In an interview published Wednesday with the London-based Arabic-language newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat, Mohamed Hassan Akhtari said that "the imam Khomeini and the Islamic Republic of Iran
saw the Palestinian problem their own, and therefore set the global Jerusalem Day in the month of Ramadan in support of the Palestinian issue.
Israel's UN ambassador breaks Israeli silence on Beirut clashes, states 'weapons are being funneled to Hizbullah, while Lebanon is torn and bleeding. The international community must act, for the sake of Lebanon and the entire region'
"As we all know, the Hamas movement and the Islamic Jihad were established after the Islamic revolution victory in Iran, inspired by the imam Khomeini and the resistance he led."
Addressing the Iranian presence in Lebanon, he said that "this resistance materialized in Lebanon with the establishment of Hizbullah
and later took place in Palestine. Therefore, the sons of the Palestinian and Lebanese resistance are the legitimate sons of the Islamic Republic of Iran, spiritually and morally."
Akhtari served as Tehran's ambassador to Damascus between 1986 and 1997 and between 2005 and January 2008. During his two tenures, he was considered the most influential diplomat in Syria.
After completing his term in Damascus several months ago, he began serving as an advisor to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, a role he had filled in the past for two years.
Akhtari is considered the person responsible for the complex and unusual relations between Iran and Syria over the years, and the person who created ties between Tehran and the Palestinian factions in Damascus.
During the interview, Akhtari was asked about the assistance given to Hizbullah in Lebanon by members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
"The conditions were conditions of occupation (referring to IDF's presence in Lebanon). These groups (the Revolutionary Guards) traveled to support the Lebanese at the time. They supported Hizbullah in terms of training and special orders. I don’t remember that any of them took part in the fighting."
Addressing the work relations between him and Hizbullah and the Palestinian organizations, Akhbari said, "We held meetings with them. They would arrive, report their situation and say what they would do and what they need. They would report to us and we would relay the reports to Iran.
"The same took place with the Palestinian factions. We would meet with the senior Palestinians and they would present us with reports and a series of issues which we would deliver to Iran."