamenei said, in light of the sectarian fighting and strongly thinking about partition?
In this context, I would like to recall the Iranian revolution even though it is different from the Arab revolutions on the levels of the united leadership, the method, and the clear program. The revolution in Iran faced a lot of problems even harder than those current revolutions are witnessing. It was due to the Israeli-American focus to smash the Iranian revolution and topple the Islamic Republic regime through the terrorist bombs and the Iraqi war, in addition to the incitement for the sectarian and national differences in order to perform protests and fuel conflicts.
But we, through hard efforts, were able to establish the pillars of this revolution. For this reason, Arab people that were able to create those revolutions must work hard to set the pillars of their revolutions stable and protect them from the internal and foreign threats. What is important is that this awakening still exists and what is still needed is the suitable time to stabilize this revolution and start reaping its results. We, the Iranians, needed ten years to stabilize our revolution and face all the plots that are still ongoing.
For that, we hear today about revolutions in Arab worlds, the same accusations we used to hear against the Iranian people during the Iranian revolution, because this awakening took place according to the Islamic principles.
Al-Quds International Day has a symbolic dimension on the level of supporting the Palestinian cause. With what should this day, which makes Palestine alive in the consciousness, be accompanied in order to make the fight against the Israeli enemy more effective?
Palestine is not only the Qiblah for Arabs and Muslims, Al-Quds rather must trigger every alive and free conscience in the world. Al-Quds was occupied by force, and also must be freed by resistance, and progressive and inclusive support from all the peoples in the world. The last Friday in the holy month of Ramadan is a golden chance to commemorate this day and show the available energies among free people that must all flow in the stream of supporting Al-Quds and liberating it.
Al-Quds Day anniversary coincides this year with the escalation in the level of the crisis in Syria, which is considered a cornerstone in reluctance supporting the Palestinian resistance, as well as the decline in the Palestinian front’s resistance. What do you think it’s due to?
We assert that a part of the Israeli enemy current plans is to divert the attention from Palestine toward Syria. Nowadays, we are witnessing the project to overthrow Syria and the Syrian public will, because the majority of the people in Syria want reforms under this regime and President Bashar Assad’s leadership. On the contrary, this huge public will is being attacked by force, foreign intervention, arming terrorist groups, and bringing those groups from different places. In fact, the more Syria is defeated, the more “Israel” is saved.
How much is it possible that Iran will make a breach on the level of political solution to the Syrian crisis especially after the failure of Kofi Annan’s plan and in light of some countries’ continuous support to the armed groups?
Since the very beginning, we said there is no solution in Syria but the political one. As for the Syrian opposition, there is a political opposition group and not a military opposition group. He who wants to achieve democracy won’t carry his gun, perform terrorist operations, and kill people, and import armaments and terrorists to Syria. As long as there is an opposition in Syria, we have to start dialogue with the political opposition. Yet, there are still imported groups that neglect every political solution, and don’t do but murdering, terrifying, and torturing corpses in Syria.
On this basis, the Consultative Meeting in Tehran is working on preparing the ground on which the Syrian regime officials will sit along with the opposition on the dialogue table in order to agree on stopping violence and performing the inclusive elections, as well as paving the way to deliver the humanitarian supplies to the Syrian people.
All the attendees of the Consultative Meeting stressed on what I have just said, they also stressed on exerting efforts to solve the crisis from all sides, not with the help of some countries, but with the help of all the effective countries with regard to the events taking place in Syria. The Consultative Meeting in Tehran was perfect, despite difficulties; it seemed it is possible to reach a solution. Imported armed groups are spoiling things, for this reason, we must differentiate between the real local opposition and those who were brought to destroy Syria.