Following are excerpts from an interview with Kuwaiti MP Dr. Walid Al-Tabtabai, which aired on Al-Jazeera TV on August 30, 2006:
Dr. Walid Al-Tabtabai: Kuwait suffered from the former Iraqi regime in the days of Saddam - and everybody knows what the Saddam invasion caused. There was hope that the regime change would lead to regional stability, but I believe that this hope is misplaced. We were happy about the regime change, but things have gotten worse, and the chaos in Iraq will affect Kuwait, especially the sectarian zeal, the sectarianism in Iraq. I think that Iran is the cause. I hold the Arab countries responsible too, because they abandoned Iraq, and did not support the moderates in Iraq, and especially the minority... or rather, the Sunni Arabs. What is necessary is to guide the Iraqi resistance. It needs a clear political plan. In addition, the focus should be on the crimes of annihilation, especially those perpetrated by Iranian-backed militias. I say to my Arab Shiite brothers that there is an Iranian Safavid1 plot to take revenge upon Iraq, as a state and a regime, because of its war against Iran.
If Iran develops a military nuclear project - against whom will it direct it? According to the Iranian president's statement, it is not directed against Israel, but is for peaceful purposes, for energy. Iran has oil and gas reserves that will last it for dozens, if not hundreds, of years. I don't think it's true that this project is for energy purposes. If only this nuclear project were directed against Israel, but it isn't. We have experience with this kind of regime - whether the former Iraqi regime, or the totalitarian regimes in Iran and elsewhere. They want to intimidate their neighbors.
Interviewer: But Israel thinks Iran is its number one enemy in the world these days.
Dr. Walid Al-Tabtabai I really do not think Iran is Israel's number one enemy. The most important thing for Iran is its national interests, followed by the Islamic interests, and only then the Shiite interests.
I don't think Iran is an enemy of America. It's all propaganda for local and external consumption. Under the table, Iran is cooperating definitely with America, and maybe [even] with Israel.
The reference is to the Safavid dynasty, which ruled Iran between 1501 and 1722 and declared the Twelver Shi'a as the religion of the state.