Dr. Haytham Mouzahem is a Lebanese analyst and researcher specializing in Middle Eastern and Islamic affairs. He is a regular contributor to Al Hayat, Albalad and the Atlantic Post, as well as Arab political and academic journals. He has also written for The Daily Star, Almustaqbal, Albayan, An-Nahar and Jane’s Intelligence Review. Mouzahem has published two books: The Israeli Labor Party, 1968-1999 (Arabic, 2001) and The Conflict over the Middle East (2013), and contributed to six others. Two more of his own, The Evolution of the Shi’ite Marja’eya and How the revolutions occur, will be published soon.
The following is our interview with Dr. Mouzahem about development of Takfiri terrorism in the region as well as the issue of "Iran, victim of terrorism".
What do you think of the root of the Takfiri terrorist groups in the region?
I believe the roots of the Takfiri groups belong to the Salafi-Wahhabi interpretation of Islam which is very naïf and relies on superficial and literal interpretation of the Quran and the traditions (Ahadith) of the Prophet Muhammad. But that does not mean that the imperialism from Britain and France to the USA and Israel, did not exploit this phenomena to put schism in the Muslim world, especially between Sunnis and Shias, and Arabs and Turks from one side, and Arabs and Persians from other side, etc.
One of America's aims in military campaigns to the Middle East since 2001 has been creating a new Middle East, in which the Axis of resistance would be destructed and Israel would have been more powerful and with absolute security. Given the current situation in the region, reinforcement of Iran as the center of resistance to America, stabilization of resistance in Lebanon, and establishing resistant movements in other countries such as Syria, Iraq and now in Yemen, Do you think America has achieved its goal?
I believe that USA and Israel and their allies have found out that the best way to defeat Iran and the Axis of resistance is creating local Islamic enemies for them, such as ISIS in Iraq and Syria, Nusra Front in Syria, Al-Qaeda in Yemen and Sinai, as well as others in Lebanon and Iran.
We can't say that America and its allies have completely achieved their goals and we can't deny that they have achieved a great part of it, by creating the strife between Sunnis and Shias, Arabs and Persians, and destroying Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, and creating those terrorist groups in the region. They will implement the American – Israeli plan to create a new Middle East without costing US and Israel any loss or damage or penny. Unfortunately, Muslims pay these costs by their men and money and infra-structures and their national unities.
During the recent decades, US presidents, including the current president, have accused Iran of supporting terrorism. This is while, Iran is one of the biggest victims of terrorism in the world 17000 of its citizens, along with some of its senior officials, including the president, prime minister, head of the judiciary and parliamentarians have been killed by western-supported terrorist groups. In your opinion, how useful are international conferences like the "Congress on 17000 Iranian Terror Victims", to enlighten the public?
I think international conferences are necessary to help Iran to improve its image and prove to the world that it was and still a victim of the terror since the victory of revolution in 1979 and the war launched by Saddam Hussein till today with the terrorist attacks by the extremists on the borders and in Sistan and Baluchistan.
But the international conferences are not enough to do that, there should be multiple conferences per year and should not be limited to Iran, they should hold some of them in Western and International cities, like London, Geneva, Beirut, Moscow, Paris, Australia, etc. Also, the media would play a big role in promoting these conferences and covering them, and in raising this issue all the time not once a year.