Larijani admits Iran financing Hamas

Denies providing arms; alleges NATO members supplying weapons to Taliban.

Ali Larijani 298 (photo credit: AP [file])
Ali Larijani 298
(photo credit: AP [file])
Ali Larijani, the chairman of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, denied in an interview with Newsweek that Iran was providing arms to the Hamas. He admitted, however, that his country was funneling finances to the Islamic group, as well as to Hizbullah. "We do support Hizbullah and Hamas, that is right," Larijani said. "But these two are not terrorist groups. These are the two groups that are defending their own land." In the interview Larijani also responded to American allegations that Iran was engaging the United States military via proxies such as the Taliban in Afghanistan, and made the claim that "some NATO members are supplying the Taliban behind the scenes in Afghanistan." In response to a question regarding Sen. Joseph Lieberman's recent statement that Iran was training Iraqi fighters on Iraqi soil, Larijani replied vehemently that the US should provide proof that Iran was conducting such activities. "Where are these camps located? Please ask Mr. Lieberman to give the address of these camps," Larijani said. "If these camps are supposed to be along our borders, then there would be insecurity along our borders … It seems that the Americans are somehow trapped in a hole and they are digging themselves further in. They should come out of the hole." Larijani, who is also Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, was asked what his country's response would be were further sanctions to be placed upon it. "Let's assume they would be willing to pursue this course," the nuclear attaché said. "They can pass another resolution, and we would make another, longer stride. Therefore they cannot solve the Iranian nuclear program." Larijani declined to divulge what such a "stride" in Iran's nuclear program would entail. "There is a Persian proverb that says if you can open up a knot with your fingers, why should you open it with your teeth?" he said.