Exclusive Interview with Iranian Adviser

Rohani: Of course, not under current conditions, but perhaps in the future it might happen.

Wallace: Probable that you will have a war?

Rohani: In the future, it is probable that we will confront this situation.

President Bush and His 'Axis of Evil'

Wallace: What do you think of President Bush calling Iran part of an "axis of evil?"

Rohani: You have to ask Mr. Bush himself.

Wallace: But I am asking you as an Iranian. I am not asking why he did it, I am asking you what do you think, as the leader of the Supreme National Security Council, of President Bush calling Iran part of the "axis of evil?"

Rohani: For us, it was extremely surprising, the use of this language towards Iran, especially after the September 11th attacks. The Iranian people and Iranian officials sympathized with the American people. And Iran showed its readiness to the United Nations for the fight against terrorism.

Wallace: Given the that Iran had expressed sympathy for the victims of Sept. 11, given the fact the supreme leader expressed sympathy and condemned terrorism, why do you think President Bush included Iran as part of this "axis of evil?"

Rohani: What we really feel is that inside the United States there are two factions. One faction that is after resolving issues with Iran. And the other faction that tries to add conflict. And usually when this faction feels that conditions are ripe, they push for increased conflict. After Sept. 11, the hardliners, especially the Zionist lobby, became more active and, unfortunately, influenced Mr. Bush.

Wallace: Who you identify within this administration as leading this effort against Iran?

Rohani: Within the Bush administration, there are people who are more moderate and others who are more hard-line. We are familiar with their position and what they say.

Wallace: And who do you think this is? Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld? Vice president Cheney? Who do you see in the hard-line wing?

Rohani: What we see in the harsh speeches of the defense secretary and the national security adviser is a much harder line than the others.

Wallace: And is the president merely a puppet of this group?

Rohani: Well, Mr. Bush's experience in leading a country is not a long and a deep one. That's how we feel.

Wallace: What, an amateur?

Rohani: What we really see in the decision-making is the influence of the Zionist lobby. They are very influential in the administration as well as with members of congress.

Wallace: Some of your leaders have had harsh things to say about president Bush. Former President Rafsanjani said he was a dinosaur with the brain of a sparrow. I believe the supreme leader talked about war mongering. What do you think of President Bush?

Rohani: What I can say is that the people of Iran really didn't expect the harsh language that president bush used towards them. The people of Iran expected President Bush to use a proper tone of voice towards the government and the Iranian people.

Iran and Terrorism

Wallace: Let's talk if we can about the substance of President Bush's remarks about the "axis of evil." Does Iran support terrorism?

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