Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has welcomed a surprise Chinese-brokered deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia to restore bilateral ties severed in 2016, saying it could open new horizons throughout the region, including Lebanon.
Nasrallah, who was speaking in a televised address aired on Friday, said the Iranian-Saudi reconciliation announced earlier in the day is a “good development” that will not be at the expense of the region’s peoples.
“An Iranian-Saudi rapprochement won’t be at the expense of Yemen, Syria and the resistance,” he said.
“It’s an important development, of course, and if it proceeds in its natural course it could open up horizons in the entire region, including in Lebanon,” he added.
After several days of intensive negotiations hosted by China, Iran and Saudi Arabia finally clinched a deal on Friday to restore diplomatic relations and re-open embassies, seven years after ties were severed over several issues.
‘No one can impose president on Lebanese’
Commenting on Hezbollah’s recent nomination of Suleiman Franjieh as the party’s candidate for the presidential race, Nasrallah said nominating a candidate for the election is the “natural and legal” obligation of any political party.
“We have called for dialogue over the president and no one has the right to prevent anyone from nominating anyone,” Nasrallah said.
The Hezbollah chief added that no party or individual had the right to impose their candidate on the Lebanese people.
“Some claimed that we want to impose a president on the Lebanese and Christians, but this is not the case,” he clarified. “If a country helps Lebanon, that does not grant it the right to impose a president.”
“We welcome any foreign assistance but we do not accept dictations,” Nasrallah asserted.
Syria at heart of Axis of Resistance: Nasrallah
Regarding the developments in neighboring countries, the prominent Lebanese figure said that what happens in Syria and Palestine reflects on the regional countries and has a strong impact on Lebanon in particular.
“Speaking about the present and future of Syria is like speaking about the present and future of Lebanon,” Nasrallah said.
He said that if the Daesh Takfiri terrorists, who had seized huge swathes of land in Syria and Iraq from 2014 to 2017, had remained in the region, it would have affected Lebanon as well.
“Had Syria fallen into the hands of Daesh, al-Nusra and the terrorists in the global war, what would have been the position of Lebanon and its people?” Nasrallah asked the Lebanese people.
The Hezbollah chief went on to dismiss recent rumors in diplomatic circles about growing division in the resistance front. It is not true that Syria will “leave the Axis of Resistance” in order to “join the Arab fold,” he commented. “Syria is at the heart of the Axis of Resistance.”
He reiterated that the developments in Palestine affected the Lebanese people in all various aspects. “Everything that happens in Palestine affects our country, its sovereignty, and its future,” he said.
“Imagine if Israel was strong and could impose its will on the entire region. Would the Lebanese have dreamed of oil and gas?” Nasrallah added.
In a gathering in Beirut on Wednesday night, Nasrallah pointed out that the resistance front was more powerful today than ever before.
The leader of Hezbollah, who was meeting with a large group of influential figures from various Arabic and Islamic countries, including intellectuals, politicians, and media celebrities, asserted that the axis of resistance had become strong enough to confront any aggressor threatening the nations in the region.
“Despite the challenges that the axis of resistance is facing today, it has become more coherent and stronger and is ready with a strong will to respond to any major aggression of the Zionist regime that targets the region,” he said.