Hezbollah Secretary General Syed Hasan Nasrallah delivers a speech on Al-Manar TV to tackle the recent developments in Lebanon and draw a picture of the course of events â€œbecause it is the right of all the Lebanese to know and because facts can always uncover the schemes being prepared for our country.â€
His eminence said that Hezbollah had always supported the Saudi Syrian effort to defuse the crisis in Lebanon in light of the imminent release of the indictment against Hezbollah members by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. â€œIn fact we bargained on this effort as all the Lebanese who sought welfare for Lebanon,â€ he said.
The Hezbollah chief stressed the Saudis had been very clear that the STL cannot be canceled because it was established by the UN Security Council and that the concerned countries vis-Ã -vis this matter were the US, UK, and France. â€œOur response was that we understand this, and I signaled this during my speech on Ashuraâ€™s 10th night.â€
Sayyed Nasrallah continued: â€œWe said that we refused a politicized indictment and we consider ourselves as its target, however Lebanon is our country and we adhere to safeguard it. We reached the following conclusion: We put Lebanon aside through three items; the government withdraws Lebanese judges from the STL, stops funding it, and cancels the understanding memo between it and the international tribunal. These three items do not cancel the STL, regardless of our opinion of it.â€
His eminence added that the Saudis agreed to the three items.
â€œThere was a positive atmosphere but the Saudi kingâ€™s illness slowed down the process and negotiations were taking place via telephone. Two weeks ago, we had confirmation that the king underwent a successful operation and that he was recovering and willing to move forward with the effort to reach an agreement. we were told that the king will send after Hariri to the US to put the final touches on the agreement and Hariri made his statement saying the deal was cut months ago. This needs to be verified, but nevertheless itâ€™s good. Then Hariri goes to the US, holds some meetings, and without prior notice he calls the Syrians to tell them that he cannot continue with this effort.â€
Syed Nasrallah said that Haririâ€™s move led opposition ministers to meet and decide to resign from the government to topple it in a constitutional move. â€œIt is obvious that the Americans and the Israelis were against the Arab effort and they bargained on its failure because they had in mind that the crisis was complicated and eventually, they will not need to interfere. However, when they realized that the process was yielding positive results, they interfered in a decisive way. This is why the efforts stopped so suddenly. There is no doubt that certain Lebanese parties had worked extensively to thwart the Arab effort and lashed out at the King because they sensed he was very serious in completing the understanding. Either Hariri and his team did not want to proceed with the deal but had to under Saudi pressure, and eventually went to the Americans and others to pressure the Saudis to stop the effort, or they were supporting the king but the American will was against it. Either way, Hariri and his team have established the fact that they cannot be trusted and is not reliable to help Lebanon or lead the country out of any impasse.â€
The S.G refrained from stating the terms of Hariri, â€œbut the Lebanese will discover that among them is a term or two in line with Lebanonâ€™s interest; beside this, all other terms serve the interest of Haririâ€™s political and security team. Still, we dealt with them very positively.â€
CLOSE THE FALSE WITNESSES CASE â€“ HARIRI KNEW SIDDIQ
Syed Nasrallah reminded of the false witnesses issue and how it led to the arbitrary imprisonment of four top security generals, the deterioration of Lebanese-Syrian ties, and the worsening of the already tense sectarian atmosphere. â€œParliamentary elections were held and governments were formed based on these false testimonies. This is why we demanded that false witnesses be tried for deluding the investigation.â€
His eminence revealed that one of Haririâ€™s terms was to close the case of the false witnesses, â€œknowing that they (Hariri and his team) should be aggressive in holding those witnesses accountable, including those who fabricated them.
Al-Jadeed TV broadcast a leaked audio recording Saturday of a meeting held in a hotel outside Lebanon joining PM Saad Hariri, Information Branch Chief Colonel Wissam Hasan, Deputy Chief Investigator in the Rafiq Hariri assassination case Gerhard Lehmann, and top false witness in the case Mohamad Zuheir Siddiq. Hariri admitted Sunday morning that the meeting did happen and that it came in the framework of luring Siddiq into coming to Lebanon. However Haririâ€™s statement did not clarify why Siddiq was speaking to him and Colonel Hasan with haughtiness, nor did it explain why Siddiq had Haririâ€™s personal number and reproached the head of the Future Movement and son of martyr Hariri for not answering his calls and messages in one incident.
â€œThe telephone call in which I told you that they would send 20 people. The telephone call in which I told you that the explosions would begin. Didnâ€™t it happen? Youâ€™re seeing it. I called you the night before last, do you remember? Did you see the call? I called you the night before last. You didnâ€™t answer. I called a second time and you didnâ€™t answer. I said maybe he went to sleep and heâ€™ll call me in the morning. [I was calling] to tell you that there was a bomb going to the LBC. It ended up being for May [Chidiac]. May was lost,â€ Siddiq told Hariri during the meeting.
Hariri and his bloc had denied for four years the existence of false witnesses; an era that witnessed a false accusation to Syria, the arbitrary imprisonment of four top security officers, and nearly took the country to civil war. Hariri, after five years, acknowledged the existence of false witnesses and retracted his accusation to Syria as a slight change occurred in the Special Tribunal for Lebanon occurred; this time weâ€™ll accuse Hezbollah.
Sayyed Nasrallah criticized Future movement officials for rushing to claim the report was fabricated, especially that Hariri admitted later the meeting had taken place. â€œI was told that (Haririâ€™s) Future TV will publish the complete minutes of the meeting, and this raises questions: if this were a STL confidential document, how come you have it? You say that STL documents are confidential, how were they leaked to you?â€
He added that Haririâ€™s government was incapable of referring the false witnessesâ€™ case to the Judicial Council, incapable of facing the repercussions of the indictment and wants to finance a court that is conspiring on Lebanon. â€œThis government wanted to put itself in a difficult position especially when the STL requests the arrest of Lebanese citizens; this government is not qualified and thwarting the Saudi-Syrian effort has confirmed this.â€
OPPOSITION WILL NOT NAME HARIRI
Syed Nasrallah pointed out that STL prosecutor Daniel Bellemare had informed President Michel Sleiman and Hariri that the indictment will be issued on Tuesday. â€œIs this a coincidence that the indictment, if released on Tuesday, is set to be issued on the same day of the binding parliamentary consultations to name a new prime minister? In fact this is part of the political exploitation of the STL and the indictment.â€
The S.G. stressed opposition ministers had resigned in line with the constitution. â€œThe world was mobilized to condemn the move, presidents and secretaries of states stated they wanted Hariri back in office, and the US Ambassador in Lebanon Maura Connelly was paying visits to Lebanese MPs to learn their positions and the name they will choose for the next PM. Â Their threats will not intimidate us because we did what we had to do based on our conviction and how we regard Lebanonâ€™s interest. It is obvious that the opposition will not name Hariri to form a new government during consultations. It is not yet confirmed that the oppositionâ€™s candidate will become a prime minister designate, knowing that there are great competent and reliable Sunni figures for this post.â€
The Hezbollah chief stressed any new government should act responsibly because we will not tolerate a government that protects false witnesses and cover and manage financial corruption. â€œNo one should threaten us. He do not ask for the protection of the resistance, we ask the government not to conspire against it. We will not stay silent at any such government because it is our obligation to preserve Lebanonâ€™s assets in the face of Israelâ€™s threats.â€
TUNIS THE LESSON
Syed Nasrallah praised the â€œhistoric revolutionâ€™ of the Tunisians. â€œThe lesson is that the president who served the west for all these years was not received by the western countries.â€
â€œWestern interference in Lebanon will lead to the internationalization of the crisis and we, as Lebanese, are capable of solving our problems through dialogue and positive cooperation. However, those who seek bullying should take an example of the experiences that have been taking place in the region.â€
THE CONCLUSIONBack to top button
Hezbollahâ€™s secretary general warned that Hezbollah â€œwill not let anyone damage our reputation and dignity and we will not allow anyone to conspire against us or accuse us of spilling the blood of martyr Rafiq Hariri. We will act according to what will be released. How? It depends on our estimation of interests. I have no doubt that Israel killed Hariri and carried out the assassinations in Lebanon. We have confronted wars of all kinds, military, security and assassinations. I reassure those who are still after this project that they are miscalculating. Consultations may bring back Hariri, but this is the beginning of a new stage. We tell those who believe they can use the indictment to target the resistance that they are extensively miscalculating.â€
â€œI will have another speech in light of what Bellemare will issue in the next couple of days, Syed Nasrallah concluded.