Exclusive Interview with Iranian Adviser

Rohani: I told you clearly that Iranian weapons are in the possession of anti-government terrorist groups in Iran. These terrorists groups who are against (inaudible) use the same weapons to fight us. These are the same weapons they have looted from the Iranian military. Plus the fact that we sell the weapons to many countries. Therefore, Iranian weapons can be anywhere. This is not proof.

Wallace: So you are saying as the head of the Supreme National Security Council, that these weapons that were on the Karine A. did not come from element within Iran?

Rohani: Not necessarily related to Iran and Iranian officials. We have repeatedly declared that if any country has proof that these weapons have come from Iran, show us that evidence so that we can examine it. Iran is not necessarily in favor of sending weapons to the Palestinians and the Palestinians don't need those weapons. If the Palestinians need any weapons they get from inside Israel.

Support for Hezbollah

Wallace: What do you think of Imad Mugniyah [alleged terrorist mastermind accused by U.S. authorities of planning the 1983 bombings of the U.S. Embassy and Marine barracks in Beirut and the 1985 hijacking of a TWA airliner]?

Rohani: He is just a man from Lebanon.

Wallace: Do you think he is a good man? Do you think he is a man of religion? Is he a friend of yours, of Iran's?

Rohani: There are so many people who might like Iran, but that doesn't mean that we have a working relationship with the man.

Wallace: Have you ever met Imad Mugniyah?

Rohani: (Shakes his head no.)

Wallace: What do you think of his activities?

Rohani: Ask him yourself. I'm not Imad Mugniyah, and we don't have any connection to him.

Wallace: The reason I ask is — hasn't Iran for years been supporting Mugniyah with money, with weapons, and with training?

Rohani: This also, if you have any proof, present it to us.

Wallace: Doesn't he spend a lot of time in Iran?

Rohani: So many people come to Iran and return. They come as tourists and return home; and that doesn't mean we have an organic relationship.

Wallace: You say that there is no organic relationship, but hasn't Iran supported Hezbollah for many years?

Rohani: Hezbollah is more than a person. Hezbollah is a group in Lebanon, a legitimate political group. They have representatives; people support them enormously; and, Hezbollah is a group that has fought for freedom for their own country. And it is a popular group to the Lebanese people.

Wallace: But Mugniyah is the terrorist leader of Hezbollah. So if you have a relationship with Hezbollah, don't you have a relationship with Imad Mugniyah?

Rohani: Our relationship is with this institution, not with an individual. Within this institution there are thousands of active members, and we are neither responsible for their activities nor do we have detailed information about their activities. What is important to us is that Hezbollah is a group that has fought for the freedom of its country, and has freed a huge part of its occupied land.

Wallace: Do you condemn Imad Mugniyah's actions?

Rohani: I don't even know what Imad Mugniyah has done. Am I responsible for the actions of individuals?

Wallace: His actions? He was the mastermind of the TWA hijacking. He was involved in the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, the Marine barracks in Beirut, that together killed more than 300 people. Do you condemn those actions?

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