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Future vows to end Iranian ‘occupation’ of Lebanon
Future Movement MP Nuhad Mashnouq. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
Future Movement MP Nuhad Mashnouq. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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BEIRUT: Future Movement vowed Tuesday to liberate Lebanon from what it described as the “Iranian revolutionary occupation” of the country and urged Lebanese to rally around this cause as they had done in 2005 to end Syria’s dominating influence over its tiny neighbor.

MP Nuhad Mashnouq, reading a statement by former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, also repeated that his party would not take part in any future Lebanese Cabinet as long as Hezbollah, Iran’s primary regional ally, maintained its forces in Syria.

“Friends and colleagues, it is time to announce that we have been and will continue to resist the Iranian revolutionary occupation of Lebanese decision-making,” Mashnouq said at a ceremony commemorating the late Pierre Sadek and Nassir al-Asaad, two prominent Lebanese media figures.

“Just as we ended Syrian tutelage from Lebanon with Pierre Sadek and Nassir al-Asaad, we will end the Iranian revolutionary occupation from Lebanon so that it can remain a country for dialogue, pluralism, democracy, modernity and openness,” he said.

Mashnouq urged all of the Lebanese to rally behind such a cause.

“It is a historic opportunity for the Lebanese to finally end the situation that took shape four decades ago when the state fell and was prevented from regaining its sovereignty even after the end of the Civil War and after Israeli and later Syrian withdrawal from Lebanese territories,” he said.

“Celebrations marking martyrs are not deserved if we do not continue the march of independence whatever the sacrifices,” he said.

Mashnouq also blasted Hezbollah’s participation in the fighting in Syria and said the resistance group’s interference brought the plight of Takfiris to Lebanon.

“Have you asked yourself or have you been asked why there were no [Takfiris putting] car bombs in Lebanon before you proudly announced your military intervention in the Syrian regime’s confrontation against people seeking freedom?” he said.

“I know [Nasrallah] will not listen to a Lebanese voice because the Iranian Fatwa in his ears is stronger and purer...but I want to ask him: Have you seen the children drying of cold in Arsal and Akkar?” Mashnouq added.

“Did you know, Sayyed [Hasan], that the killing machine you support in Syria have been forcing them to flee for the past three years?” he said.

Mashnouq reiterated his party’s stance of the refusal to participate in a national partnership unless Hezbollah withdraws its fighters from Syria.

“You are not allowed to define the future of Lebanon not because U.S. secretary of state said so, but because the majority of the Lebanese deem your military capability a mere tool to attack both the Syrian and the Lebanese people,” he said.

“We will not sign a national partnership with you until you lift your hands off the blood of the Syrian people,” Mashnouq added.

Defending Saudi Arabia against allegations made by Nasrallah earlier this month that the kingdom was behind the Iranian Embassy bombing and sought chaos in Lebanon, Mashnouq said Tehran was the aggressor.

“Saudi Arabia,” Mashnouq said, “was concerned with the unity of Muslims and Arab societies as well as moderation, stability, peace and security in Lebanon rather than its destruction and chaos.”

He also said Tehran’s policy was to support regimes which kill their people and to divide Muslims in order to “cover up their aggression against Arabs.”

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