COMMENTS: Nil Adventurism

Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki of Iran was in New York and sat down with ABC's Jonathan Karl and NBC's Richard Engel. Karl did not have a camera to record his interview, so he contented himself with debriefing anchor Charles Gibson on Minister Mottaki's evaluation of Israel's war plans against Teheran, plans that Karl (embargoed link) reported Monday were "likely" in the eyes of his Pentagon sources. Mottaki, on the other hgand, believes "the chances that the Israelis will attack are nil," Karl stated. Engel had his q-&-a on the record and gave it an Exclusive label. For Engel, Mottaki phrased that "nil" as a situation that "will not allow it to engage in regional adventurism." Mottaki, by the way, referred to Israel by name, not as the Zionist Entity. Engel continued with the hypothetical anyway: "Would Iran make a distinction between an attack by Israel and an attack by the United States?" "No." Engel reminded us that Iran has plans to retaliate with "a line of fire all the way from Teheran to Jerusalem" in case an attack were launched: Hezbollah would fight in Lebanon; Shiite militias would fight in Iraq; Iran would block the Straits of Hormuz--and a barrel of crude oil might cost "$300, $400."


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