Lebanon News

Nasrallah's speech on Syria draws ire

Hezbollah supporters watch Nasrallah’s televised speech in Ghobeiri in Beirut's southern suburbs, May 9, 2013. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)

BEIRUT: March 14 officials strongly criticized Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah's latest political remarks Friday, a day after the Hezbollah leader said Syria would supply his party with game-changing weapons.

Future bloc MP Ahmad Fatfat told The Daily Star his rival's speech violated the "sanctity" of the Lebanese state, saying the resistance is no longer defending Lebanon.

“It is clear that Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah has violated the sanctity of the logic of the state as he overrides institutions ... and acts on behalf of the state without any credibility," Fatfat said.

"Not only did he plunge Lebanon into flames of a huge fire against the interest of the Lebanese people but he also officially made Lebanon an affiliate of the Iranian regime," he added.

The Future lawmaker also said that Hezbollah's latest actions proved the party has completely fallen under the control of Iran.

"What they used to claim that the resistance is in defense of Lebanon is no longer valid," he said. "It is in the defense of Syria and Iran."

He also warned that Hezbollah's remarks and action could give Israel "many opportunities" to target Lebanon.

For his part, Lebanese Forces MP Antoine Zahra criticized Nasrallah for playing a part in an Iranian-backed plot that could bring war to the region.

“Negative reactions from across Lebanon to Nasrallah's speech are expected,” Zahra told al-Fajr radio station.

Nasrallah’s stances “reflect a project that has nothing to do with what we seek as Lebanese,” he said.

“War is coming to the Lebanese border [with Israel],” he said, adding that expectations Lebanon will witness a calm summer have “evaporated.”

Zahra also said Nasrallah's pledge to stand by the Syrian regime in the country's two-year civil war did away with the possibility of dialogue.

"We are not ready to sit down with one who fights in defense of the Syrian regime to serve regional policies,” Zahra said.

Deputy Speaker Farid Makari accused Nasrallah of hindering the formation of a new Cabinet in Lebanon, according to remarks published Friday.

Nasrallah's “speech on Lebanese affairs reflects Hezbollah’s continuing willingness to obstruct the formation of the government,” Makari said in the Beirut daily An-Nahar.

Nasrallah’s speech on Thursday indicated that the Hezbollah chief endorses a long-term extension of the current Parliament if lawmakers failed to approve the controversial Orthodox Gathering electoral law, according to Makari.

He said Nasrallah “closed the door” to talks on a new government unless Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam accommodates his terms.

Nasrallah said Thursday that Hezbollah MPs would vote for the Orthodox Gathering’s electoral proposal if it is put up for a vote during next week’s electoral Parliament session.

“Hezbollah will vote for the Orthodox Gathering’s draft law because we have already given our word on that and we were clear,” Nasrallah said.

The Orthodox electoral law has divided the major political parties in the country over its sect-based voting system.





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