Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah made another TV appearance on Tuesday via video link during which he played down the effect of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon on his group saying a Resistance that was not shaken by Israel couldn’t be shaken by the Tribunal.
“Just like your hopes for the 2006 July War were in vain, your hopes for the STL will also be in vain.” He said and added :
“A resistance movement that was not shaken by the most powerful air force in the region will not be shaken by (STL Prosecutor Danielle) Bellemare, (Pre-Trial Judge Daniel) Fransen, (STL President Antonio) Cassese or some mercenary writers,” Nasrallah said during a graduation ceremony.
“We are facing a conspiracy called the indictment in a calm and wise manner and with documentation [to prove its lack of credibility] contrary to what others are saying in the media,” the Hezbollah chief said
Commenting on calls for dialogue by the top three leaders he said ;
“We support any call for dialogue and rapprochement and we don’t have any reservations over the principle (of dialogue), regardless of the topics and the agenda.”
Nasrallah noted that Hezbollah was “the first party to present its defense strategy at the national dialogue table (in 2006), and after a few days we implemented this strategy and achieved victory in the July war.”
The March 14 forces have insisted that the dialogue agenda should be limited to a single item – the controversial issue of Hezbollah’s weapons.
he Iranian and Syrian -backed Hezbollah brought down Hariri’s government on January 12 over the Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s (STL) imminent indictment which was widely expected to implicate Hezbollah members in the assassination of former PM Rafik Hariri in 2005
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon issued the indictments in the assassination of Lebanon’s former PM Hariri on June 30. An STL delegation met with Lebanon’s state prosecutor Said Mirza and handed him a copy of the Lebanon portion of the indictment and the arrest warrants. Two of the suspects Mustafa Badreddine and Salim Ayyash are reportedly senior members of the Iranian and Syrian-backed Hezbollah while the other two Hassan Aneissy, also known as Hassan Issa, and Assad Sabra played a supporting role in the execution of the assassination.
Lebanon has 30 days to find and arrest the suspects but Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said Saturday that the party would not cooperate with the tribunal.
“No Lebanese government will be able to carry out any arrests whether in 30 days, 30 years or even 300 years.”
“We reject the Special Tribunal for Lebanon along with each and every void accusation it issues, which to us is the equivalent of an attack against Hezbollah,” Nasrallah added in his hour-long speech.
Nasrallah admitted all the four suspects are Hezbollah members:
“The suspects named in the indictment are brothers who have an honorable history in resisting Israeli occupation.” He said
The whereabouts of the four remain unknown but some reports indicated that the two prime suspects in the assassination already fled to Iran.
“My only advice to those charged is that they should consult a lawyer as soon as possible…Now is the time for defense.” Francois Roux, the head of the Defense Office of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon said in addressing the four Hezbollah members who were indicted in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri
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