Since the collapse of the Lebanese government, after 10 opposition ministers and one minister of state (Adnan Sayyed Hussein) declared their resignation, Hizbullah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah made his first public comments, tackling the latest issues on the Lebanese crisis.
Sayyed Nasrallah in brief recalled the facts that took place since the beginning of the Arab or Syrian-Saudi initiative, which began following talks about a soon issuance of the STL indictment targeting Hizbullah members.
Despite the fact that some sides opposed the S-S efforts, the initiative was in progress. At the time, the Saudis said that the indictment cannot be annulled, and we tried to understand that, because it is unexpected that the Saudis be able to influence the Americans and “Israelis” to annul it. There were two proposals, to either postpone the issuance of the indictment for weeks or even months until an understanding or compromise takes place, or discuss how to protect Lebanon from the repercussions of this indictment.
“Of course we reject the politicized indictment and consider it as targeting the resistance. But Lebanon is our country and we are keen to protecting our country. We arrived to a conclusion summarized in three articles. These are that the government should convene concerning the developments and dangers awaiting Lebanon, despite its evaluation to the STL and the indictment. It should draw back the Lebanese judges and stop the financing of the STL, and annul the memorandum of understanding between the Lebanese government and the tribunal.”
Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that 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 concerning this matter were the US, UK, and France. He noted “Our response was that we understand this, and I indicated this issue during my speech on Ashura’s 10th night.”
Sayyed Nasrallah continued “Of course we reject the politicized indictment and consider it as targeting us. However, Lebanon is our country and we are keen to protecting it. We arrived to a conclusion summarized in three items; the government should convene concerning the developments and dangers awaiting Lebanon, despite its evaluation to the STL and the indictment. It should withdraw the Lebanese judges from the tribunal, stop the funding the STL, and annul the memorandum of understanding between the Lebanese government and the tribunal. Regardless of our opinion, this does not cancel the STL.”
His Eminence said that the Saudis agreed to the three items, and that a positive atmosphere prevailed, but the illness of the Saudi king and his traveling to the US for treatment slowed down the process and so negotiations were taking place over the phone.
But around two weeks ago, Sayyed said, we had confirmation that the Saudi King underwent surgery and that he was recovering and willing to continue on the efforts in order to arrive to a compromise.
“We were told that soon, the heir of the King would arrive to Damascus and Beirut to agree on all the items, and that the king will send after Hariri to the US to put the final touches on the agreement. At the time, Hariri made his statement saying the deal was cut months ago, but needs to be verified.
Many considered Hariri’s comments as positive, Sayyed Nasrallah pointed out, but then Hariri goes to the US, holds some meetings, and without previous notice he calls the Syrians to tell them that he cannot continue with this effort.”
“We were informed that the initiative was stopped suddenly and without earlier notice, and we were informed that the issuance of the indictment will be hastened. We consulted the opposition powers that have ministers in the government and all agreed it has become a must to present our resignation from this government, by that lead to the collapse of this government for constitutional, legal, and natural reasons,” Sayyed added.
Hizbullah Secretary General stressed it is clear that the Americans and “Israelis” rejected the Arab initiative since the beginning. They allowed this initiative to progress for a while they wagered this S-S effort will fail because it is a difficult and complicated issue, therefore they need not interfere to sabotage this initiative. But upon seeing that things are in progress, and that a positive atmosphere prevails, they (US -“Israel”) strongly interfered and decisively determined this cannot continue, and so it was suddenly stopped.
His Eminence underscored the American-“Israeli” rejection to this initiative which was evident before and after the bid, and clear was also the US and “Israeli” wagering on the repercussions of the indictment. He questioned “Is it possible for the US to allow the success of the Arab initiative which disrupts their sabotage hopes?”
Sayyed Nasrallah further said there is no doubt that certain Lebanese parties had worked night and day to frustrate the Arab effort and lashed out at the King because they felt he was very serious in completing the understanding.
Hariri and his team either did not want to carry on with the deal but were subject to Saudi pressure, therefore, went to the Americans and others to pressure the Saudis to stop the effort, or they were supporting the king. But there existed an American will which stood against it.
TheSecretary General did not state the terms of Hariri, and noted he will not reveal it in this speech, but he said that the Lebanese will discover that among these terms is a term or two in parallel with Lebanon’s interest; while all other terms serve the interest of Hariri’s political and security team. Despite all that, Sayyed noted they dealt with things positively.
Sayyed Nasrallah recalled the dangerous and sensitive false witnesses’ issue, which had huge and serious results as it led to the arbitrary imprisonment of the four generals along with other people, the sabotage of Lebanese-Syrian relations and the worsening of the already tense sectarian atmosphere. He added that parliamentary elections took place, and governments were formed based on false testimonies, noting that is why “we demanded the prosecution of false witnesses who misled the investigation.”
Hizbullah Secretary General underscored that one of the items Hariri suggested was to close the false witnesses case file, knowing that “they (Hariri and his team) should be the most adhering to prosecute the false witnesses and those who fabricated and made them.”
Sayyed Nasrallah criticized the Future movement officials, who went to say that report was fabricated. He said it is sarcastic, especially that Hariri had admitted the meeting had taken place. His Eminence slammed these MPs and officials who are ready to accept an indictment that will sabotage the country and the entire region, an indictment based on a manipulated telecoms data that was easily fabricated. Also, the Hariri bureau issued a statement on the Jadeed TV leaked audio, but did not deny the meeting had taken place.
Hizbullah SG praised the stance of State Minister Adnan Sayyed Hussein, who acted accordingly with his conscience and dignity and took a national stance.
His Eminence tackled the situation of the resigned government. He said “WE have arrived to a place where we declared our readiness to face the corruption and hold reform. We wagered on time, but after a few months of demanding answers to know the fate of 11 million dollars that were spent during previous governments, we never got an answer.”
Sayyed Nasrallah also pointed out this government is unable to refer the false witnesses file to the Justice Council, and is unable to confront the repercussions of the indictment. It is in fact a government that wants to support the STL and conspire against Lebanon and the resistance.
His Eminence added this government wants to put itself in a difficult position when it asks the tribunal to arrest citizens unjustly, and that this government is unqualified, which was proved by its abortion to the S-S initiative.
Sayyed Nasrallah also said that the Opposition will exercise its own national convictions and will not be intimidated by the world’s reaction (on the government collapse). He also said that the Opposition has unanimously agreed not to name Saad Hariri as prime minister of the new government, reminding “We did not even name him in the previous government formation, but we agreed on participating in a national unity government.”
His Eminence wondered “Why is the entire world interfering in this issue? The world should know that there is a national opposition in Lebanon, which is engaged in consultations,” further adding that any government to be formed will be a government that will take responsibility of its actions.
The worst of all, Sayyed Nasrallah pointed out was that the STL prosecutor Daniel Bellemare had informed President Michel Suleiman and Hariri that the indictment will be issued on Tuesday, which means it will coincide with the parliamentary consultations to name a new Prime Minister.
Hizbullah leader also added “we cannot remain silent anymore about any government that protects the false witnesses. He also stressed “We will not allow anyone to mess with the resistance.”