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STL indictment, US-Israeli conspiracy

Hezbollah has warned against a politicized indictment by the US-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), but expressed optimism on a Saudi-Syrian solution.

The US-sponsored court was established two years after former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri was assassinated in a massive bombing that also killed 25 other people in Beirut on February 14, 2005.

Reports earlier this year indicated the court’s intention to issue an indictment against Hezbollah based on false testimony from Western-backed elements, and to accuse the resistance movement of involvement in Hariri’s killing, which Hezbollah blames on Israel.

“Hezbollah has announced time and again that the solution which addresses the conspiracy of the indictment is the best solution for Lebanon and all the various Lebanese components,” Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem said in an exclusive interview with Press TV.

Sheikh Qassem said the movement’s opposition was not “because we fear the indictment but because we believe it is in Lebanon’s interests that the country not be held hostage to baseless accusations.”

On a joint Saudi-Syrian effort to tackle the issue, Hezbollah said the resistance was still optimistic on an Arab initiative to solve the political impasse the tribunal has sparked in Lebanon.

“We are in contact with the Syrians and Saudis and we hear positive talk from them, and they tell us they need time…. Soon we will witness positive results.”

Sheikh Qassem referred to a race between the release of the indictment and the achievement of a solution, saying a settlement in time “will be an achievement for Lebanon and will spare everyone the complications which could arise.”

“If, on the other hand, the indictment is released before a solution is reached, then the conditions would be different and the nature of the situation would be different,” he said, without specifying the steps to be taken.

When asked about the role of the US and Israel in the STL indictment, the Hezbollah official said they “are very enthusiastic in releasing the indictment as soon as possible.”

“They believe that the release of the indictment will be a sword put at the neck of Hezbollah and they believe that its repercussions will weaken Hezbollah and hence bring about the circumstances which will enable Israel to benefit more and more, whether it is by issuing threats of war or by launching war.”

Sheikh Qassem vowed that an STL indictment would not affect Hezbollah but would strengthen their convictions and views.

“We already view that this tribunal has no judicial or justice standards of justice based upon it performance until now. So we believe that the release of an indictment is an American-Israeli step which we totally reject,” he stated.

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