BEIRUT – Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah discusses the latest political developments in a Tuesday evening interview with OTV:
The Iran nuclear deal has significant repercussions.
The region’s peoples are the biggest winners from this deal because regional and international forces have been pushing for war with Iran which would have had dangerous repercussions in the region.
The deal pushed off the [potential Israeli and US] war [against Iran].
Israel cannot possibly bomb nuclear facilities without the US’ green light.
Monopoly of power is no longer present.
All American wars have failed.
John Kerry made it clear that the US does not want more wars.
The US and Europe have failed in the region.
I have information that the US wanted to discuss non-nuclear issues with Iran, but Iran insisted the talks would remain just on the nuclear issue.
It is too early for Iran to head toward normalization with the US because there are many outstanding issues.
Iranians wanted to reassure the Gulf countries that the deal was not agreed upon at their expense.
Iran has for years sought to open the door for the dialogue with Saudi Arabia, but all attempts failed.
Saudi Arabia treats Iran as an enemy.
The Saudis have proxy wars with Iran inside Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Pakistan.
Saudi Arabia’s problem with Iran is not sectarian-based.
Saudi Arabia considers itself as the leader of the Arab and Islamic worlds.
The problem is political.
I have met with a Qatari delegation.
Qatar took a good initiative concerning the abducted pilgrims. This initiative reopened the doors between us.
A link has always been there between us and Qatar.
A military solution in Syria is crazy, therefore I call on all countries to help reach a political solution.
Contact between Hezbollah and Turkey has never ceased.
The Turks have lost a great deal. There is tension now between it and Syria, Iran, Egypt… and that has impacted it internally.
The Palestinian situation doesn’t seem to have a [positive] horizon.
Iran is the first regional country [in importance].
They discuss issues with us and coordinate with us.
If March 14’s relation with KSA was the same as ours with Iran there would have been no problem in Lebanon because Iran does not interfere in internal political issues, unlike Saudi Arabia.
We do not [seek counsel from] Iran or take permission from them regarding domestic Lebanese issues.
Iran took what it wanted in the nuclear deal.
This deal does not negatively affect Lebanon or Syria.
Our stance on Syria [changed] gradually.
Before we took an official stance, the Syrian opposition started threatening us.
We had no direct contact with the opposition.
Assad was ready for dialogue and reforms. On the other hand, regional countries and parties said there was no need for dialogue because the uprising would end quickly.
Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey wanted to overthrow the regime militarily.
When regime troops had to leave towns from Al-Qusayr where Lebanese resided, the residents came to us. They decided to fight for their land.
The Lebanese state did not help the Lebanese living there and left the border open.
We trained them and armed them. The residents of these towns were the first to fight, not Hezbollah fighters.
In May 2013, only a few months ago, those Lebanese had no more capacity to defend themselves.
The towns inhabited by the Lebanese [called] on Hezbollah to intervene militarily and openly. Who invited Hezbollah to intervene militarily and openly is the towns inhabited by Lebanese citizens.
The destruction of the Sayyida Zeinab Shrine [in southern Damascus] could have led to a sectarian war in the region. We sent 40 to 50 fighters to Sayyida Zeinab.
We had to increase the number of fighters [in Syria] after a while.
I am 100% convinced about my stance.
We did not enter Syria upon the request of Iran. It was our decision.
The Syrian army was faced with war in most areas.
Hundreds of thousands of foreign fighters were brought to fight in Syria.
The Syrian army did not abandon Maalula.
If we withdraw from Syria, from Qusayr and Qalamoun, then the border would fall in the hands of the armed groups. Car bombs will target all of Lebanon, not only Dahiyeh.
We are protecting Lebanon.
If Syria falls into the hands of these armed groups, what will be Lebanon’s fate?
We intervened militarily when the revolution was stolen [by the Takfiris].
What are March 14’s guarantees? What guarantees can you give to the Lebanese if Syria falls into the hands of the armed groups?
Saad Hariri and Okab Saqr are financing, arming and sending fighters to Syria.
Some of the armed groups in Syria are not under the control of any country.
Syrians are fighting in Syria, we are not fighting for them.
There are no [Hezbollah] fighters in Daraa, al-Soueida, Raqqa, or Hasaka.
We are present in Damascus, Homs, and areas near the border.
There are no Iranian fighters in Syria or else the UN would have interfered.
In Qalamoun, the Syrian army is fighting. Hezbollah’s participation is minimal.
Our presence in Syria is important.
March 14 media exaggerates the number of Hezbollah martyrs.
The number of our martyrs since the beginning of our involvement has not reached the hundreds.
Considering the size of our involvement and our victories, we have less martyrs than we expected.
The English, French and others give arms to Arab countries who in turn give them to the fighters.
Countries are reconsidering their stances.
Regional countries are feeling a threat.
Saudi Arabia is still insisting on fighting until the last drop of blood. I expect tough confrontation until January 22 [the scheduled date of Geneva Ii] to either show the [Syrian regime] army as weak or to cancel Geneva II.
I do not know if Geneva II will take place because there are parties working on disrupting it.
Before our intervention in Syria there were clashes in Tripoli.
Tripoli is an issue on its own.
If Hezbollah did not fight in Syria, there would have been a civil war in Lebanon and hundreds of car bombs.
We did damage control and diminished the repercussions of the Syrian crisis on Lebanon.
The bombings targeting the Iranian embassy [in Beirut] is related to targeting Iran, not Hezbollah’s intervention in Syria.
Saudi intelligence is managing and operating Al-Qaeda-linked organizations.
I believe the Abdullah Azzam Brigades blew up the [Iranian] embassy in Beirut, and I am convinced that Saudi intelligence [supports] the group.
Bombings in Iraq are financed and operated by Saudi intelligence.
Some of these groups [such as Al-Qaeda] are in contact with Saudi intelligence.
Saudi Arabia holds Iran responsible for the failure of its projects in the region.
Any explosion that targets civilians is condemnable. We condemned the Tripoli bombings.
There was no evidence on Sheikhs Gharib and Menqara’s involvement in the bombings.
Ali Eid was not proven to be responsible for the bombings. His driver was accused of being involved.
The bombings were used for political accusations.
The situation in Tripoli is very dangerous, but the state can resolve the situation.
The ISF has been financing and arming fighters for the past 3-4 years.
March 14 is responsible for what happens in Tripoli.
The solution is the creation of a crisis cell and a dialogue table for all concerned parties.
The 9-9-6 formula preserves everyone’s rights.
Most March 14 leaders approve of this formula but Saudi Arabia asked them not to form a cabinet.
Nobody consulted us for the designation of Tammam Salam. We just approved it.
We approved the 9-9-6- formula though our parliamentary size is larger than that. They [March 14] are disrupting the formation of the cabinet.
March 14 cannot consider the parliament extension of it’s own term as vacuum because they voted for it.
We favor holding presidential elections on time.
We want timely elections and are ready to help in any way to make that happen.
I want our party to adopt a candidate clearly.
We favor holding a dialogue.
[With respect to the] USJ clash: Hezbollah did not pay a penny for students to study at USJ.
I do not accept any offense against any Lebanese symbol.
At USJ, they were [targeting] the FPM, not Hezbollah.
If the writer of the symbol (“Chartouni” on the wall of the university) turns out to be a Hezbollah member, I pledge to deliver him to the authorities.
We do not want to take over USJ.
We do not have a project bigger than Lebanon.
(Source / 03.12.2013)