Transparency and clarity, two words summarizing the friendly atmosphere of the meeting which brought together Al-Manar Website with Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem, who answered the density of questions which the regional events and developments had imposed.
Sheikh NaimBecause the meeting came on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people, the Palestinian cause and the relationship with the resistance factions were the focus of discussions, in addition to the Iranian nuclear deal and the developments in Syria.
“A huge victory,” and “a great achievement for the benefit of Arabs, Muslims and all the free of this world,” this is how Sheikh Qassem described “the recognition which Iran grabbed after the failure of the siege and sanctions against it for more than 15 years.”
There are no losers in this deal except those whose projects are associated with the foreigners, Sheikh Qassem said, feeling surprised why some feel “the pain and bitterness from achieving such agreement, as if they want a strike against Iran in order they remain present in the region.”
He believes that the agreement which spared the region a war sought by Israel brought the Islamic republic in the International nuclear club global and put it in the ranks of the major powers. “The deal is a turning point in the region, for it opens the door before other regional agreements.”
“The importance of this deal lies in that it spared the region a potential state of war which Israel wants deeply because the existence and continuity of Israel are based on two things: occupation and war. If there isn’t an additional occupation or war this means that Israel is in danger especially under the increasing of rejection of Israel and the Palestinian resistance. On one side, this deal prevented war on the region, on the other side it led to the entry of Iran to the International nuclear club.”
“Death to America”Interview with Sheikh Qassem
The deal, according to Hezbollah deputy S.G., revealed the failure of US policy in the region what lead him to search for new solutions after recognizing that it is no longer possible to pass its projects in the region easily. Sheikh Qassem noted that the US recognition of Iran’s nuclear rights came as a solution on the basis of the lesser of two evils: either a war of unknown consequences, or the continuation of sanctions which have ironically contributed to more achievements in Iran.
But Sheikh Qassem warned of the consequences of “pride in the deal,” stressing that it rolled up one phase of the conflict, but it did not solve the outstanding problems between the two sides in a number of files, most notably the Palestinian cause. And he asserted that the slogan “Death to America” will remain as negotiations are proceeding in parallel with it. “Iran has triumphed with its leadership and people, this victory can be invested for the benefit of the region and the Islamic world.”
No Iranian Concessions on Palestine
On the claims that Iran’s nuclear deal was clinched after concessions were made on other issues, Hezbollah’s Deputy Secretary General rebuffed these allegations assuring that the directions of Islamic Revolution Leader Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei to the nuclear negotiation team were clear, that they must not engage in any file that is other than the nuclear one. “So there is no room to talk about concessions with regard to the fundamentals of the Republic in terms of its position on the Palestinian cause, the Syrian issue or its support for resistance movements.
Although he ruled out any imminent solution to the Palestinian cause, Sheikh Qassem acknowledged that the US wants to solve this cause but doesn’t have the ability to impose a solution. And explains that Israel tries to stir up troubles to weaken the surrounding countries, and therefore Israel would be able to achieve gains in its settlement policy, occupation and imposing conditions on Palestinians.
“The Arab states have sold the Palestinian cause for decades, and every conference which was held under the title of the cause formed a cover for settlements which leads to Israel winning. They are ready to let Palestine go completely.”
Relationship with Hamas
Sheikh Qassem confirms that the resistance is present in Palestine, whether through Hamas movement or Islamic Jihad, as well as other factions. “There should be differentiation between the continuity of the resistance choice and the existence resistance operations at this stage. What is important is the survival of the resistance choice, however, resistance operations are under the movements’ estimations and depending on the circumstances.”
Sheikh QassemHamas, as Sheikh Qassem described, is the spearhead of the resistance in Palestine and one of the pillars of the axis of resistance, “which has not lost its choice which is confronting the Israeli occupation.”
“The differences in approaching the Syrian crisis have been subject of discussions between Hezbollah and Hamas, but it didn’t affect the principles or basics,” Sheikh Qassem said, stressing that the movement remains “the vanguard of the resistance in Palestine… We in Hezbollah insist on the continuity of the relationship with Hamas.”
Al-Qaeda and affiliates
According to Sheikh Naim Qassem, the relationship between the United States and some Arab countries with the Takfiri trend is the relationship of “benefits intersection” and not the relationship of leadership and command because this trend stands with no one. “The participation of Takfiris in Syria war was required, as the cohesion of the Syrian army imposed on the conspiring states the option of militarization of the weak opposition internally, so the door was opened for foreign fighters who flocked from about 80 foreign countries.”
“The US massed Al-Qaeda in Syria with the aim of settling accounts with them on the Syrian territory, and get rid of them after they finish their mission,” Sheikh Qassem said. This is what really happened, Al-Qaeda fighters came from all over the world but they became stronger than what the U.S. had expected.
Sheikh Qassem analyzed that the United States recognizes that “al-Qaeda and its affiliates” cannot be a political project by itself, but it can serve as a subversive project that can be used to create a political climate which the US wants, then it would push Al-Qaeda away.
Answering a question on some religious figures who are advocating a sectarian conflict, Sheikh Qassem said: “We are doing our job concerning the exploitation of sectarian sentiments which some religious leaders are advocating for. We still call for Islamic unity and accept dialogue. We ask others what did they provided for the Palestinian cause? And we show them what we gave. But if things were kept as it is closing the door on any dialogue, then we’ll see what we’re meant to do.”
Attack on Iran Embassy
Concerning the twin terrorist blasts targeting the Iranian embassy in Beirut, Sheikh Qassem recalled what Hezbollah had said at the beginning of its participation in Syria, that Hezbollah is working preemptively against any possible consequences of the Syrian crisis on Lebanon. “What we’re witnessing today is an integral part of the scheme targeting the axis of resistance, and among which is Hezbollah in Lebanon.”
Sheikh Qassem revealed that Hezbollah was making security precautions in anticipation of bombings since 2006. “We had intelligence information since after the July war, that there are those who are preparing for bombing attacks, but there were obstacles in addition to some attacks that were uncovered.”
“Lebanon is witnessing a political and security chaos. There’s also a political cover for criminals, and there are even areas that look like spots sponsoring such criminal terrorist acts.”
Syria… Geneva II
In Syria, it’s crystal clear that the Syrian army have the upper hand in the field , this prompted the US to move towards holding Geneva 2 conference. “The Syrian army’s field progress, as well as the disintegration in the ranks of the opposition, reinforces the position of the Syrian government in any negotiation, and this is what the US is convinced about,” Sheikh Naim Qassem said, adding that Gulf states reject any settlement as it will inevitably be in the benefit of the Syrian government.
His eminence revealed that some Gulf states had demanded chances from the US in order to change the equation on ground in Syria but they failed. “Our information assures that they’ve also demanded for another two months, the first has passed and there’s still another month. They are mainly betting on the failure of the Syrian regime economically, but they’ll discover later on that their bet will go wrong.”
Sheikh Qassem said that there’s another weakness point amongst the opposition camp, being that the extremist groups are the strongest opponents on the ground, and the most prevalent, but they’ll not sit at the table of Geneva 2, meaning that the opposition which will be represented at the negotiating table is not the one seizing the ground, thus they are not able to make any commitments.
He believes that one reason why the fighting between the Free Syrian Army on one hand and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Al-Nusra Front on the other hand is related to a commitment by a Gulf state in front of the US that it’ll enable the FSA to have control over ISIL to prove that they can be actual representatives in Geneva.
“If Geneva 2 was to be held it’ll be delayed and weak, and concerned parties will focus on the outside shape of it which is empty of content. But the West needs this conference as a train that holds the solution, even if it was empty of content,” Sheikh Qassem indicated.
Source: Al-Manar Website