Lebanon News

Nasrallah met Khamenei in Iran, to make speech May 9

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah waves to the crowd in Beirut, on Monday, Sept. 17, 2012. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)

BEIRUT: Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah recently held talks in Tehran with Iran’s supreme leader, and is expected to tackle allegations about his party’s role in the Syrian conflict and Lebanon’s political crisis during a much anticipated speech on May 9. Sources close to Hezbollah told The Daily Star that Nasrallah held talks in recent weeks with Sayyed Ali Khamenei. Hezbollah has not issued an official statement about the meeting.

But Hezbollah-affiliated news website Al-Ahd posted a picture dated April 15 showing Nasrallah standing next to Khamenei.

“Al-Ahd publishes an exclusive photo gathering Iran Supreme Leader Sayyed Ali Khamenei and Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah,” read the text attached to the picture. Al-Ahd did not disclose further details.

Nasrallah, whose movements have been very restricted since the 2006 war with Israel, rarely makes public appearances. Most of his speeches and appearances in the aftermath of the 34-day war were transmitted via video link from an unknown location.

The last time Nasrallah made a public appearance outside Lebanon was in 2010 when he held talks with Syrian President Bashar Assad and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The media had dubbed the February 2010 tripartite talks as “the great meeting.”

After an absence of nearly two months, Nasrallah is expected to tackle a wide range of thorny topics during an address on May 9.

Indignation is growing on the local, regional and international levels over Hezbollah’s alleged involvement in the Syrian conflict.

On Sunday, the opposition Syrian National Council warned that Hezbollah’s involvement could lead to greater risks in the area and urged the Lebanon to take the necessary measures to stop “Hezbollah’s aggression.”

Nasrallah is also expected to touch upon the political crisis in Lebanon and efforts to form a new government. Hezbollah has repeatedly called for the formation of an all-inclusive Cabinet instead of a nonpolitical one in a bid to handle the major tasks and challenges Lebanon will encounter in the near future.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on April 22, 2013, on page 1.




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