Something rather unprecedented happened this week – an Iranian journalist was in Israel to interview Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.
The interview took place at the Defense Ministry headquarters, known as the "Kirya," in the heart of Tel Aviv. Journalist Mehrad Mirdamadi, editor of Radio Farda ("tomorrow" in Farsi), operates out of Prague, and his broadcasts reach millions of Iranians, both in the Islamic Republic and around the world.
When asked by Mirdamadi what he'd like to say to the people of Iran, Liberman responded:
"We hope that our message is very clear. We will do everything to prevent Iran from establishing a military foothold in Syria or helping other Shiite militias there to threaten Israel. Iran is a sovereign country and has the right to maintain diplomatic and economic relations with Syria, but we will never agree to an Iranian military presence on Syrian soil, and we will thwart all Iranian efforts to harm Israel."
In appealing to average Iranians to reject the agenda of their extremist leaders, Liberman added:
"Iran is investing in terror, instead of working for the younger generation. Instead of developing the economy and science, the Iranian regime invests only in military exercises and violence. It is a fanatic regime, which to date has wasted more than $13 billion, and every year there are more than $2 billion for the financing of terrorism throughout the Middle East, which is contrary to the interests of the Iranian people. Why does a country with such vast oil reserves need to invest so much in a nuclear program and the development of long-range ballistic missiles?"