A: Everyone agrees that there is a problem and deals with things accordingly; still, they stay away from dialogue. Moreover, talking about developing the Taif Accord and not about a constituent. conference leads to political infidelity,- and this is an issue, and is even among some of the major forces in the country. This is a real problem. In order to stay away from being accused of political infidelity- in all occasions or in most occasions, you have to assert your commitment to the Taif Accord; if you only say: “There is none but One God,” you would be accused of infidelity.
In light of being affected by regional situations, the Lebanese political status is very far from in-depth solutions. That’s because the entire region is tense, worried, conflicting, and moving towards ambiguous horizons. Political forces in Lebanon are affected day after day. This is an additional factor that indicates that now is not the time for in-depth solutions. Indeed, time is being wasted from the Lebanese, but the conditions now are unfavorable.
Q: Is Hizbullah covering up any cases of corruption in Lebanon?
A: Hizbullah does not cover up any case of corruption in Lebanon. Hizbullah calls on the judicial authority to assume all its responsibilities towards pursuing and fighting all the cases of corruption. All that might be said about Hizbullah is protecting or preventing- all of this is not true at all.
Q: What about the expired medicines?
A: We are a large party; at least tens of thousands are Hizbullah members. Moreover, Hizbullah is 32-years-old. Let them provide us with one case in which one of our members was involved in corruption. For 32 years, and with tens of thousands of members, there was only once a case of expired medicines, which you are inquiring about.
Still, the concerned person, Minister Mohammad Fneish, issued a statement in which he said we assume the responsibility and the concerned man is now in prison. He was not covered up by anyone at a time when there are senior counterfeiters in the country- he was not approached by anyone. Still, when that man was accused and found guilty, he was jailed. He is now in prison. This is a precedent.
Has it ever happened that when the brother or one of the relatives of a minister in any of the successive Lebanese cabinets was accused of such a violation of the law, the minister and would still issue a statement? He, himself, even handed his brother to the judiciary courts. I don’t remember that anything of this sort ever took place. I don’t know of any such precedent. That means that Hizbullah does not cover up corruption at all. It is impossible that Hizbullah would ever cover up corruption.
Q: It is said that Hizbullah would be defeated in case corruption finds its way to it?
A: Hizbullah is keen to protect its ranks from corruption. Thus, we are decisive in dealing with these issues.
Sayyed Nasrallah: We Broke the idea that “Israeli army is undefeatable
Q: Did Hizbullah lose a chance following the liberation in 2000 and the 2006 victory on the level of the Arab world?
A: Especially following the 2006 [victory], some friends tackled some points with me. They had some ideas in mind, which they expressed in the words that Hizbullah might be another Jamal Abdul Nasser… They told us: You as Hizbullah and the resistance in Lebanon can play a role of such a magnitude on the level of the Arab world. This was expressed by other friends too.
I had no illusions in this perspective. I told them that was not true. This is an untrue comparison. It is an emotional comparison in fact.
They were talking about a great Arab Leader – Jamal Abdul Nasser – the president of the greatest Arab state. That state comprises half of the Arabs. It is a state that has capacities, an army, and many capabilities. These friends are making an incorrect comparison. Has this resistance been the leader of Lebanon, still the comparison would not have been true; what if we are talking about a party which is part of the Lebanese people. There is no point of resemblance. Hizbullah is not a state. Lebanon is not a great state, a great regional state, or a country that has considerable materialistic and human capabilities.
The whole story is that the moral value of Hizbullah has crossed borders owing to the achievements of 2000 and 2006.
Hizbullah is widely respected in the Arab and Islamic world because it refuted an almost fixed idea and presented an example.
They have been working on this idea for 40 or 50 years. This idea is that “Israel” is an undefeatable army, and that we have no power and no choice other than negotiations, peacemaking, and concessions. Hizbullah refuted this idea.
This is the scale of the story. Our value in the Arab and Islamic world does not overstep respect. As for talking about Hizbullah’s administration and capabilities to make changes in the Arab world, Arab states, and Arab peoples; or that it can intervene here or there to change equations, that is impossible. This is very much understood and does not need to be discussed.
(Some among us said kindly: Abdul Nasser dispatched his army to Yemen, and you dispatched your army to Syria.
Sayyed Nasrallah answered on the spot: Syria is another thing. Then he carried on his previous answer saying: )
So the human and financial capabilities do not tolerate that.
I don’t believe there was a chance that Hizbullah has lost, because I do not believe there was a chance in first place. Our idea was to employ the respect we received to the interest of enhancing the culture of the resistance in the Arab and Islamic world.
Hereof comes our openness to the national and Islamic forces. We do not interfere with the other side. What is thier ideology? What is their mentality? What is their internal political trend? All our concern is that these are against “Israel”; thus we enhance our relations with them.
For example, in 2000, the Intifada in Palestine was born. It broke out three months following the liberation. It was influenced by this liberation on the Lebanese front.
In Palestine, it was possible that Hizbullah has a Palestinian jihadi faction which it would train, arm, finance, and view as its Palestinian extension. Personally, many people talked to me to this effect. Moreover, young Palestinian men appeared on satellite TV outlets and said: We trust you; we trust your party; and we want to work with you directly.
We refused as we do not support this idea at all because it was a wrong idea. In fact, it does not serve the cause because it increases division amid the Palestinian people. those people do not need new factions; they rather need that these factions be grouped together. Consequently, there are Islamic and national factions. Whoever needs to help can get enrolled in these factions, which are already existing resistance forces that have history and are wide spread.
In fact, Hizbullah- even in the closest square to which it considers itself undoubtedly concerned about- [that’s because] we might discuss everything [we find ourselves concerned in] except “Israel” and Palestine. They are undisputable to us because we say that Hizbullah is a resistance that resists the “Israeli” occupation and the “Israeli” scheme. We did not form a faction in Palestine, and we did not deal with the Palestinian friends in the sense that we want to be the leadership of the Palestinian people or the Palestinian street. Besides it was unlikely that we think of a project of this magnitude at the level of the Arab world. Thus the comparison in this perspective is out of place.
Yes, we obtained great respect. Now if we discuss [the Hizbullah situation] in the past and that of today – in the sense that our flags and photos were being raised but now they are not anymore -, we see that such took place when we took our stance from the events in Syria – and not the moment we intervened militarily in Syria.
Syria to us is something else. Still, it was not acceptable that we take a political stance on Syria. When we said that we call for a political solution, for dialogue between the regime and the Opposition, for a political discourse, and for reform, we were dropped out because we stood against the project in which all sides meddled, with the aim of eliminating Syria.
Here we have to consider things accurately. I say that it is not the people who are punishing us in the Arab world; it is rather some of the elites and political forces, at the time the popular disposition is changing. In my viewpoint and according to my information, contacts and through some delegations which visited or visit some Arab states, the popular Arab disposition is now clearly changing.
The criticism which was made against us was not because we went to fight in Syria. We were criticized rather because we were supposed to declare a stance against President Bashar Assad and the regime in Syria from the very first day. That would have been to whose interest? To the interest of what project that would have been? That is not important. We were supposed to take the stance that support their interests.
Then the military intervention increased controversy on our stance. In fact, the military intervention was a detail; however the problem with us was in the political stance.
Q: What may be done at the level of the nation?
A: I believe there is an indispensable stage represented in an outbreak that can’t be stopped. Even if there is a revered and obeyed leader for the nation, the situation which some countries are experiencing would carry on for a period of time one way or another.
If we are to prioritize things, the priority now is to reduce the losses. Here, I am talking at the level of the Arab and Islamic world should there be governments or states or anyone who is able to have an influence one way or another.
For instance, if Iraq rushed towards partition, whoever is able to help against the partitioning of Iraq must exert all possible efforts. If Iran can help and is convinced in that, it will help.
The same applies to Syria. It must be sought that Syria won’t go towards partition.
The case of Yemen is very serious. This stance is not out of courtesy. We are not with partitioning Yemen. Now if Yemen was made a united state or to a state that constitutes provinces, that would be possible, though it might be somehow risky. However, at least it is better than dividing Yemen to two or three “Yemens” which is very dangerous.
Therefore, priority now is to reduce losses and stop the collapse. It is similar to a military equation. The first step the aggressed has to take is to safeguard the area it exists in, so that it won’t lose more land. Afterwards, it would think of how to regain what it lost. The same applies to politics.
This requires much effort. In some cases, calmness is recommended through reminding of states that were ruined. Voices are being raised in places where no collapse of state or society has taken place yet. If it is possible to influence some forces, that must be sought.
So, required now is limiting losses be it on the level of partition, chaos and the spread of sedition to other places. The priority now is stability, in addition to a calm call for reforms because going to confrontation might lead to division of the country.
The second point is to seek joining parts.
There might be a mentality of reprisal and revenge, and a process of holding each other accountable for the stances we took during the past three years. Mutual accusations of committing mistakes also come in the framework of a contest that was and is still taking place. This covers all places in Lebanon, Palestine, and the entire region… In any place where parts may be joined, the initiative must be taken to do that.
In this context, if I was asked if I support a Saudi-Iranian rapprochement, I would say that I support such a rapprochement though I am convinced that Saudi Arabia had a very negative role in what has occurred and is occurring in the Arab and Islamic world. It also has a major role in what is taking place because of its adoption and promotion of this ideology.
However, with all of the past and the current reading, the Saudi-Iranian rapprochement, also the Iranian rapprochement with the various Gulf states are useful.
As for the political forces, the people’s return to talk with each other and to make discussions and revisions is favorable even if visions differ. That’s because reorganizing differences on the basis of agreed upon priorities and squares of disagreements would help us against going towards absolute enmity, hatred, and divergence. All of that might take place.
I believe that following this outbreak, things will carry on in this way for a year or two or three or four pursuant to the laws of history and the experiences of human societies. I am not saying poetry. In fact, from the recesses of these sufferings awareness becomes greater. Experience is accumulating. Convictions will be born, and these convictions will differ from those which were three years ago. However, this needs time until we are able to step out from the situation we are living in.
I can’t foretell the future because the international changes are very drastic too.
You might ask me what might take place in the Arab world in the coming few years. What can we do for that? However, the correct question is: Where to is the world moving? Where to is Europe heading? Where to is the USA moving? The situation is open to all probabilities, and it will have very great repercussions on our region.
If every loyal man in this nation whether he has an official, intellectual, political, party, resistance, or any other position does everything he can do, we may be able to reduce losses and to decrease enmities. Here, I am not saying imaginary things. The duty of everyone is to do his obligations, no matter if he will succeed or not.