Hezbollah’s parliamentary bloc leader MP Mohammed Raad called Monday for “balancing” between “financial and banking stability” and the requirements of national “sovereignty,” amid a row over the implementation in Lebanon of a U.S. anti-Hezbollah sanctions law.
“It is a bizarre paradox that some have been demanding sovereignty and rejecting hegemony for the past ten years while now they consider sovereignty to be the implementation of the U.S. laws, even if these laws are imposing sanctions on our people,” Raad said.
He added: “We want financial and banking stability for our country but we also want the government and the institutions that are in charge of the national monetary system to preserve national sovereignty.”
“The equation that must be implemented should be balancing and harmonizing between the protection of Lebanon’s financial sovereignty and the requirements of preserving the institutions’ general stability,” Raad urged.
But Raad did not provide any ideas on how the balancing can be done if Lebanon should maintain its financial and banking stability, considering the fact that Hezbollah is labeled a terrorist organization by the US and several countries
Raad’s remarks are the first public comments by Hezbollah on the U.S. sanctions since a bomb blast targeted the headquarters of BLOM Bank in Verdun on June 12.
Several parties were quick to point the finger at Hezbollah over Blom Bank’s blast due to the fact that the attack took place after a row between the party and the banking sector over the implementation of new anti-Hezbollah U.S. sanctions.
Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea on Sunday urged authorities to speed up the investigation into the Blom Bank bombing , noting that if the identity of the culprits remains under wraps it would be an indication that the attack was carried out by the same parties that killed the March 14’s leaders.
“We are still awaiting the outcome of the investigations into the blast that targeted Blom Bank and we must remind all concerned that the perpetrators of all the previous bombings that were staged by takfiri groups have been identified,” said Geagea in a statement.
“Should the identity of those behind the Blom blast be kept under wraps, it will be an indication that it is similar to the bombings that targeted March 14’s leaders in the past ten years and this would be very dangerous development ,” Geagea warned.
“The government would then be obliged to address the issue and take the appropriate measures,” Geagea added.
The March 14 forces have blamed the Syrian regime and Hezbollah for most of the assassinations and attempted murders that targeted March 14 leaders between 2005 and 2013.
Last Wednesday Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi likened the Blom bank blast to the assassination of Hariri
“There are many similarities between the Blom bank bombing and the bombing that assassinated Rafik Hariri ” , Rifi said adding “every criminal has special fingerprints and unfortunately we see the same fingerprints here too.” He criticized those who are trying defend Hezbollah’s role in the bombing.
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon probing the 2005 murder of former Premier Hariri has been trying in absentia 5 Hezbollah members who are accused of being behind Hariri’s assassination .
Mustafa Amine Badreddine , Hezbollah’s top commander in Syria until he was killed last May in Syria was one of the top suspects in Hariri’s murder.
Hezbollah refused to cooperate in the investigations of the bombings that resulted in the killing of the March 14 leaders and refused to hand over the suspects in the Hariri assassination