Sayyed Nasrallah: Takfiris, Israelis Are Existential Threats to Lebanon
When approaching the «domestic issues», Sayyed Nasrallah becomes interested in every single detail, takes into account each word, phrase, point and comma. He becomes willing to satisfy the ally and not to antagonize the foe. Here, you can do nothing but to ask yourself: How it comes that a partner in the destiny-making of states is coaxing this party or another in Lebanon? The scene seems related in the eyes of Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah between yesterday, today and tomorrow. The scene of Aita al-Shaab in Lebanon, «Tahrir Square» in Cairo and Al-Aqsa Mosque in Palestine.
Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan NasrallahIn the second part of the interview published by the local daily As-Safir Tuesday, Hezbollah Secretary-General hailed the “unprecedented” security plan that is being implemented by security forces in the North and the Bekaa following a cabinet decision, stressing that it must be accompanied by “a comprehensive political, economic, social and developmental approach.”
“One of the key factors in the decision-making of these grand plans is the other team has returned to power. If they stayed outside the power, they wouldn’t agree upon them, but perhaps would hinder them. That’s what was going on in the past.”
“Undoubtedly, it (cabinet formation) was useful, because we were from the beginning, – and even under the mandate of PM Najib Mikati – we were very keen on the participation of the other team, but they took another option. But today, the government, joined by most of the political forces, can certainly achieve greater achievements. It may proceed slowly, but it can achieve greater achievements.”
Sayyed Nasrallah believed that the Royal Saudi ban on a range of terrorist organizations that have extensions in Lebanon is an assistant factor that would help a lot and has encouraged the other political team to be serious in this matter.
His eminence also underlined the importance of conducting “real reconciliations” between all the political movements and groups, expressing Hezbollah’s openness to dialogue, stating that the dialogue was pending due to the dispute on the former PM Saad Hariri’s cabinet.
“Conditions and atmosphere that followed that stage led to the dialogue pending. We do not want to hold any of the parties alone responsible of it.”
Regarding Hezbollah’s boycott of a National Dialogue session called for by President Michel Sleiman last week, Sayyed Nasrallah said the president was no longer able to chair such sessions in light of his recent stances.
“I think he lost the position that allows him to run a national dialogue which addresses such an important issue, i.e. that national defense strategy… We didn’t boycott dialogue when other parties boycotted it for several months, but we did not attend the talks due to the offensive remarks against the resistance made by the President regarding the tripartite formula,” he said.
“If we compared his (Sleiman) recent speeches with the Presidential oath, we would find significant divergence between speeches and between the two approaches… We are criticizing the President and not the Presidency,” Sayyed Nasrallah stated, denying any direct bilateral communication with the President.
Touching on the Presidential election, Sayyed Nasrallah said he believes the Lebanese Parliament could elect a ‘made in Lebanon’ President without being affected by foreign interference, adding that there were signs that the presidential election would take place on time.
“More than ever, local elements will be influential in the presidential election this time. Thus, we have the opportunity of having a president who is made in Lebanon,” Sayyed Nasrallah said, adding that Hezbollah will support the candidate who serves the higher national interest.
His eminence underlined that what will open the door to international or regional intervention at some point in the presidential election, is the disagreement of Lebanese political forces on the president, and thus the end of the specified and legal time.
“I can say now that we are facing a real opportunity to make a president in Lebanon, and to make a national decision of the presidential elections… But after May 25 (the constitutional date of Presidency of Lebanon), the door will open for regional and international interference.”
Sayyed Nasrallah revealed that presidency seekers are making contacts with Hezbollah as a core political force in the country.
Answering a question about that the President should represent most of Christians in Lebanon, especially the Maronites, his eminence said that Hezbollah has no problem with it.
“In previous elections, our position was clear. But the international and regional reconciliation moved the domestic affairs to another direction. In polls conducted by Bkirki, and another one conducted by “Assafir” to be published this week, General (Michel) Aoun occupied the first rank among the Lebanese and the Christians.”
“If we are in harmony with the principle of representing Maronites, this result must be respected certainly. But the problem is that some Christians who ask this matter are held responsible for this result when disbanding the arrival of the most representative figures among them to key positions in the country, including the presidency.”
“What if Hezbollah was to choose at the last minute between the vacuum and the extension, even for one year?,” Assafir journalists asked Sayyed Nasrallah.
“Our position of the extension is once and for all. The threat of Presidential vacuum may not scare the Lebanese. If political forces and parliamentary blocs couldn’t accomplish it until May 25, after May 25, every day, every hour and every minute will be a pressure on the political forces in order to elect the president… I think that this (threat of vacuum) is not going to be scary or hinder the presidential elections, but would be an element of pressure on everyone , and especially on all the political forces that do not want a vacuum,” Sayyed Nasrallah replied.
Separately, Sayyed Nasrallah commented on the developments that followed the vote of confidence for PM Tammam Salam’s cabinet, believing that the atmosphere in the new government is positive, and things are going so far with a high level of consensus and mutual understanding, and called for “completing the administrative appointments.”
Evaluating the performance of PM Salam, Hezbollah Secretary-General said that PM is an acceptable and open figure, indicating that his relation with the party is good and positive.
Stating that the national ideology of the Lebanese Army is strong, Sayyed Nasrallah reiterated his support for any unconditional foreign aid “except from Israel,” noting that the resistance is fully committed to the UN Resolution 1701.
“The Resistance has no armed appearance in South Litani River,” he said, highlighting that relations with the Lebanese army are excellent in that area, expressing his support for the opening the door to more volunteers in the army.
Turning to the internal problem of weapons spread inside Lebanese towns and cities, Sayyed Nasrallah stated it is prior to the Palestinian resistance in Lebanon.
“Weapons are found in Lebanese towns since decades. It is very important to seize them. This will serve the idea of Resistance, the social security and the national security, and will put an end to the Lebanese casualties on all aspects as well.”
However, his eminence voiced beliefs that achieving this goal couldn’t be through disarming the Lebanese people because it is unrealistic goal since partisans of every party in Lebanon have arms inside their homes, but through enforcing the law, dealing with any illegal action and arresting the wanted people.
“Thus when the state performs duties, such weapons will not be great problem,” he said , adding that “the resistance needs a consolidated and cohesive society and a strong, capable and just state.
Commenting on corruption in Lebanon, Sayyed Nasrallah denied any coverage Hezbollah provides for any case of corruption, demanding that Judicial council performs the full responsibilities towards the fight against corruption cases.
After 2000 and 2006, moral value of Hezbollah crossed national borders
Sayyed Nasrallah also highlighted that Hezbollah didn’t lose the opportunity in the Arab world by participating in the civil war in Syria, but stated that its gravity in the Arab and Muslim world is not more than respect because the party broke the idea that “Israeli army is undefeatable”.
“The talk on the possibility that Hezbollah is running transformations in the Arab world, Arab countries and Arab peoples, and is interfering here and there in order to change the equations, is not able to be materialize at all. However, Syria is a special case,” he said.
“I do not consider that there is a chance lost by Hezbollah, because I think there weren’t a chance even. Yes, our idea is to employ the respect that we got in the interest of promoting a culture of resistance in the Arab and Muslim world. Hence we are open to the national and Islamic forces. We do not interfere in the other party, his faith, his thought or his internal political direction. What concerns us is that he works against Israel, so we strengthen the relationship with him,” he added.
“Following 2000, there was a possibility that Hezbollah creates new Palestinian Jihadist faction in Palestine. Several people talked to me a lot on this idea, even some people appeared on satellite channels and said: We are Palestinian youths who trust you and want to work with you directly.
We refused the idea at all because it is a mistake and do not benefit the cause. It increases the divisions among the Palestinian people who need to be brought together… There are Islamic and national factions who wish to help, they should turn to these factions, namely the resistance forces on the ground that have a long history and presence on ground.
In fact, Hezbollah neither created a private Palestinian faction nor acted with the Palestinians friends on the basis that we want to be the leader of the Palestinian people or the Palestinian street. Never. Thinking of such a project at the level of Arab world is also unlikely.
Yes, We had the respect. Now if we compared what we had and what remained for us, meaning that our flags and our images were lifted, and now are no longer flying, our slogans were being lifted till the moment of our stance of Syria, and not the moment of our military intervention there.
Syria is a different case to us, however, it was not acceptable that we take a political stance of Syria. If we’ve stood and said: We call for a political dialogue between the regime and the opposition and for a political solution in Syria, and we call for the reform, we would have “fallen from the dictionary,” because we would have stood against the project on the basis of which everyone has intervened to eliminate in Syria.
Here, we have to review things accurately, and I say that those who are punishing us in the Arab world are not the people, but some elite personalities and political forces, while the popular mood is changing. In my opinion, and according to my knowledge and contacts… the popular mood is now clearly changing.
The criticism we’ve faced was not under the title of our fight in Syria, but because we had to declare, since the first day, a stand against President Bashar al-Assad and against the regime in Syria, but for whom interests? For the benefit of which project? What was required is to declare a position consistent with their interests.
Then came the military intervention to raise the proportion of controversy and debate about our position. In fact, the military intervention is just a detail, but their problem with us lies in the political situation,” his eminence elaborated.
Sayyed Nasrallah underlined that this trend of enthusiasm in our nation will last for several years more, even if a true leader comes to power, and that our priority should be minimizing losses, expressing Hezbollah refusal of partition in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.
“In this regard, I support the Iranian-Saudi rapprochement in spite of my conviction that Saudi Arabia’s role is very negative regarding what happened and what is going on in the Arab and Muslim world. It also has a foundational role in the ongoing events as a result of adopting and promoting that ideology. But, with all this history and the current reading, the Iranian-Saudi rapprochement helps, as well as Iran’s rapprochement with the various Gulf countries.”
“We cannot predict the future because the international shifts are great,” his eminence stressed.
“You may ask me what can happen in the Arab world in the coming years and what we could do for it, but the question is: to where the world is heading and what will happen in the light of what has happened ? In Europe? In America? This situation is open to all possibilities and will have a very significant impact on our region,” Sayyed Nasrallah told Assafir journalists interviewing him.
Takfiri and Israeli Threat
Hezbollah leader said that the Israeli and Takfiri threat are actually equal, and more precisely, they coincide with each other, stating that “the takfiri threat has been always a danger, but was delayed danger for our arena.”
His eminence highlighted that Takfiri terrorists are “serious threat in Pakistan, Somalia and everywhere, but they weren’t direct threat in Lebanon. Now they are. When I talk on Lebanon I mean Lebanon and Syria. The Syrian and the Lebanese file is one. This is why we believe they are daily and actual threat, just like the daily and actual Israeli threat.”
“Israeli threat is an existential threat. The Israeli is now deterred, but one day his ambition was to grab our land and get us out of it, and it is still his project in the future. They (Takfiris) also pose an existential threat.
“I do not say the Takfiri threat is prior to the Israeli threat, but I’m saying they are two actual and senior existential threats and must be confronted on this basis. Israel is not an exclusive threat to us, but to the whole region. The Takfiri trend is a threat to the entire region as well,” Sayyed Nasrallah stressed.
On the mass of the Takfiri trend in Lebanon and Syria, Sayyed Nasrallah said that no one has information on this matter, but some regional countries may have data about it, but even incomplete one. However, Europeans have numbers regarding the EU-origin mercenaries fighting in Syria, where each state offers the number of its citizens. But what about those who came out of the Arab world? Who will count them? There are no precise numbers, but they can be estimated as tens of thousands of foreign non-Syrians.
Popular Incubator for Takfiris in Lebanon and Syria
Sayyed Nasrallah underlined that there isn’t a popular incubator in the whole Arab and Muslim world, and even when you talk about the Sunni Muslims. The people cannot afford such militancy and extremism. This is strange for the public Sunni mood. However, when these groups are employed in a particular atmosphere, things are mixed, as what happened in Syria when different countries came and sponsored these groups. Their major concern was to find people carrying arms and fighting the regime, regardless their identities, whether they were al-Qaeda, Salafists, Muslim Brotherhood, Soufi, national or secular.
Hezbollah Secretary-General clearly stated that “the Takfiri trend has no future in the Arab world, because it has no project. When a regime being changed in certain country, what do the people of that country want? They demand justice, literacy, nutrition and solving the problem of unemployment, as well as the security, as well as a reasonable national stance… This trend does not have any project or answers, so I can assure you that, regardless its regional and international exploitation on the political and security levels, this trend does have neither a large presence in the Muslim world nor a popular incubation, nor a future because it has no project.
‘We, the Shia Imami, Will not Abandon Palestine’ Speech
“This speech was of two messages: the first one is for the Shiites themselves who are intimidated, exhausted and occupied in more than one Arab and Islamic country. They are targeted with explosives, suicide acts and changing of the identity of their enemy. There is also an attempt to keep them away from Palestine and the Palestinian cause. The second message is for all those who want to keep this popular segment of the Arab and Islamic nation away from the Palestinian cause, i.e. to all those who want to tell us: you have nothing to do with Palestine… We want to tell them through this message: Accuse us of what you like and describe us as you like. Your accusation, oppression and murder against us, as well as the car bombs and suicide attacks, and the genocides in some places in the Muslim world, will not prevent us from sponsoring the Palestinian cause, and its defenders,” Sayyed Nasrallah asserted.
“My words did not stem from a sectarian or denominational background. Resistance in Lebanon did not act in one day or speak in one day of sectarian background,” Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah ended up as saying.