By: Tariq Alhomayed
is planning to file a lawsuit against the US administration because of a statement made by the US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman about Washington spending 500 million dollars on disfiguring Hezbollah’s image [in Lebanon]. Lebanese MP Nawaf al Moussawi said, “If the US Embassy wants to be transparent then let it present a list of the names of the people who received the biggest share of the money claiming that it is to help the Lebanese people.”
This remark is acceptable and there is no objection to it. It is Hezbollah’s right to know who received the money to disfigure the image of Hezbollah whose image was already disfigured after Hezbollah used arms against the people of Beirut on May 7, 2008 and after taking Lebanon hostage with weapons to serve Iran and its agenda. But as long as the discussion here is about transparency and the use of funding to disfigure somebody else’s image and using Lebanon as an open field for physical elimination and even character assassination at which Hezbollah and its media excel then all money issues should also be looked at with transparency.
The first of those issues is the money coming from Iran or what Hassan Nasrallah calls “pure money.” How does it reach Lebanon? Who receives it? Who distributes it? How much was spent on the media and how many media figures and politicians did it buy? How much was spent on buying weapons? How much was paid in compensation to the victims of the 2006 war with Israel who Hezbollah said it would pay? It is the right of the Lebanese to know the amount of money [Iran gave to Lebanon] and where and how it was spent. It is also the right of the Iranian people to know how much of its money and savings its government spent on Hezbollah and others in Lebanon especially as the Iranians are complaining about the worsening economic situation in Iran, not to mention the new problems the economy will face with the increasing Western sanctions on Iran.
If Hezbollah wants transparency then there should be transparency regarding all issues in everybody’s interest i.e. the Lebanese and the Iranians, as transparency is not one way; it is for you and incumbent upon you. Hezbollah must be asked to do what it is asking the Americans to do today both legally and in the media. There must be endeavors in that regard so that Hezbollah does not undertake an operation of procrastination and concealment in the way that it did regarding the bankruptcy of the Lebanese businessman Salah Ezzeddin who was nicknamed the “Imad Mughniyeh of finance,” as Hassan Nasrallah previously promised the Lebanese – specifically the residents of Hezbollah areas who had been wronged – that the party is working on preparing a more detailed account of the issue of Salah Ezzeddin’s bankruptcy and his ties to members of the party describing the matter as “the sensitive topic that concerns people’s money.”
Of course just like the Lebanese we are yet to read or hear anything about that “sensitive topic that concerns people’s money” in the words of the Hezbollah leader. Therefore, whoever wants transparency must start with himself and his close associates before demanding transparency from others!
*Tariq Alhomayed is the Editor-in-Chief of Asharq Al-Awsat,