Wednesday 25 August 2010

Sayyed Nasrallah: Our Freedom, Sovereignty Depend On Our Elements of Power


Mohamad Shmaysani

24/08/2010 Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah stressed freedom and sovereignty can only be achieved if Lebanon possessed the elements of power. “In this country, we face may difficulties, both internal and external, and our responsibility is to surmount the difficulties, not to fear them or to surrender to them. No one can elude this responsibility,” Sayyed Nasrallah said Tuesday during an iftar banquet organized by the Islamic Resistance Support Organization ‏ in Beirut.

The Hezbollah S.G. addressed the urging issue of arming the Lebanese army, which is also agreed upon by the different parties in Lebanon, particularly after the Odaisse incident in south Lebanon last month, in which two Lebanese army soldiers and a reporter were martyred and an Israeli colonel was killed. “What happened in Odaisse revealed that the Americans and the weapons they have been giving to our army are not meant to fight Israel but for internal purposes they call ‘fighting terrorism.’ Have the weapons grants stopped or not? some Congress members even demanded an inquiry to learn whether these weapons used by the Lebanese army against the Israeli army were American weapons or not!”

However, his eminence added, the Americans will continue to provide the Lebanese army with weapons under the following pretext: “To confront Hezbollah, because this will put Lebanon in the hands of Hezbollah. Therefore, we are doing Lebanon a good favor.”

“In a meeting with former PM martyr Rafiq Hariri, he told me: There are no concerns about an economic collapse in Lebanon because the world will not allow this, otherwise, they believe Lebanon will fall in Hazbollah’s hands.”

Sayyed Nasrallah elaborated saying that the international community is trying to persuade Israel to withdraw from the occupied Ghajar region because this will also undermine the resistance. “I tell them that Israel will not pull out of the Ghajar because there is a resistance in Lebanon, even if we are not engaged in an armed fight there,” the S.G. said.

“We are demanding that the Lebanese army be equipped with suitable arms either through a budget, and this is expensive; or through funds, and this is what President Michel Sleiman has called for. However, popular donations do not properly equip the army. Donations to the resistance do not create a resistance and this is also the case for the army. The third option is the Arab nations that claim they love Lebanon. I suggest that the government determines the kind of weapons it needs and then head to these friendly Arab states to tell them that we don’t want money; what we really want is some of the stockpiles of weapons that are going to rust in storage. We want the goods not the money. This can be done without a budget. We are in a exceptional situation and the region is tense. The Odaisse confrontation is far more dangerous that the capture of two soldiers (referring to the 2006 operation that prompted Israel to wage war on Lebanon). We had martyrs on our side, and on their side a colonel was killed. In the Keryat Shmona settlement, the settlers fled, but war did not break out.

Anyway, we cannot keep studying our options; we have to act and equip the army through our Arab brothers. As for Iran, I said during general elections that we can resort to Iran and Syria to equip the army in case we won the elections and uproar followed my position because of the political division that had prevailed. Today, they accept arms from Iran unconditionally. Iran does not have conditions, and I call on the government to take the decision to ask Iran for help and I pledge that Hezbollah will work on this and will invest all its friendships to realize this. President Ahmadinejad will visit Lebanon and I believe that Iran has been helping Lebanon for the past 28 years and will not refrain from granting the Lebanese army any kind of help.”

On the Israeli spies issue, Sayyed Nasrallah warned that Lebanon is currently engaged in a daily security war with the Israeli enemy. “More than 100 spies have been arrested so far, and according to official counts, the number is 150. It is right to assume that we are in the middle of a real security war where juridical follow up is necessary. I call for the formation of field courts and for judges to act swiftly away from routine procedures because we are in a state of war. Vendetta is not our goal, yet putting the sentences into effect will affect the disposition to collaborate with Israel. Lots of spies have started working after 2005 and the doors are still open for them and recruiting is ongoing.”

The Hezbollah S.G. stressed Hezbollah was not infiltrated. “There is strong organizational structure in Hezbollah. The resistance has been engaged in war with Israel on daily basis and we gave great heed to preventing any sort of infiltration. This is why over the past 28 years, we have had an anti-spying body and I can say it’s the largest body ever. We have not been infiltrated; we are immune.”

Sayyed Nasrallah also tackled the issue of false witnesses in the international investigation into the assassination of PM Hariri. “The government has asked the justice ministry to study ways to approach this file, which is a good step. Yesterday, the spokeswoman for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon said that the STL was not concerned in the false witnesses and we find this odd because they have deluded the STL for past four years. Has the Lebanese judiciary become under the jurisdiction of the STL? The Tribunal says the false witnesses issue is not under its jurisdiction and also says this not under the Lebanese Judiciary’s jurisdiction! If this is true, it is tantamount to the law of the jungle.

I have delivered evidence to the Lebanese judiciary and I have nothing to do with the STL and I will state the reason why in the proper time. I am ready to cooperate with the Lebanese judiciary.”

The S.G. addressed the endemic electricity and water crisis in Lebanon saying that neither the current minister nor the former minister are responsible for it. “It has been said that some of the protests that have taken place recently were politically motivated, but I can confirm that there were no political groups behind these protests. I would like to address the problem from a general perspective. We have an electricity problem and now they are telling us that we should be expecting a water crisis. We have been told that the protests were an exercise to be ready when the government is brought down. This is nonsense; everyone wants this government to stay. The opposition does not need the street to topple the government in case it wanted to. It can do so in parliament. No one want to target the minister of energy or the government; there is a problem and the Cabinet endorsed a four-year plan, but what is needed right now is an extraordinary Cabinet meeting to act fast. With all due love, I call on the people in every region to cooperate and be patient because there is concern that someone would infiltrate such protests and take the country to undesired consequences. As Lebanese we have to find solutions, therefore I call on the government to consider building a nuclear plant for peaceful energy. The cost to build Iran’s Busheher plant is far less than what Lebanon has so far spent on the electricity sector. We have the right to think about the nuclear solution and our ambition can take us to where we want to be. Water will be the most important resource in the future, because the region is heading towards a water crisis. We have water that is unfortunately not being invested, so we should build damns to preserve this resource.”

Sayyed Nasrallah concluded his speech by underlining the tripartite formula that protects the country: ‘The army, the people and the resistance.”

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