Nas­ral­lah re­jects Arab League state­ment on Hezbol­lah

The Miracle - - National & Int - Source: Al-Jazeera

Hezbol­lah leader Has­san Nas­ral­lah has re­jected claims made by Arab for­eign min­is­ters that the Le­banese group is arm­ing rebels in Ye­men. In a tele­vised speech on Mon­day from Beirut, Nas­ral­lah, whose Shia group is rep­re­sented in the Le­banese par­lia­ment and has a strong mil­i­tary wing, called the claims made at the pre­vi­ous day’s Arab League meet­ing “ridicu­lous”. Re­fer­ring to a para­graph in the fi­nal state­ment made after the meet­ing in Cairo, which ac­cused Hezbol­lah of “sup­port­ing ter­ror­ism and ex­trem­ist groups in Arab coun­tries with ad­vanced weapons and bal­lis­tic mis­siles”, Nas­ral­lah said there was no proof for such claims. Saudi Ara­bia has ac­cused Hezbol­lah of play­ing a role in the Novem­ber 4 fir­ing of a bal­lis­tic mis­sile by Ye­men’s Iran-al­lied Shia Houthi rebels to­wards the .ing .haled In­ter­na­tional Air­port out­side Riyadh. We have not sent any bal­lis­tic mis­siles or ad­vanced weapons - not even guns - not to Ye­men, not to Bahrain, not to .uwait, not to Iraq ... or any Arab coun­try,” Nas­ral­lah said, adding that Hezbol­lah does not own bal­lis­tic mis­siles. The only places that Hezbol­lah has sent weapons to were Pales­tine and Syria, he said. Nas­ral­lah’s speech comes amid height­ened ten­sion be­tween Iran - Hezbol­lah’s ally - and Saudi Ara­bia since Saad Hariri’s sur­prise res­ig­na­tion in Riyadh as Le­banon’s prime min­is­ter, just hours be­fore the mis­sile fired by the Houthi rebels was in­ter­cepted near the Saudi cap­i­tal. Hariri, a Sunni politi­cian and ally of Saudi Ara­bia, cited Iran’s “grip” on his coun­try and threats to his life as the rea­sons for his res­ig­na­tion. The spe­cial sum­mit in the Egyp­tian cap­i­tal on Sun­day was re­quested by Saudi Ara­bia to dis­cuss al­leged “vi­o­la­tions” com­mit­ted by Iran in the Arab re­gion. At the meet­ing, Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi for­eign min­is­ter, said Iran was aim­ing “to desta­bilise and fuel sec­tar­ian rift” in the re­gion “and to drive a wedge be­tween our­selves and our peo­ple”. The Bahraini for­eign min­is­ter, .halid bin Ahmed Al .hal­ifa, also spoke, ac­cus­ing Iran of in­flict­ing “thou­sands of wounds” on his coun­try. “Iran has arms in the re­gion, the largest of which is Hezbol­lah,” said .halid bin Ahmed, adding that Iran threat­ened the se­cu­rity of Arab states. Re­fer­ring to the Novem­ber 4 mis­sile in­ci­dent near Riyadh, Nas­ral­lah said: “I spoke of this be­fore, but some did not un­der­stand: no one from Hezbol­lah had any re­spon­si­bil­ity in this. The prob­lem with Saudi Ara­bia is that they don’t un­der­stand that Ye­me­nis have brains and are strong and can pro­duce their own weapons.” He went on to con­demn the Saudi-led coali­tion in Ye­men, say­ing: “Call on Saudi Ara­bia to halt its mas­sacres.” De­spite wag­ing a mil­i­tary of­fen­sive in Ye­men for more than two years now, the coali­tion has so far failed to achieve its stated aims of dis­lodg­ing the Houthi rebels from the cap­i­tal, Sanaa, and the coun­try’s north. The war has taken a huge toll on the coun­try: More than 10,000 civil­ians have been killed and mil­lions of Ye­me­nis have been left with­out ba­sic ne­ces­si­ties. In the con­text of the on­go­ing war against the Is­lamic State of Iraq and the Le­vant (ISIL), Nas­ral­lah said on Mon­day that the armed group’s era would be over when its fight­ers are re­moved from the Syr­ian bor­der town of al-Buka­mal. “This does not mean that Daesh is over, but the in­fra­struc­ture of Daesh is over,” he said, us­ing the Ara­bic acro­nym for ISIL, also known as ISIS. Nas­ral­lah, whose fight­ers are bat­tling anti-gov­ern­ment groups in Syria, said he is will­ing to pull Hezbol­lah out of neigh­bour­ing Iraq once the cen­tral gov­ern­ment an­nounces vic­tory over ISIL in that coun­try. Al Jazeera’s Zeina .hodr, re­port­ing from Beirut, said Nas­ral­lah’s com­ments on ISIL “have to be viewed within the con­text of Hariri’s res­ig­na­tion, who said he would be ready to with­draw his res­ig­na­tion if Hezbol­lah dis­en­gages it­self from re­gional con­flicts”. She said it is pos­si­ble that he is “try­ing to open the door to a com­pro­mise so that Hariri can with­draw his res­ig­na­tion and there could be some sort of a na­tional agree­ment in Le­banon”.

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