Hezbollah denied any responsibility for its Lebanese Communication Group (Al-Manar Channel and Al-Nour Radio) apology to the Bahraini Information Affairs Authority (IAA) for its past coverage of news relating to Bahrain.
Hezbollah’s denial of responsibility comes less than 48 hours after the apology that was published and announced at the 90th meeting of the Arab States Broadcasting Union General Assembly executive board in the presence of member states.
Hezbollah claimed that its leadership was never consulted on the matter and the apology was an initiative taken by the Hezbollah media delegation without referring to the party leadership.
The party issued the following statement about the issue:
1- The position taken by the delegation representing the Lebanese Communication Group was a special initiative that has not been reviewed by the Hezbollah leadership .
2- Our support for the the oppressed people of Bahrain did not change at all . We consider that the injustices practiced by the Bahraini authorities against the people are huge and they still persist in denying the rights of political participation for the Bahraini people .
3 – The apology should go to the Bahraini people themselves, who showed patience and tolerance for more than two and a half years and have suffered from repression and all kinds of of abuse by the ruling authorities .
4-The threat and intimidation and unjust accusation practiced by the authorities in Bahrain against anyone who supports the Bahraini people and their just cause is further evidence of the inability of the ruling authorities to dialogue with its own people. “
In its yesterday’s statement, The Lebanese Communication Group pledged to commit, in the future, to objectivity in covering Arab news and events and abide by professional standards.
The heads of Arab delegations commended the step, lauding Bahrain for accepting the apology of the Lebanese Communication Group. ASBU director-general read the apology statement along with the decision of ASBU General Assembly assigning him to follow-up the implementation of the commitment expressed by the Lebanese Communication Group.
There was a lot of speculation in Lebanon on the apology since Hezbollah as a rule never apologizes, but according to the Lebanese newspaper Al Rai the apology was made on orders from the new Iran leadership that is trying to reach out to make amends with its neighbors as part of an overall shift in its international policy.
After eight years of rule by the bombastic Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, newly elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani seems determined to present a new image of Iran to the world.
“Iran is keen on re-engaging with the rest of the region, particularly the GCC, and pull the carpet from underneath the Israelis,” said Ghanem Nuseibeh of Cornerstone Global Associates, the London-based founder of the risk analysis group.