Nasrallah: Saudi Arabia, Turkey have failed in Syria
Nasrallah: Saudi Arabia, Turkey have failed in Syria
(Al-Akhbar) – Saudi Arabia, Turkey and other regional countries backing Syria’s rebels must acknowledge their failures to bring down the Syrian government, and join efforts for a political solution to end the two and a half year civil war, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah said on Monday.
In his first televised speech in over a month, Nasrallah said dialogue is the only option to bring an end to a conflict that has already left over 100,000 people dead and threatened to exacerbate tensions across the region.
“I call on Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and other Gulf states to revise your stance,” he said. “You won’t reach anywhere by relying on a military victory. Put this hatred (for Hezbollah) aside and think with your minds. Think about your interests, the interests of the region, the survival of the region.”
He condemned calls by some Lebanese politicians from the March 14 alliance for the United States to launch an attack on Syria, warning that any strike would cause global repercussions, and that Lebanon would be the first casualty.
Those same politicians calling for the West to intervene in Syria have accused Hezbollah of endangering Lebanon by sending troops to Syria, Nasrallah added, urging them to evaluate the consequences of a US attack across the border.
Nasrallah said that Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries believed their support to rebel forces would lead an overthrow of the Syrian government within months, and are using Hezbollah as a scapegoat “to run away from their failures,” by accusing it of occupying Syria.
“For two and a half years, they used everything in their disposal … to control Syria and they failed. Of course [Hezbollah] are foreigners, we are not Syrian, but [what about] the tens of thousands of foreign fighters who you brought from all over the world? Are they occupying Syria?”
He noted that the Syrian government has expressed willingness to engage in dialogue with the opposition, and emphasized talks as the only suitable option to achieve peace.
Nasrallah also flatly denied accusations that his powerful Shia movement had obtained chemical arms from Syria, saying that he was principally and religiously forbidden from using such weapons.
Text of Nasrallah’s September 23 speech
Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah spoke on the latest regional and domestic Lebanese developments in a televised address September 23:
As I speak state security forces will have taken over the checkpoints and locations manned by Hezbollah members.
Tonight I want to call on all the residents of Dahiyeh and its visitors, as well as those passing through the area to cooperate and respect the security forces’ measures. I urge them to help and support them in their mission. I call on everyone to act responsibly with these forces.
Since the August 15 bombing in Roueiss we worked on preventing further bombings in Beirut, the Beqaa and the South. Since then, there has been a big debate about self-security.
Those objecting to self-security did so in principle and without going into any detail. We are also against self-security in principle, and those who willingly exercised self-security are known. When we resorted to self-security, it was because we noticed a vacuum in certain areas and we were compelled to fill that vacuum.
Some accused us that we were exercising self-security to build our own mini-state. Today’s deployment came to rebuff these accusations.
Some also launched attacks and criticisms against security measures implemented [by Hezbollah]. The state needed time to prepare itself [for implementing security] and in the meantime alternative measures had to be put in place.
It is sad and shameful that some are saying that Hezbollah is hoping for another bombing to take place in Dahiyeh to say that the state is unable to provide security. Those who are saying that are not human beings.
I address all state officials and security personnel present in Dahiyeh tonight by saying that you are now responsible for the security of the area and your success will be the success of the whole nation.
We have reached specific results in our investigations into the Roueiss bombing. The same conclusions were also reached by official security agencies. We concluded that Takfiris were behind the bombing.
Some in the Syrian opposition are claiming that the Syrian regime has transferred chemical weapons to Hezbollah. Some in Lebanon are also voicing concern over the transfer of chemical weapons to Hezbollah.
I deny these accusations, which are absolutely untrue.
We never spoken to our brothers in Syria about chemical weapons, and this will never happen in the future.
For us, the use of chemical weapons, even in psychological warfare, is unacceptable. Hezbollah never wanted to establish a telecommunications network in Zahle.
However, in any war with the enemy we need a wired telecommunications network, especially in the Beqaa. Hezbollah was only conducting maintenance work on one cable that had been installed near the outskirts of Zahle and not in Zahle itself.
That is all there is to the story. Those who are disrupting national dialogue in Lebanon are well known.
We consider that dialogue is in the interest of the nation and this is our attitude toward the initiative of Speaker Nabih Berri. We are ready to discuss the interference in the Syrian crisis, and why we intervened in Syria. We are happy to explain at the table of dialogue the reasons behind our intervention.
What is more dangerous, supporting a military strike against Syria that would have grave implications on Lebanon and the world, or the intervention of Hezbollah with a group of fighters in the battles in Syria? Whether we reach a solution or not, it is still necessary to sit down and engage in dialogue.
There is a boring public opinion battle in Lebanon regarding the formation of a new government. Some are attacking Hezbollah and accusing it of obstructing the formation of a new cabinet. Our opponents said that they objected to the participation of Hezbollah in the government.
Two weeks ago, they said that they would agree to Hezbollah’s participation, after they had disrupted the country for months. We cannot be blamed for being the ones who are disrupting the country.
Our only condition regarding the new government is that it reflects the parliamentary representation of the political parties in Lebanon. The concept of the 8-8-8 government is not realistic. In reality this will be a government formed with ten March 14 ministers, that include PM-designate Tammam Salam, who is a pro-March 14 politician.
Some in Saudi Arabia are saying that Syria has been occupied by Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. They are therefore calling for supporting the opposition to fend off this “occupation.” This description of the crisis in Syria is not correct.
The Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ presence in Syria is limited to a few members and they have been there for a while. How could they occupy Syria this way? Is Hezbollah capable of occupying Syria?
The real reason behind these claims is their failure. They engaged in the war in Syria and counted on achieving victory within a very short space of time and they failed. Our contribution is very humble compared to the work being undertaken by the Syrian army.
I want to honestly address Saudi Arabia and Turkey by saying that counting on a military solution is the wrong gamble. Political solution and political dialogue is the only solution that will save Syria and the countries of the region.
Everyone is opposed to war and supports dialogue. Those who complicate the situation even further will be responsible for any bloodshed in the future.
The government in Bahrain has decided to prosecute any person who establishes contact with another person who has some sort of relation with Hezbollah. This is a political decision.
We will not alter our stance regarding the events in Bahrain. The popular movement in Bahrain will continue despite the ongoing repression.
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