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Hassan Nasrallah: US Sanctions against Hezbollah are Last Resort, Resistance Axis Triumphs

Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General, Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, on March 8, 2019, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Foundation to Support the Islamic Resistance.

Transcript:

[…] The US sanctions and financial siege that we currently experience, along with being added to the list of terrorist organizations, and lately, the British decision to add Hezbollah’s political wing to their own list of terrorist groups, and the consequences of all these measures – because in the past, they have already added our military branch, as they say, on the list of terrorist organizations, and a few days ago, they added the political branch, according to their (purely artificial) distinctions… In this respect, when we speak of US sanctions, we should expect them to become even more severe, both against those who support us and against us, that is to say against the Islamic Republic of Iran, against Syria, and against all Resistance movements and the Resistance Axis, and against us (Hezbollah).

In Lebanon, they intervened on the issue of the banks (operating here), and they have imposed a siege and severe restrictions on them. They made a list of merchants, businesses, associations and groups considered as terrorists, and prohibiting any financial or bank transaction with them. They also included a number of Lebanese personalities and traders on the sanctions list. And this can continue. We’ll (probably) see the names of new people and organizations (on the sanctions list), new restrictions, etc. (Our enemies) will continue on this path.

This is in regard to US sanctions.

On the other hand, we will also be faced with a proliferation of lists of terrorist organizations. For example, since when the Gulf countries have a list of terrorist organizations? It is only in recent years that they have created such lists. Elsewhere too, there are countries that come to create their list of terrorist organizations, or who already had such a list, and add us on it, as did Britain, and we must also expect that other countries do the same, and place Hezbollah on its terrorist list and describe it as such. Therefore, it is a trend that will continue.

But how should we consider this trend and these measures? We can think of them as specific acts unrelated to the past or the future, or we can consider them as a global and continuous process, embracing the present, past and future. The second perspective is the right one.

Why? Because it allows us to understand precisely what these measures mean, in what context they fit and what are their goals, which allows us to face them and not allow these objectives to be achieved. And this is the responsibility of all members and supporters of the Resistance (Hezbollah). It is the responsibility of the Resistance, its members and their families, its masses, its popular base and its supporters, anyone who is part of this historic humanitarian movement in our region, not only in Lebanon.

In what context (do such sanctions fit)? We must understand that we are (indeed) oppressed (by these unjust sanctions), (but it is because) we are the strongest (that they were imposed on us). We are not weak and oppressed: (rather), if they attack us (that way), it’s because we are the strongest. We are oppressed and triumphant. How is that?

Since 1982 and to this day, the United States and Israel, which have their US-Zionist hegemony project on our region, our country, our choices and our sovereignty throughout the region, since 1982, they suffered defeat after defeat, successive defeats for their projects and greed. It is a clear reality, and we talked about it a lot in the past. As a brief reminder, without stopping on each point, let us recall for example:

1/ The 1982 invasion was within the framework of a US-Israeli plan for Lebanon, Palestine, (all of) the region and the (final) settlement of the (Arab-Israeli conflict). Who curbed, neutralized and frustrated this project by inflicting it a (stinging) defeat? The movements of Resistance in Lebanon, and I don’t mean only Hezbollah: Hezbollah, the Amal movement, patriotic parties, Islamic movements, the various factions of the Resistance, with support from Syria and Iran.

2/ From 1982 to 1985, and with all the events that occurred afterwards, this project collapsed.

3/ In 2000, the (historic) defeat of Israel in Lebanon.

4/ After that, the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

All this has destroyed the project and dream of Greater Israel. I have already spoken in detail of all this, and there is no need to say it all again.

5/ In 2006, and even before, with the arrival of the Neo-conservatives in power in the United States, there was a massive US plan to regain control of the entire region. They began with the invasion of Afghanistan, the occupation of Iraq, the attempt to besiege Iran and isolate Syria, to liquidate the Palestinian cause and deal a fatal blow to the Resistance in Lebanon and eradicate it in 2006. The successful steadfastness of Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006, of the factions of the Resistance in Gaza in 2008, and of Syria and Iran, have thwarted this huge and dangerous project that threatened our region.

6/ In 2011, the project of destruction of what I call the backbone of the Resistance camp in our area, namely Syria and the Syrian state.

7/ A few years after that, they returned to Iraq via ISIS and have targeted the entire Resistance Axis.

8/ They continued their pressure on Lebanon, Palestine and the Palestinian people.

9/ They launched an atrocious war against our brothers in Yemen.

10/ Not to mention the occupation of Bahrain, etc.

All this is part of the American-Israeli hegemony project. I have already said in the past that many regional countries were instruments in this project (Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UAE, Qatar…).
Once again, the Resistance Axis, the countries of the Resistance and the parties of the Resistance stood up against this war and faced this project. We won the battle decisively in Iraq, we are about to do in Syria and we completely triumphed in Lebanon. In Yemen, (our brothers) still resist victoriously against the continued aggression. Gaza continues to resist against all forms of aggression and blockade. And it’s the same for the Islamic Republic (of Iran) and its endurance against the (US) sanctions. Thus, this project also failed.

I want to say, regarding the current situation and also the future, that what Trump and his son-in-law Kushner hope, that is to fulfill an historic achievement in the region through the ‘Deal of the century’ (to finally liquidate the Palestinian cause), who faces (this project and fights to defeat it)? It is the Resistance Axis, the Resistance movements, the countries of the Resistance and the Palestinian people in the first place.

Israel, in all its (strategic) annual assessments, considers Iran as an existential threat, Hezbollah as the essential and primary threat, and all the Resistance Axis, from Gaza to Syria, including Yemen, which they begin to fear (seriously), all this Axis is a subject of concern and an (existential) threat to this entity.

Therefore, we are in this context, my brothers and sisters. When they put us on their lists of terrorist organizations, when they take measures and sanctions against us, it is because we have defeated them, because we beat them, because we have foiled all their projects, because we are stronger (than them), because we are more worthy and glorious, because we are capable, because we successfully defend our choice, our sovereignty, our people, our country and our states. This is the framework. This is the framework (of these sanctions). This is by no means a framework of weakness (of the Resistance). It is not at all a framework of weakness (for us).

Today, after the failure of all these wars (against our region), it is because they are unable (to conduct other wars that they impose sanctions on us, it is their last resort)… What else could they do?

The United States came themselves (with all their strength) in our region (in Afghanistan and Iraq) and they were defeated. They came (massively) in our region in the early 2000s, they remained (many years), but they were defeated. They were defeated by the Resistance in Iraq, and today they are defeated in Afghanistan. They were defeated in Syria, and they are overcome every day in Yemen. Are they able to launch a new war?

Israel is afraid and is (even) terrified to launch any war. And we hear every day (in the Israeli media) that the Israeli army is not ready, that their ground forces are not ready (for war), etc., etc., etc. And lately, just a few days ago, what did they do? They installed the American THAAD anti-missile system. This is proof that they have no confidence in their own systems, despite their propaganda morning and evening with lots of drums and boasting, claiming for years that (the Iron Dome) was perfectly capable of protecting their home front.

Therefore, faced with their failure, and with their inability to launch a war or any other military choice, and also because their security operations and murders have not achieved their objectives – on the contrary, we became stronger, more experienced, more lucid and more determined, as indicated by this quote from Imam Khomeini repeated tirelessly by Sayed Abbas (Musawi, Nasrallah’s predecessor murdered by Israel): “Keep killing us, because it awakens the conscience of our people!” The Resistance has become stronger, more determined, the people embraced it increasingly and massively and sympathized with it, when he discovered that (even) its leaders were killed and fell martyrs (Sayed Abbas Musawi was assassinated by Israel with his wife and 5 year old son).

What is the (only option) left to our enemies? Their last resort (is sanctions). Sanctions and inclusion on the list of terrorist organizations are thus a (new kind of) war in this context (of successive defeats of our enemies). And we, my brothers and sisters, those present and those who listen to us, we have to face it as if we were in time of war. Because it is indeed a form of war. Just as there are military wars, security wars, wars of information, political wars and culture wars, (sanctions) are part of the economic, financial and psychological war (aiming to break our) morale. And therefore, we have to face this war.

Today, when we consider the (Hezbollah) situation here or there… I’ll be honest and clear, and I will tell you what I said during our internal meetings, in small committee or with thousands (of Hezbollah members by videoconference), I’ll say it today on TV (so that everyone knows it). When (Hezbollah) is having some financial difficulties because of these measures and sanctions, it must be clear to us that this is part of the war. This has nothing to do with mismanagement, negligence or (arbitrary) budget restriction here or there. This is a consequence of the (economic and financial) war that is launched against us and that continues.
And this war is not only waged against us (Hezbollah). Today, the sanctions against Iran are heavier, and the United States asked the UN Security Council to impose sanctions against Iran. The United States exert the greatest pressure in this respect, and follow this matter very closely. Similarly, sanctions against Syria are heavier, and what they were unable to get through military war, (the US and its allies) want to get it by economic pressures, by hurting living conditions and livelihoods (of the Syrian people), by imposing hardships to the Syrian people in all aspects of his personal, social and economic (daily) life. The siege imposed on the Palestinians in Gaza and even in the West Bank (is harsher than ever): the destruction of houses, obstruction of wages, blocking (humanitarian) aid, etc., all this continues (and is intensified). In Yemen, people have been subjected to famine, financial, economic and port blockades, and all this continues. Sanctions and inclusion on the list of terrorist organizations are ongoing against all of us (Resistance Axis).

Yesterday, Netanyahu considered the (Palestinian) channel Al-Aqsa as a terrorist organization. A TV channel! The United States also added the factions of the Iraqi Resistance on the terrorists list, one after the other. The last faction concerned is that of our brothers in Al-Nujaba movement in Iraq. These sanctions therefore extend to anyone involved in this historic Resistance movement in our region. Yes, historic! The countries, governments, movements and peoples of the Resistance Axis.

Because (our enemies) strive to weaken us, to break our will, to impoverish us, to starve us, hoping to see us collapse, disperse and submit to their will (they strive for our complete surrender). Those who are unable to crush us by war, fighting and assassinations imagine that by impoverishing us, starving us, besieging us financially and draining our funding sources, they’ll manage to break us and to destroy our (Resistance) movement.

We have to face this (economic and financial) war.

First, we must hold on, stay stronger (than them), and not allow these measures to affect our will, our determination and morale. That’s the first point.

Second, despite all that is happening and everything that is said, their hopes will be bitterly disappointed, because they’ll never manage to impoverish us, to starve us nor to besiege us. Those who support us will continue to support us, in all certainty, be it States, peoples or our own (Lebanese) people and the masses of the Resistance in Lebanon.

These sanctions will continue. Yes, we will perhaps face some difficulties and certain restrictions. But I can assert, from the position of the leader who manages this question every day and in all its details, that we will continue our actions, our infrastructure will remain strong, sustained and rooted, and they won’t succeed in preventing our blood from flowing in our veins, nor the determination (to stay rooted) in our will. Be absolutely sure.

Certainly, as I said, we may face some difficulties and restrictions, but by patience, endurance, by reorganizing and wise and careful management, organizing our priorities, we will face this (economic and financial) war and we will overcome it (triumphantly).

When we fought during the war of July (2006), some people and political forces (in Lebanon and the region) stood by the river, waiting to see our dead bodies (washed away by waters); but their hopes were shattered, and we came out victorious (of this war). When we went (to fight) in Syria as forces participating in this global war, similarly, some in the world, the region, and unfortunately also in Lebanon, stood by the river, waiting to see our dead bodies (washed away by waters) and our defeat, but we came out victorious (of this war), as part of the great victory in Syria.

I tell you, both to those who love us, who are sincere and fair, and to those who stand by the river, waiting to see our bodies (washed away by waters) and hope that (Hezbollah) will collapse because of lack of money, poverty and hunger: I assure you that your hopes will be shattered, and not only that this Resistance will not fade or lose its high spirits, but it will gain strength, in numbers and equipment, in existence, in presence, in determination, in influence, in action and in shaping more victories in this region.

[Greetings from the audience on the Prophet Muhammad and his family.]

The days, (months and years) to come will confirm it. For it is the time that settles matters (among opponents) and reveals (the identity of the winner).

Of course it is necessary to mention again the action of the Foundation to Support the Islamic Resistance, and to emphasize that we need active efforts from our brothers and sisters, as well as a renewed and growing solidarity.

Remember that from 1982 to 2000, then to the years before 2006, we had a constant need (of financial aid). After 2006, due to the tremendous support that has been given us, especially by the Islamic Republic of Iran, I stated during certain (internal) meetings that even if we did not need money, we should continue our (fundraising) efforts to allow those who want to contribute financially to the action of the Resistance to do so.

Today we are in between. We are in between. The Foundation to Support the Islamic Resistance should continue its work and its efforts to enable (those who wish) to fight (by financial donations), and also to help us in this ongoing battle.

And I know (the generosity) of our people and of our families, despite the very difficult living conditions in Lebanon. I will publicly reveal something which I mentioned during internal meetings, which must be known: just a few weeks ago, two months at most, I didn’t appear on television to call people to make donations (for our campaign) to help Yemeni children because I did not want to impose on people a greater burden than they could bear. For I know that our people reacts (massively to my calls), despite their hard living conditions, and social and financial (difficulties). That is why neither I nor Hezbollah leaders or any responsible (called to participate in this fundraising for Yemen).

Our brothers and sisters inside the Lebanese regions took care of that within the Foundation to Support the Islamic Resistance and other Islamic charities, voluntary brothers and sisters, on social networks, Radio Al-Nour, who propagated (this appeal for donations for the children of Yemen). Within a few weeks, two million dollars were collected. In Lebanon alone, this small (and poor) country which is in a very difficult (economic) situation. I was given this money, and I have dispatched it to our brothers in Yemen. Such is our people! Such is our people! Such is their level of commitment.

I have many testimonies about the generosity of the sons, daughters and wives of martyrs (who are themselves in need), young and old, how they put aside part of their salary, of their life (livelihood), of what they collect for the future of their children, and they give it to the Resistance (Hezbollah).

That is why today, (I appeal to) this support and this popular momentum, and I declare that the Resistance (Hezbollah) needs them. The Resistance needs them. And the Foundation to Support the Islamic Resistance must work earnestly, as it did before 2000. Because today, we are in the middle of such a battle (economic and financial).

Of course, everything that is said in Lebanon about Hezbollah, who, because of these financial pressures, would grab the money of the State, and money from the Ministry of Health (devolved to Hezbollah), I responded (to these calumnies) and I repeat that these false accusations are unfounded. Our theological, religious and moral position about money of the State is clear (it is illegal to use it for purposes other than its intended ones).

And today, we call on everyone to make sure that the Ministry that is the most scrutinized, controlled and inspected, be the Ministry of Health. Go for it! Control the use of every penny! And you will discover a total transparency on the part of the Ministry, and absolute clarity in the use of every penny spent and every pound in strict accordance with the law for the Lebanese people. […]

Translation: unz.com/sayedhasan

March 22, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Berri to Pompeo: Hezbollah Lebanese Party Represented at Parliament & Government, Resistance Results from Israeli Occupation

Al-Manar | March 22, 2019

Lebanon’s Speaker of the House, Nabih Berri, welcomed this Friday at Ain Tineh the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and an accompanying delegation.

The one-hour meeting touched on “the importance of maintaining stability in Lebanon and the need to deal with the maritime borders issue, including Lebanon’s Special Economic Zone.”

Pompeo expressed the United States’ desire to “assist with the efforts of the United Nations so as to address this issue.”

Speaker Berri, in turn, stressed that “the solution begins with the maritime borders.”

Talks also focused on the US sanctions imposed on Hezbollah, and their negative repercussions on Lebanon and the Lebanese.

In this regard, Berri maintained that “the laws passed by the Lebanese parliament conform to international laws and ensure transparency in financial trading at all levels.”

He stressed that Hezbollah is a “Lebanese party represented at the parliament and the government. Its resistance and that of the Lebanese are the result of the continued Israeli occupation of Lebanese territory.”

Pompeo later met with the PM Saad Hariri and then President Michel Aoun.

March 22, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , | 1 Comment

The US is pushing Lebanon into the arms of Iran and Russia: US sanctions affect the local economy

Lebanese disputed blocks with Israel
By Elijah J. Magnier – 18/03/2019

Lebanon is expecting the visit of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo this week at a time when the Lebanese economic-political map is being redrawn and while Lebanon is suffering its most serious economic downturn in recent history.

Reasons for the deterioration of the local economy include not only the corruption of Lebanon’s political leadership and lower level administration but also US sanctions imposed on Iran. The latest sanctions are the harshest ever imposed. They will also dramatically affect Lebanon so long as President Donald Trump is in power if Lebanon does not follow US policy and dictates.

If, as anticipated, Washington declares economic war on Lebanon, the sanctions will leave Lebanon few alternatives. They may force Lebanon to fall back on Iranian civilian industry to overcome US economic pressure, and to rely on the Russian military industry to equip Lebanese security forces. This will be the result if Pompeo insists on threatening Lebanese officials, as his assistants have done on previous visits to the country. The consistent message from US officials has been: you’re either with us or against us.

Politically, Lebanon is divided between two currents, one pro-US (and Saudi Arabia) and another outside the US orbit. The economic situation may well increase internal division to the point that the local population reacts angrily in order to exclude the US and its allies from influence in Lebanon.

Such a scenario may still be avoided if Saudi Arabia injects enough investment to reboot the agonising local economy. Nevertheless, Saudi Arabia fears that those who are not aligned with its policies and those of the US could benefit from its support. To date, Riyadh has not fully understood the internal Lebanese dynamic and what it is possible or impossible to achieve in Lebanon. The kidnapping of the Prime Minister Saad Hariri was the most flagrant indication of Saudi ignorance of Lebanese politics. The Saudis’ lack of strategic vision in Lebanon will likely prevent any serious support to the failing economy and may lead the country into serious instability.

Before 1982, one US dollar was equivalent to 3 Lebanese Lira. This was in part because the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) was spending tens of millions of dollars in the country on its own people and on Palestinian families living in Lebanon. Moreover, United Nations organisations (UNRWA) and other NGOS were also distributing financial support to Palestinian refugees whose homes had been taken by Israel forcing them to leave their country.

Following the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, the PLO was forced to leave the country. Not much later, one US dollar reached an exchange rate of 3000 Lebanese Lira, later devalued to stabilise at the current rate of 1$ for 1500 L.L. Iran entered the scene to support local Lebanese fighters (the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon, i.e. Hezbollah) to recover their territory from Israeli occupation. In the year 2000, Iran began to make a serious investment in Hezbollah as the group managed to force the Israelis out of most Lebanese territory. Iranian financial investment had reached a very high level by the 2006 war when Israel was prevented from disarming Hezbollah to keep its rockets and missiles out of range of Israel.

In 2013, the Syrian government asked Hezbollah to support the Syrian Army to prevent disintegration of the country and to keep Takfiri militants from taking over. Iran pumped billions of dollars to defeat ISIS and al-Qaeda and to prevent them from overwhelming Syria and Iraq, aware that Iran would be the next target. The budget for Hezbollah troops went sky high. Support for movements of troops, logistics and daily allowances given to fighters, contributed to boosting the Lebanese economy. Hezbollah’s monthly budget went much beyond $100 million per month.

But after the arrival of Donald Trump in power and his rejection of the Iran nuclear deal, the US government has imposed the severest sanctions on Iran and halted donations to the United Nations organisations supporting Palestinian refugees (UNRWA). Sanctions on Iran have forced a new budget on Hezbollah, a five-year austerity plan. Forces have been reduced to a minimum number in Syria, movement of troops are slowed accordingly and all additional remunerations are suspended. Hezbollah reduced its budget to a quarter of what it had been without suspending any militants or contractors’ monthly salaries and medical care as stipulated by a personal order from Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s Secretary General.

This new financial situation will affect the Lebanese economy as cash flow and foreign currency dry up. The consequences are expected to be more noticeable in the coming months, leading to a plausible domestic reaction from the local population that will feel the weight of the failing economy.

The US and Europe are imposing strict controls on any monies transferred to and from Lebanon. The country is on a financial blacklist and there is tight scrutiny on all transactions. Religious donations from abroad are no longer possible since they expose donors to serious accusations of support for terrorism by western countries.

As long as Trump is in power, Hezbollah and Iran believe the situation will remain critical; they estimate that the US President will most probably enjoy a second term. The next five years are expected to be hard on the Lebanese economy, particularly if Pompeo’s visit brings messages and dictates that Lebanon cannot obey.

Pompeo wants Lebanon to give up on its demand to redraw its disputed water borders with Israel, compromising on blocks 8, 9 and 10 to the benefit of Israel. This request will not be granted and Lebanese officials have said on several occasions that they are relying on Hezbollah’s precision missiles to stop Israel from stealing Lebanese water.

Pompeo also wants Lebanon to give up on Hezbollah and its role in government. Again, the US establishment seems ignorant that Hezbollah is almost a third of Lebanon’s population, enjoying the support of more than half of Lebanese Shia, Christian, Sunni and Druse, with official members in the executive and legislative authorities of the country.

What then is the alternative? If Saudi Arabia moves in, Lebanon doesn’t need one or two or five billion but tens of billions of dollars to resuscitate its economy. It also needs a hands-off policy from the US establishment to allow the country to govern itself.

The Saudis are already suffering from Trump’s bullying, and their funds are drying up. If Saudi decides to invest in Lebanon, it will seek to impose terms not much different from US demands. Saudi Arabia engages in wishful thinking when it aims to expel Iran’s influence and Hezbollah supporters from Lebanon, an impossible goal to fulfil.

Lebanon’s remaining choices are few. Lebanon can move closer to Iran to lower its expenditures and the cost of goods, and it can ask Russia to support the Lebanese army if the West fails to do so. China is preparing to move in and can be a positive alternative for the country, using Lebanon as a platform to reach Syria and later Iraq and Jordan. Otherwise, Lebanon will have to prepare to join the list of poorest countries.

A shadow is hanging over the land of the cedars, a country that has already had to fight for survival in the 21stcentury. Hezbollah, now subject to US and UK sanctions, is the same force that protected the country from ISIS and other takfiri fighters who threatened to expel Christians from the country, in accordance with French President Sarkozy’s advice to the Lebanese patriarch that Lebanese Christians abandon their homes. The takfiri jihadists and NATO shared the same intentions for Lebanon. The failure of the US establishment’s plan to divide Iraq and create a failed state in Syria as part of a “new Middle East” woke the Russian bear from its long hibernation. Today Russia competes with the US for hegemony in the Middle East, obliging Trump to pull out all the stops in an attempt to break the anti-US front.

It is a battle with no taboos where all blows are permitted. The US is pushing Lebanon into a bottleneck with no alternatives to closer partnership with Iran and Russia.

March 19, 2019 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Is The UK Prepared To Add Iran to Its List Of Terrorists? Tightening The Noose Around The Neck of The Community That Supports Hezbollah

By Elijah Magnier | American Herald Tribune | March 5, 2019

The UK government has added the political and military branches of Lebanese Hezbollah to its terrorist list following a decision initiated by Home Secretary Sajid Javid and approved by Parliament. Hezbollah, or the “Party of God” is now one of the 74 foreign groups and 14 other groups related to Northern Ireland on the list. Any support to this organisation falls under the Terrorism Act of 2000. In the same act, under the rubric of fund-raising, offences, article 15, it clearly states that any person commits an offence if he invites others to provide money or other property to a proscribed group. Since the General Secretary of Hezbollah Sayed Hassan Nasrallah and the government of Iran both overtly acknowledge the financial, military, technical, intelligence and other social services support that Iran provides to the organisation, a clear question arises for the UK government: Will the Iranian government be included on its terrorism list, or is the UK government ready to violate its own law? What is the real purpose behind the UK decision?

The point is not to identify Hezbollah as a terrorist group. The goal is rather to prevent donations from reaching Hezbollah at a time when Iran is under heavy sanctions meant to limit its cash flow and, consequently, impede its financial support to groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Syrian government, and other groups in Iraq and Yemen. This is what the UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid meant by “secret intelligence” during his last intervention at the House of Commons. Time will tell if this secret intelligence has been correctly understood and will serve the UK’s desired objectives.

The Terrorism Act of 2000, under funding arrangements, article 17 (a) and (b), states as follows: “A person commits an offence if he enters into or becomes concerned in an arrangement as a result of which money or other property is made available or is to be made available to another… that will or may be used for the purposes of terrorism”.

Article 12, under the rubric “Support”, is explicit: “A person commits an offence if he invites support, provision of money for a proscribed organisation, and arranges a meeting to support or encourage support for a proscribed organisation, or participates in a private meeting…”

The text of the articles is unambiguous: anyone who supports or meets with Hezbollah individuals or commanders is subject to a maximum of 10 years of prison. These clauses cannot but apply to Iran, the first and utmost supporter of Hezbollah.

Iranian officials, beginning with Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif, can no longer visitSayed Nasrallah and then go to the UK or meet UK officials without risk of imprisonment, now that the UK officially classifies Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation.

Hezbollah’s yearly budget to operate in Syria and Lebanon and to support any other group with weapons or transfer of expertise is provided by the Iranian government, together with additional funds that Sayed Ali Khamenei provides from donations to the Imam Reza shrine. Thus, in accordance with the 2000 legislation, the UK can be expected to cut its relationship with Iran at once.

Politically speaking, Hezbollah meets in private and overtly with all political leaders of Lebanon. These meetings begin with the Christian President Michel Aoun, the Sunni Prime Minister Saad Hariri, the Shia Speaker Nabih Berri, and the Ministers of Foreign affairs Joubran Basil, Defence Elias bu Saab, Health Jamil Jabq and Finance Ali Hasan Khalil, and most political leaders of the country. This imposes – theoretically – on the UK government the obligation to reject any entry visa to all these politicians and to prevent any meetings with their diplomats after March the 3d, 2019.

What if the UK breaks its own laws and its officials meet with Hezbollah officials or those who hold private meetings with its leaders, in defiance of the UK Terrorism Act of 2000? If this happens, it will be difficult for any UK court to uphold a solid case against any Hezbollah supporter since UK officials regularly meet with their Iranian counterparts, who are responsible for funding Hezbollah.

The “Party of God” has no offices or representatives in any city around the world, even among the millions in the Lebanese community living abroad. Of course, there are thousands of Hezbollah supporters in the Lebanese Diaspora, notably Christians from the Tayyar al-Watani party led by President Aoun and his son-in-law the Foreign Minister Basil. And there are many more supporters among Shia in the diaspora who originate from the south of Lebanon, the Bekaa Valley, Beirut and its suburbs. They have family members or cousins who operate within Hezbollah or at least support the organisation; some of these “Diaspora Shia” have adopted overtly Hezbollah’s cause on their own personal initiative.

Most of these Lebanese consider the cause of Hezbollah as their own because the group defended their Christian villages and cities from al-Qaeda and ISIS when these groups were based on the borders with Lebanon and in the Lebanese city of Arsal, with plans to expand into Lebanon. They consider Hezbollah the only force capable of protecting their homes in the south of Lebanon from any future Israeli aggression, in the face of daily Israeli violations of Lebanese sea, air and ground sovereignty.

There is no doubt that these enthusiastic Lebanese will be the favourite targets of Britain’s domestic security forces who are looking to register “a security achievement” of any kind. The problem was on the table in many cities around the world when Lebanese Shia sought to fulfil their Islamic tithing duty by donating 20% of their year-end profits. According to some Fatwas (Shia are free to follow the highest religious authority in accordance with their understanding of Islam), this 20% can be donated to the “Islamic Resistance”, i.e. Hezbollah. From now on anyone sending money for this Islamic purpose that ends up in Hezbollah coffers must be considered a financer of a terrorist organisation.

This same issue was a serious problem for Lebanese in the USA who were obliged to stop sending money back to Lebanon except for family members. Lebanese communities in many countries voluntarily observed the same restrictions in order to avoid severe penalties or jail in the west, causing a reduction in donations to Hezbollah. Thus, Hezbollah today relies exclusively on Iranian support.

The new measures in the UK do not aim to interfere with Hezbollah’s “non-existent” presence in the West and equally non-existent bank accounts abroad, nor do they aim to close Hezbollah offices that do not exist abroad. The new measures have the goal of tightening the noose around the neck of the community that supports Hezbollah.

The West began this process inside Lebanon by going after Lebanese banks and the accounts of wealthy Shia. Even exchange offices who change Hezbollah’s euros into dollars were included on the terrorist list. Wealthy Shia businessmen who sympathise with Hezbollah and who were involved in projects in Iraq saw their assets frozen by Iraq’s former Prime Minister Haidar Abadi in response to an official US request.

The western measures may succeed in making life more difficult for pro-Hezbollah Christians and Shia around the world. Nevertheless, the majority of Lebanese cannot renounce Hezbollah any more than they can renounce their own families, because Hezbollah is integral to their existence; nor is it confined to their homes and family members. Its ideology of Resistance informs their creed and world view, and this is the case whether or not they believe in Islam.

March 7, 2019 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , , | 1 Comment

Hezbollah’s ban in the UK is a badge of honour

RT | March 6, 2019

Hezbollah has earned a formidable reputation for military prowess on the battlefield and political nous off it. It’s no wonder ‘they’ want to ban it.

Attaining to the status of rule of thumb is that whenever a military and/or political organization is proscribed in the West, prudence demands a closer look; this on the basis that in most cases (though not all) what ‘they’ deem worthy of being proscribed and banned is in truth worthy of support.

Take Hezbollah, for example, and the British government’s decision to criminalise the Shiite group’s political wing. Previously only the group’s military wing had been banned in the UK. Is there anyone left in the room that seriously believes this constitutes anything other than another feeble manifestation of the UK’s servile toadying to Washington?

In what stands as a monument to opportunism, the Trump administration has consistently placed Hezbollah in same terrorism box as Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) and Al-Qaeda, conveniently eliding the small detail that the Lebanese resistance and national liberation movement has done as much as, if not more than, any single military force in fighting and defeating IS and Al-Qaeda in Syria.

Author of ‘The Battle For Syria’, Christopher Phillips, writes, “Given Hezbollah’s reputation as the most impressive military force in the Arab world, [the group’s involvement in the conflict] sapped rebel morale and boosted the regime. By offering expertise that Assad lacked, such as light infantry and urban warfare expertise, training, or directing military tactics, from 2013 [Hezbollah] became a vital component of Assad’s forces and greatly shaped the conflict.”

The move to ban Hezbollah’s political wing in the UK combines with the organization’s consistent demonization in Washington as part of the ongoing neocon crusade against Iran. It is a crusade that attests to the Shia behemoth’s resolute stance in resistance to and defiance of US hegemony and its regional proxies, Israel [???] and Saudi Arabia.

Joining Iran in what has come to be known as an axis of resistance in the region is Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, where it enjoys overwhelming support and allegiance, and Syria.

Hezbollah, it is worth remembering, is also an electoral force of note in Lebanon, playing a full and transparent part in the country’s politics. In fact the group’s legitimacy in Lebanon is not in doubt, reflected in its endorsement by the country’s Christian president, Michel Aoun, no less.

A proper accounting of Hezbollah requires a grasp of the organization’s roots as a child of Israeli militarism and aggression over the course of repeated military incursions and invasions into Lebanon by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), stretching back to the late 1970s.

Veteran Middle East correspondent David Hirst, in his work ‘Beware Of Small States,’ delineates the factors responsible for the group’s birth in the mid-1980s, revealing that “Israel, with its invasion” [of southern Lebanon] supplied “the provocation, the anger, the turmoil, or, as Israel’s like-minded American friends, the neoconservatives, might have put it, the ‘constructive chaos’ out of which new orders grow.”

Confirming Hirst’s analysis are the words of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah himself, whom Hirst quotes, “Had the enemy [Israel] not taken this step, I don’t know whether something called Hizbullah (sic) would have been born.”

Hezbollah’s establishment in resistance to an apartheid state bears an historical comparison with the African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa. British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s branding of the ANC as a terrorist organization in the 1980s is no surprise either, considering the British establishment’s long tradition of standing on the side of the oppressor against the oppressed.

Hezbollah is, then, the Middle East’s answer to the ANC; like its African counterpart born of apartheid, along with the militarism and aggression it spawns.

The group’s formidable military reputation was elevated to near legendary status during its short conflict against Israeli forces in 2006. Hezbollah is widely perceived to have out-thought and outfought its IDF adversary.

Former MI6 officer Alastair Crooke, in a comprehensive analysis of the conflict, revealed, “Hezbollah’s fighters proved to be dedicated and disciplined. Using intelligence assets to pinpoint Israeli infantry penetrations, they proved the equal of Israel’s best fighting units. In some cases, Israeli units were defeated on the field of battle, forced into sudden retreats or forced to rely on air cover to save elements from being overrun.”

Hezbollah’s victory over the IDF in 2006 mirrors the victory of Cuban forces against the forces of white apartheid South Africa at the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale in Angola between 1987-88.

Nelson Mandela, a totemic and towering symbol of the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, described the outcome of Cuito Cuanavale as “a historic turning point in the struggle for the total liberation of the region from racist rule and aggression.”

Though too soon to assert that Hezbollah’s victory over the apartheid forces of Israel in 2006 marked a similar historic turning point, it is possible to argue that it went some way to demoralizing the Israeli military and political establishment, which hitherto operated on the basis of the invincibility of Israeli military power in the region, bolstered by its close alliance with Washington and other Western states, the UK among them.

Crooke says “Hezbollah’s military defeat of Israel [in 2006] was decisive, but its political defeat of the United States – which unquestioningly sided with Israel during the conflict and refused to bring it to an end – was catastrophic and has had a lasting impact on US prestige in the region.”

One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter, goes the well-worn truism, and is ineffably appropriate when it comes to the standing of Hezbollah.

Organized on the basis of non-sectarianism, the organization has been at the forefront of resistance to Islamic State and other Salafi-jihadi groups in the region, while enjoying a vaunted reputation as a positive force in Lebanon itself for its dedication to upholding the country’s sovereignty and dignity, defending it from Israeli aggression and militarism.

Taking all these factors into account, and seasoning them with Britain’s own regressive role in the region, being banned in London has to count as a badge of honor.

March 6, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

From Qana to Gaza, Israel issues denials and smears investigations of its crimes

By Professor Kamel Hawwash | MEMO | March 5, 2019

I wrote recently about an EU report on the growth of illegal Israeli settlements and argued that the EU was diligent in documenting Israel’s-breaches of international law but that it has singularly failed to bring it to account, even when it has demolished EU-funded projects.

A more recent report commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) investigated the actions of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) at the nominal border with Gaza since 30 March last year, which marked the beginning of the Great March of Return protests. For almost 50 weeks, Israeli snipers have gunned down, with deliberate, chilling precision, Palestinian men, women and children.

The “Report of the independent international commission of inquiry on the protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory – A/HRC/40/74” acknowledges that the peaceful protests “were civilian in nature, with clearly stated political aims.” The protesters asked to be allowed to return to the homes from which they have been expelled from 1948 onwards, and for a lifting of the siege on Gaza. Instead of meeting their peaceful and legitimate demands from the outset, Israel has killed over 200 Palestinians, including journalists and medics, and maimed dozens of young men, who now have to face life as amputees, rather than sportsmen.

The irony here is that Israel complained about Malaysia’s decision to ban the Israeli Paralympics team from competing in the country, while the IDF was making its own sickening contribution to future Palestinian Paralympics teams.

The UNHRC’s report makes for gruesome reading. Israeli soldiers are accused of “intentionally firing on civilians, who were neither directly participating in hostilities, nor posing an imminent threat.” The report warns that, “These serious human rights and humanitarian law violations may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity.”

Israel’s reaction was predictable and follows a long line of denial and smearing of any report which accuses it of wrongdoing. According to a Foreign Ministry spokesman, “This report was born in sin, in a politically biased, one-sided resolution that determined the outcome before the investigation even started.” He went on to lay the blame on Hamas: “[Hamas] has declared war on Israel and calls to kill Jews. Hamas is orchestrating the attacks and using civilians in Gaza as human weapons to assault Israel and Israeli civilians. Hamas exploits the civilians in Gaza as human shields for terrorists.” As usual when such allegations are made, no evidence is produced to back them up, nor is the legitimate right to resist military occupation ever mentioned.

The spokesman went on to smear the UNHRC and the report’s three authors: “The HRC becomes an accomplice of a terrorist organisation, supporting Hamas’s aggression against Israel and the oppression of the people of Gaza.” The three individuals, he alleged, lack any understanding in security matters, without a relevant professional background.

Israel’s apologists came out in force to condemn the report, including US President Donald Trump’s Special Envoy Jason Greenblatt. “This COI report is another manifestation of the UNHRC’s clear bias against Israel,” he tweeted, “which remains the only country that the Council dedicates an entire standing agenda item to targeting.”

Such condemnation of investigations into Israel’s crimes and smearing of investigation teams and the bodies that form them is not new. The UNHRC set up an investigation into Israel’s 2014 military offensive against the Gaza Strip which lasted for 50 days, resulting in over 2,000 Palestinians being killed and causing extensive destruction.

The Report of the Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict – A/HRC/29/52 accused both Hamas and Israel of committing war crimes. “Israel does not commit war crimes,” claimed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he rejected the report. “Israel defends itself against a terrorist organisation that calls for its destruction and carries out many war crimes.” He accused the commission of being “notoriously biased” against Israel.

Following an escalation of violence in November 2012, a UN report criticised armed Palestinian groups and the IDF. The latter, it insisted, “did not consistently uphold the basic principles of conduct of hostilities, namely, the principles of distinction, proportionality and precautions.” The report documented a number of cases, including one which took place on 18 November, in which an Israeli air strike targeted without prior warning a three-storey house belonging to the Al-Dalou family in Al-Nasser neighbourhood, in central Gaza City. The strike killed 12 people, including five children and four women. Again, Israel brushed aside criticism and no individual Israeli was held accountable.

Following the 2008/9 Israeli military offensive on Gaza, the UN published the Goldstone Report on the devastating events which took place between 27 December 2008 and 17 January 2009 and which resulted in over 1,300 Palestinians being killed. The report accused both Israel and Palestinian armed groups of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Israel’s reaction was predictable. The Foreign Ministry said that, “Israel rejects the one-sided resolution adopted in Geneva by the UN human rights council and calls upon all responsible states to reject it as well… [The resolution] provides encouragement for terrorist organisations worldwide and undermines global peace.” It also accused the UNHRC of anti-Israel bias.

Israel’s siege and attack on the Jenin refugee camp in April 2002, which lasted for 10 days and killed dozens if not hundreds of Palestinians (the figures are disputed) again brought accusations of war crimes against Israel. The Israeli government refused to allow a UN team to carry out a field investigation, resulting in the UN producing a report based on available evidence. “In sum, the Israeli occupying forces have, without a doubt, committed serious violations of international humanitarian law,” the report concluded. “Also, without a doubt, war crimes, including grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention, have been committed by Israel, the occupying Power, in several Palestinian cities, including in the Jenin refugee camp.” However, the report disputed the Palestinian claim of a massacre, a decision which was welcomed by the Israeli government. Furthermore, the report was judged as “seriously flawed” by human rights organisations and Britain’s Independent newspaper, which were able to corroborate many of the allegations against the occupation state. No Israeli has ever been held accountable for any violations.

It is possible to go back further in time to another Israeli atrocity to demonstrate the lack of accountability for crimes committed by the IDF. On 18 April 1996, Israeli forces shelled a UN compound in Qana, in Southern Lebanon, where 800 Lebanese civilians had taken refuge; 106 people were killed in the attack. Israel claimed that this was due to technical issues rather than deliberate targeting of a UN facility. However, the subsequent UN investigation concluded, “While the possibility cannot be ruled out completely, it is unlikely that the shelling of the United Nations compound was the result of gross technical and/or procedural errors.” The UN also found that “Contrary to repeated denials, two Israeli helicopters and a remotely piloted vehicle were present in the Qana area at the time of the shelling.” Amnesty International called for an independent investigation arguing, “It is not enough that the Israeli army investigates themselves. Israel has a history of either not investigating civilian deaths, or conducting similarly flawed inquiries.”

Now here we are, 23 years on and the UN’s most recent report again calls on Israel to investigate its own crimes, even though everyone knows that Israel never finds its own people guilty; always dismisses reports carried out by independent investigators as biased and one-sided; denies entry to the investigation teams; and refuses to cooperate. It claims to apply the highest standards of self-regulation but no one has ever been held fully accountable for any crimes, despite the thousands of deaths, the tens of thousands of injuries and the tens of thousands of homes that have been destroyed by Israelis since Qana, never mind the other massacres which have occurred since 1948.

It is time for Israel to be held to account for its actions, for the sake of those who have suffered at its hands. If international law is to have any credibility at all, we need to ensure that all UN member states pay due respect to human rights and the quest for justice through due legal process.

March 5, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

“UK Decision to Blacklist Hezbollah Indicates London’s Servile Obedience to US”

Al-Manar | March 1, 2019

Hezbollah on Friday lashed out at UK over its decision to blacklist the Lebanese resistance group, stressing that the move indicates London’s “servile obedience” to the US.

In a statement released by the group’s Media Relations Office, Hezbollah stressed that it is a resistance group against the Israeli occupation, and that “any state which embraces, fund and support terrorism has no right to accuse Hezbollah or any other resistance group of being terrorist.”

The decision indicates that the “UK government is not but a subordinate that serves the American master,” Hezbollah said, noting that London, through this decision, antagonizes the people of the region in a bid to please Washington.

“Terrorism accusations fabricated by the UK government won’t deceive the free people across the world,” the statement said.

Hezbollah also said that the free people in the UK “know very well who created terrorism in our region, and who funded, supported and covered crimes committed in Syria, Iraq and Yemen,” referring to the US and its “international and regional tools.”

The UK decision is an “insult to the feelings, sympathies and will of the Lebanese people that consider Hezbollah a major political and popular force represented in the Lebanese parliament and cabinet,” the statement added.

Hezbollah concluded the statement as stressing that nothing will prevent the Lebanese resistance group – who have confronted both Israeli aggression and the Takfiri terror- from going ahead with defending Lebanon, its freedom and independence.

March 1, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 1 Comment

Hassan Nasrallah Warns Israel: All Options Are on the Table

Interview of Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah Secretary General, with Ghassan Ben Jeddou, founder of the pan-Arab and anti-imperialist Al-Mayadeen channel, January 26, 2019.

This live interview, much expected in Israel and the Arab world, lasted for more than 3 hours.

Transcript:

Journalist: […] Eminent Sayed, you often promised the Israeli enemy that if he invades or attacks (Lebanon), your retaliation will be overwhelming. And during your last speech, on November 10, you confirmed this, but you used a specific formula: “We will retaliate and you will regret it.” What did you mean by that?

Hassan Nasrallah: When this happens, everyone will clearly see the cause of these regrets. It is better (not to be precise) and let the Israelis think about it.

Journalist: Once again, Eminent Sayed, I do not ask you to reveal your military plans, but what do you mean when you say that Israel will regret it if he attacks, and that he will be struck as by lightning with an overwhelming retaliation?

Hassan Nasrallah: He will know that he must not repeat such aggression, because the price he will pay for this attack will be much larger than what he expected.

One of my remarks tonight will be precisely to call on Netanyahu and the new Chief of staff, and also on those around them within the enemy entity, not to make mistakes in their assessment as to what is happening in the region, especially on the issue of Syria.

But let us first finish with the issue of tunnels, and then we will discuss this point.

Journalist: Please, about the fact that Israel will regret it: will it be a global regret, a regret limited to some cities, to their companies, their institutions, their infrastructure… ? Or do you mean that Israel will regret their attack (in all respects) from Galilee to their southernmost border with Gaza?

Hassan Nasrallah: On this matter, you can let your imagination go as far as it can.

Journalist: Yes, but I’m not a military expert, so I can’t know how far your response can go.

Hassan Nasrallah: Ultimately, all options are open to us. The United States and Israel, in their arrogance and hubris, often use the formula “All options are on the table.” Today, the Resistance Axis, on all fronts, is in a position where it clearly says that “All options are on the table.” All options remain open for us.

Everything that is necessary, with reason, wisdom and also courage, because sometimes some try to hide their cowardice behind (so-called) wisdom. With reason, wisdom and also courage, all that is required for us to be steadfast, victorious and strengthen our deterrence capacity in this battle, we will do it without hesitation.

Journalist: With your permission, when you talk of steadfastness and victory, does steadfastness mean to deter the enemy from achieving his objectives, at least to evict you (from Syria) and to dissuade you definitively (from returning there)? And does victory mean that Israel stops all attacks (against the Resistance Axis)?

Hassan Nasrallah: We get lost in details. You speak sometimes of total aggression, of war, and you ask us what would be our goals faced with such a war (waged against us); and other times you do not speak of total war, but (Israeli) attempts to modify the rules of engagement, specific and limited strikes to amend the rules of engagement.

We will not allow… The first point (war) is a major issue that deserves to be treated apart at length, but as regards the second point, we will not allow the enemy to change the rules of engagement, nor impose on us (new) rules of engagement. The successive achievements of the Resistance have allowed us to establish a certain level of deterrence that we must at least maintain or even strengthen in our favor, whenever the enemy is trying to change the rules of engagement.

Journalist: How is it possible…

Hassan Nasrallah: I speak here about the Lebanese front. As for Gaza, it concerns our brothers in the Resistance, and as regards Syria, we will talk about it in detail when we get to this point. […]

Translation: unz.com/sayedhasan

February 28, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | Leave a comment

UK to impose full ban Lebanon’s Hezbollah as terrorist group, Israel urges EU to follow move

Press TV – February 25, 2019

The British government is to impose a full ban on activities of the Lebanese Resistance Movement Hezbollah as London becomes increasingly irritated by the group’s political and military success in the Middle East.

UK Home Secretary (interior minister) Sajid Javid said on Monday that the government will designate the entire Hezbollah organization as a terrorist entity as of Friday subject to the approval of the parliament.

Javid, an extreme right-wing politician of the Pakistani origin, said the UK government was no longer able to maintain a distinction between Hezbollah’s political and military activities and thus will include the group’s political unit in its blacklist.

“Hezbollah is continuing in its attempts to destabilize the fragile situation in the Middle East – and we are no longer able to distinguish between their already banned military wing and the political party,” said Javid, adding, “Because of this, I have taken the decision to proscribe the group in its entirety,” he added in a statement.

Britain has become increasingly angered by Hezbollah’s role in an anti-militancy campaign in Syria, where London has for the past eight years supported terrorist groups opposed to the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Hezbollah has played a major role in helping Assad purge the Syrian territory from terrorist groups. The intervention, once criticized inside Lebanon, has helped the resistance movement increase its political clout as the group now controls three ministries, a first on the history of the Lebanese government.

The Israeli regime swiftly welcomed Javid’s announcement with Israeli Security Minister Gilad Erdan saying in a tweet that the European Union, which unlike the United States has opposed designation of Hezbollah as terrorist entity, should follow suit.

There was no official reaction from Hezbollah although lawmakers representing the group in the Lebanese parliament said UK decision was a “violation of sovereignty”.

UK’s move to outlaw Hezbollah in its entirety would mean that anyone expressing support for the religiously-oriented organization could end up in UK jail for up to 10 year.

February 25, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 1 Comment

Tel Aviv irate after Total says Israel not worth investing in

Press TV – February 11, 2019

French energy giant Total has sparked the anger of Israeli authorities after its chief executive said making investment in the “complex” Israel was not worth the risk.

Total’s chief executive Patrick Pouyanne said in an interview with the Financial Times that it was too “complex” to invest in Israel, noting that his company’s operation in the Middle East was a sticking point.

“We like complex situations … up to a certain point. Let’s be clear,” he said.

Pouyanne further said that the stakes in Israel were not big enough to accept the risks involved, partly due to the competition already in the region.

Israel’s energy minister Yuval Steinitz slammed the stance as “unacceptable,” saying firms that refused to invest in Israel were living in the “past decades.”

“I reject it with two hands, I think this is a miserable view,” Steinitz said, adding “We will consider our reaction to this as it is totally unacceptable, to boycott [Israel].”

Israel relies heavily on gas. The Tel Aviv regime has long been developing a number of offshore gas deposits in the Mediterranean Sea.

Steinitz claimed that other international firms, including Google, Lockheed Martin and Boeing, that had invested in Israel had not faced any problems in the Arab world.

“Companies that were afraid to make investments in Israel in the past because of the Arab Muslim world made the wrong calculation,” Steinitz said, adding he had met many energy ministers from Persian Gulf Arab countries in recent years.

“If somebody is avoiding investing in Israel because it might have interests in Iran then that can be the only reason, because the Arab world is not concerned,” the Israeli minister claimed.

However, a person from the gas industry, said, “It’s not only Total who faces these kinds of realities in the region.”

Texas-based Noble Energy and Israeli company Delek Resources have been the two main operators in Israel. Executives say the largest international operators are still concerned about the fragile politics of the region.

In 2017, Total signed a contract to develop phase 11 of Iran’s multi-billion-dollar South Pars gas project with an initial investment of $1 billion.

However, the French company pulled out of the project in August after it failed to obtain a waiver from the US.

Total is also investing in the eastern Mediterranean basin where Israel and Lebanon are involved in a maritime dispute.

Last year, the Lebanese government announced that it had signed gas exploration and production contracts for two energy blocks, including the disputed Block 9, with a consortium of France’s Total, Italy’s Eni and Russia’s Novatek oil and gas companies.

Total, however, said it would not drill the first well of Block 9 near the disputed sliver of waters, adding that the well would be drilled over 25 kilometers from the maritime border claimed by Israel.

February 11, 2019 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , | 1 Comment

Iran ready to help new Lebanon government upon request: FM Zarif

Press TV – February 10, 2019

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Tehran is ready to cooperate with the new Lebanese government in all sectors.

“If the Lebanese government demands, Iran is ready to cooperate with this country in all fields,” Zarif told reporters in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, on Sunday, shortly after his arrival for a two-day official visit.

Zarif congratulated the Lebanese on the formation of a new national unity government and said he was there to express Iran’s solidarity with Lebanon.

The top Iranian diplomat emphasized that Lebanon is the symbol of resistance in the Middle East.

Zarif is scheduled to hold talks with Lebanese President Michel Aoun, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil on Monday.

The Iranian foreign minister’s visit to Beirut came a few weeks after Lebanon’s presidency announced the formation of the new national unity government, putting an end to a nine-month stalemate on the political stage, which fueled the Arab country’s economic woes.

The new government, headed by Hariri, includes 30 ministers from most Lebanese political factions, which have been in talks after the country in May 2018 held its first parliamentary elections in nine years.

Earlier this week, the secretary general of the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah strongly dismissed latest allegations by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the movement is in control of the Lebanese government, stressing the new administration belongs to all political factions participating in it.

The Israeli premier is “provoking the United States, European countries and the [Persian] Gulf states against the Lebanese government, claiming that it is controlled by Hezbollah. Such false claims have serious international repercussions,” Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said as he addressed his supporters via a televised speech broadcast live from Beirut.

February 10, 2019 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism | , , | 2 Comments

Iran FM Zarif to visit Lebanon amid Tel Aviv-Beirut tensions

Press TV – February 9, 2019

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will pay a visit to Lebanon amid growing tensions between Beirut and Tel Aviv.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said Zarif will travel to Lebanon at the head of a delegation on Sunday to hold talks with senior officials in the West Asian country.

The trip comes amid reports of a massive military exercise held by the Israeli army to simulate a war on Lebanon. Yiddish News reported on Friday that the drill involved tanks and warplanes.

The maneuver comes days after the secretary general of Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement expressed his readiness to bring defense systems from Iran in order to confront Israeli aircraft.

Syria and Iraq are accepting Iran’s help and benefiting from it, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said, adding, “Whatever the Lebanese Army needs to become the strongest regional army, I am willing to go to Iran and bring it.”

“Why should Lebanon remain afraid to cooperate with Iran?” he asked.

“In the military field, wouldn’t people make an uproar and accuse Hezbollah of dragging Lebanon into war should the party shoot down an Israeli aircraft attacking Lebanon? I’m a friend of Iran, and I’m willing to bring the Lebanese Army air defense systems from Iran to confront Israel.”

Israeli warplanes regularly violate Lebanon’s sovereignty and targets belonging to Hezbollah, which has been successfully helping Syria contain Takfiri militancy.

Israel launched two wars on Lebanon in 2000 and 2006, in both of which Hezbollah inflicted heavy losses on the regime’s military. Israeli officials have even threatened another war on Lebanon.

Lebanese officials have repeatedly complained about Israeli jets’ violation of Lebanon’s sovereignty.

On Friday, Lebanon’s Prime Minister designate Saad Hariri blasted Tel Aviv for its “continued violation of Lebanese airspace and territorial waters.”

He made the remarks at a meeting with Major General Stefano Del Col of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

“The escalation in the Israeli tone towards Lebanon does not serve the interests of the calm that has been going on for more than 12 years,” he said.

The Israeli army enjoys an overwhelming support from the Western countries.

Zarif told Russia’s RT television on Wednesday that the US and EU countries should be held accountable for exports of arms to the Middle East and stoking wars in the region.

“The arms which are daily fired above the heads of ordinary Yemenis and kill many people are not of local production. They were manufactured in the USA, France, the UK as well as in other European countries. They should be held accountable for that,” Zarif said.

February 9, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 1 Comment