Sunday, July 25, 2010

Important press conference by by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah

I take refuge in Allah from the stoned devil. In the Name of Allah, The Compassionate, The Most Merciful. Peace be on our master and Prophet – the Seal of prophets – Mohammad and his chaste and pure Household, chosen companions and on all prophets and messengers. Peace be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings.

Today I chose to give my press conference at 8:30 at night. One of my friends told me well no one holds a press conference at 8:30 pm. I told him I want people to hear me as well as the journalists. It's the right of people to hear me well and not to depend only on extracts broadcasted by media outlets. It is normal that media outlets broadcast some quotations or stances and express them either faithfully or not. It depends.

But I want all to hear me. Thus this is an opportunity for all to listen due to the seriousness of the statue quo we are passing through. You and all the Lebanese have got accustomed to me tackling issues with candidness and clarity especially in complicated eras. As such we move to the preludes.

I believe that we all must bear in mind and be aware hereof that Lebanon has been thrust (we'll talk about who thrust it in a while) in very critical, complicated and sensitive stage. However this time Lebanon is thrust into this critical and complicate stage not from the gates of internal incidents or an Israeli war but from the gates of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), and an indictment is said to be issued soon. All through the past week and after my first speech in which I tackled the telecoms, many wondered why Hezbollah is talking. What's up? What's the whole story about? Some were astonished. Young men in the country were surprised. They have no idea about anything. They were surprised. Others went to making arguments. We have the right to defend ourselves. Well we only showed up to say that there is a conspiracy and a danger awaiting the resistance and the whole country. We want to explain; we haven't gone into details then. Then I did not talk but about telecoms. It seems we do not have the right to defend ourselves because if we do so others get tensed and some would be disturbed. That's why it's not our right to defend ourselves. Some really argued with us over our right. Others went even further.

Well there's a judicial philosophic heresy unprecedented in human history. You know that historically he who is accused and finger-pointed at defends himself. He explains and clarifies. However there are neo philosophers in Lebanon who showed up to claim that he who defends himself acknowledges his crime and is involved. If he is not involved he would not have spoken out or defended himself. Indeed this is one of the Lebanese exceptional innovations.

Let's speak tonight. I will get started today but I will not talk about everything. There isn't enough time. Moreover there are things which I will talk about later. In fact what I will talk about constitutes of two parts. I will tackle one part today and leave the other part to another press conference because I do not to keep people for more than two or three hours as they are listening to me. Even more, the other part needs a little more maturity and more evidence and consultations so that we tackle it as it is and with candidness.

Well all given available to Hezbollah says that an indictment had been written, even before the investigation was written in 2008 – even before the investigation with some Hezbollah members in last April. There is also part two – just to let you have more enthusiasm to know more about part two. The indictment was written but its issuance was delayed for political reasons. So the indictment is written and it exists. All deliberations made by Mr. Belmar in Washington and in New York with UNSC members – this was tackled in the media - and with French officials and in other places had to do with the political timing and the circumstances and not with the content because the content has been written since a long time.

Well, for those who asked us: What do you have to say? Do you know anything which we don't know? We say: No, it's you who informed us.

Before leaving to Washington, PM Saad Hariri paid me a visit and I thanked him for this visit. I'm saying so to evaluate the event as the man was cautious and was talking as a responsible man who is ready to cooperate to protect the country. He told me that in so and so month (I want to be as brief as possible) an indictment will be issued which will indict some members in Hezbollah. These are ‘undisciplined members' while Hezbollah is not guilty. I have previously promised you that if such thing happened I will show up in the media and say that Hezbollah has nothing to do with the whole story and that these members has nothing to do with it either but there are undisciplined persons who staged that. He also tackled the country, the serious status of the country and the statue quo in the country so that we cooperate. Indeed the topic was discussed but I will be content with this section of the meeting because I had to mention this section to say that they informed of it. The Premier informed of it and discussed the issue with us to show caution and willingness to cooperate. However besides what the Premier told us, there are in the country many security officials – and you know them and I do not want to mention many names tonight – as well as political officials, ambassadors, authors and newspapers which tackled this issue. Some say in September. Others say in October and still others say in November. They might disagree on determining the timing but they all agree on the content i.e. the content of the indictment. Well our men were interrogated as witnesses, and time will come when I will say what happened in the interrogation. It's supposed that there are lists of more men who will be interrogated after Fitr Eid because the internal interrogation panel is having a vacation now. Why do they bother themselves as long as the indictment is written? Why do you summon people for interrogation then? Let no one simplify issues or pretend that they do not know anything. Things are moving in this direction. Then recently these given were capped with the given made by the enemy's Chief of Staff Ashkenazi. Then in Lebanon, Washington and other capitals scenarios started to be weaved on the post indictment status in Lebanon. So the world is dealing with the issue as if there is an indictment that will be issued and this is quite absolute. Now let's discuss the post indictment status. What will happen? How will things move? What must be done?

All those who protested on my speech last week certainly know about the issue, and they want Hezbollah to remain silent. They do not want Hezbollah to speak, explain or clarify until the indictment is issued and even after the indictment is issued saying that Hezbollah (committed the crime) – and this we absolutely and definitely refuse. Still all the media will say that Hezbollah is accused and condemned. We unquestionably also reject accusing even Hezbollah members. I believe that the local and international media and political machine which was ready on the eve of the martyrdom of President Rafic Hariri and was active during the post February 14 era is ready as well now on the eve of the issuance of the indictment. Thus we – and with absolute clarity – and after all what took place in the past area consider that there is a great scheme that is targeting the resistance, Lebanon and the region. After the flop of all past options and experiences, there is now a new scheme that is targeting the resistance straightforwardly and not through targeting its alliances in Lebanon or its Syrian support. It is rather targeting it immediately and through the International Court again through exploiting a rightful, just and emotional cause that unites all Lebanese – meaning the martyrdom and the assassination of martyr Premier Rafic Hariri after the exhaustion of all other options in the previous stage. The tribunal was exploited to target Syria and this issue is over. It was used to target Syria's allies in Lebanon and that was exploited also. Today it is demanded that the resistance be targeted. To be quite accurate, I do not say for sure that an indictment will be issued in September or October or November or December. Previously dates were set for sure, and they were postponed for political reasons. The put forth dates might be fixed for political reasons and might be postponed for political reasons. However all given available to us indicate an extraordinary seriousness in issuing the indictment amid the current circumstances in Lebanon and the region as regarding what is being prepared to the region in Palestine, Lebanon and the whole circumstances in which we exist. Maybe some consider that the timing today is appropriate and it seems that there are some abroad and internally also who do not find any interest in the continuity of the state of stability that prevailed clearly in Lebanon after the formation of the national unity government, that there is no interest in the openness of the Lebanese to each other and no interest in the state of cooperation now prevailing in the country. They consider that there is no interest anymore in giving the resistance which is growing stronger and is making use of the factor of time more time and it is demanded that Lebanon and the resistance be taken some place which serves the US-Israeli scheme in the region. Everyone in Lebanon, Palestine and the region know that the resistance especially in Lebanon poses the main impediment before the project of a settlement which imposes US-Israeli conditions on the Palestinians, the Lebanese and the Syrians and this impediment must be eliminated.

In this critical stage, everyone demands and calls for assuming responsibility and acting with responsibility, wisdom and accuracy to protect the country and the resistance and flop the Israeli targets through what is being woven. Great! We agree and this is very good. Accordingly the first condition for cooperation and responsible action is to listen to each other very well. Let no one depend on slips of papers offered by consultants. No during this stage we must listen to each other very well. Every word has its weight and every state is meaningful. Every glance is significant and not everything might be said at anytime.

I chose today to talk with accuracy and responsibility. When we were informed that the indictment will be issued in the coming few months, and pursuant to the given we gathered we believe there are two results: the first which makes us happy and is an excellent result (see that I always like to see the beautiful things also) that the indictment will not accuse any of the brethrens in Syria nor any of the four generals and nor Syria's allies in Lebanon, and this is a good outcome. This is one result and this part leads us to say that if you want to cooperate we'll build on that several responsibilities. Assuming these responsibilities means that we are serious and cautious on dealing with the second part too. Part two or the second result says that the accusation will be held against members in Hezbollah who are now said to be undisciplined members. Then a first, second and third decision will be issued. Indeed we do not accept that a single member in Hezbollah be accused. Let no one understand that when I say three then later they will be five, ten, fifty or a hundred. We know very well the tunnel they want to drag us all in.

The second part is a bad part as regarding the post indictment era and we will talk about that in the coming few days in clear well-knitted words built on evidences and proofs: our stance from the STL, our view of it and our description of it besides our evaluation of the investigation.

In April when our men went for interrogation, a delegation from our side met with an official in the interrogation committee who was leading the interrogation. He listened to a set of questions and remarks made by our brethrens. Until this very moment we received no answer on any of these questions because in fact they are not serious about the questions, the interrogation and in following up with this issue. This is all kept until tackling part two. Today we will talk about part one because we may build on it and on the light of what I will say today it will be clear to us if there will put an end to one era and a new era will be ushered or not.

As for part one, praise be to Allah, no one of the Syrian brethrens nor the generals, nor of the presidents, deputies or ministers – especially under the government of Premier Omar Karami (neither the Interior Minister nor the Defense Minister nor the Information Minister nor any other minister) are accused.

So those are not in the circle of accusation. This is good because this was our viewpoint from the very first day. From the very first day we told you to have patience. I head directly to the main demands.

First I call on the political leaderships of March 14 camp to truly reconsider themselves and make a candid self-criticism with themselves and with all the Lebanese and not only with their masses because the results of their stances and their policies have affected Lebanon and the region. So let them do this revision. This is the first demands.

The only one who had the courage and bravery to make a true and open review and a self-criticism which was harsh at times was the Head of the Democratic Party Walid Jumblat. He was the only one - first because he has the courage and second because he is sure of his courage. He is also sure of his masses comprehending the decisions he takes. And finally he did so because what he did was true in this review which he expressed in his stances, journalistic interviews and words.

Today I call on all the other March 14 bloc leaderships to make this review between themselves and secondly be open with the Lebanese in general and their masses in particular through party and institutional conferences and to talk frankly. It's not enough to tell them we want good and normal relations with Syria in 2010. They rather ought to say to all the Lebanese: O good people! Since 2005 we have made serious mistakes and we were dragging you, the country and the region to the abyss was it not for Allah's mercy. Do you have enough courage and bravery to tell the Lebanese, the people and your masses in particular what you have concluded and yet don't have enough courage to talk about frankly and to express in a diplomatic becoming way that conserves your self-respect?

Even after five years, brave, sincere, faithful and cautious leaderships admit before people: we were uncertain and mistaken. The given we had was wrong and the path we took was incorrect too. Do not blame us then. I am not demanding tonight and I do not believe anyone in Syria (They may talk for themselves) and no one is asking you to make apologies.

After all, it is for the interest of Lebanon and Syria that there be normal ties. This was the call of March 8 bloc since March 8th onwards. Later one General Aoun said: As long as Syria pulled out of Lebanon, our problem with Syria is over. Then you accused him of treason and charged him of going astray. Still what General Aoun was calling for was normal ties. This was the demand of March 8 forces which we are a part of. Now we have reached excellent and special ties, and delegations are making visits. Great! This is something good and encouraging. Now before moving deeper in the other points, I tell you: Do assume this review.

I recall and would like to tell you frankly: Since February 2005, you – March 14 bloc – has turned the whole scene upside down. You accused Syria and its allies in one day and in one hour. You hit the street and issued your accusation. You played the general prosecutor, and without investigation you issued you sentence, accused and punished in one hour. You dragged the whole country based on this accusation. Let no one imagine that things pass with such simplicity. "We accused Syria for several years and now we change our minds. This is absolute simplification of the issue." The Syrian side is cooperating because he wants ties between the two countries. We the Lebanese can not overlook what you did with the country over five years. Now I will remind you of some topics. 

What is the guarantee that you will not take the country towards more mazes in the five, ten or twenty years to come with the same mentality, view and background? I am saying so to make everyone responsible.

What has been taking place since February 14th 2005? The media, platforms, newspapers and articles got stuffed with abuses, insults, accusations and disgraceful terms against Syrian and Lebanese leaderships, families, personalities, political forces, parties, movements and religious men. They were four lean years in which all kinds of satiric degrading dishonoring rhetoric were exploited.

What you did all through these four years in this country in terms of confessional and sectarian incitement was unprecedented in maybe 100 years of Lebanon’s history. What is the guilt of those who incited people against including us? You provoked people against Hezbollah, the Shiite sect and the rest of the opposition on top of which were our Sunni brothers – whether they were presidents, organizations, religious men or factions. What's the reason behind that? What is the crime of Syria’s allies who were later called opposition forces, including General Michel Aoun? What's the crime of all of these I have mentioned? People then showed up to say that you accuse without evidence, issue sentences without interrogation, set forth consequences and foretell things.

I have said more then once through the TV screen when I was asked, I told Sheikh Saad (Hariri) in his home: You accuse Syria. Well give evidence and I will stand by your side and not before you to outbid you. I will be by your side even against Syria but accuse it with evidence – true evidences.

Then such circumstances prevailed in the country. Diplomatic delegations shuttled with the aim of targeting Syria locally and abroad. They instigated the whole world against Syria: the Arab regimes, the international community, America, European states… Syria was isolated for years based on this accusation.

Some heroes in March 14 camp also demanded dispatching the Lebanese Army to the Lebanese-Syrian borders to confront Syria. Others raised the ceiling even more. They wanted to stage operations in Syria.

They challenged the agreements stroke between Lebanon and Syria. They accused everyone who signed these agreements saying these are humiliating degrading agreements of subordination and squandering national interests. Then Speaker Nabih Berri said: Have patience and read these agreements, the most of which are more to the interest of Lebanon than to the interest of Syria. What took place then is patching these agreements and making several amendments in form.

As for the parliamentary elections of 2005, I would not like to go into a constitutional legal study so that it won't be said that the Sayyed wants to blow the basis of everything in the country. In fact there are several things which are based on unjust pillars in this country.

During the general elections what was said to the people of the north who wanted to go to the voting ballots? Anyone who votes for the opposing lists (Who are on the opposing lists? Premier Omar Karami, Mr. Wajih Baarini, Mr. Jihad Al Samad and so and so in the Islamic Labor Front and other Islamites who were then because the front was not formed yet)… So it was said that anyone who votes for ‘them’ would be voting for the killers of PM Hariri. Elections took place based on a false accusation to Syria and its allies in Lebanon. These elections brought forth a majority and this majority gave birth to a government that took decisions and inked agreements and this needs much discussion.

Who assumes responsibility for the killing of several Syrian laborers? Now we go back to the environment. The March 14 leadership is held responsible of the political, public and psychological environment which led to the killing of several Syrian laborers due to its racist speech.

What were the repercussions on the Lebanese people? Isolation was imposed on President Emile Lahoud who was subject to enormous pressures which no one can bear. Then I said: In fact he is a man because we don't know if other persons may be able to stand as President Lahoud did to the very last moment in Baabda Palace. Do they remember that they wanted to stage demonstrations to occupy Baabda Palace? Do they remember that? They toppled PM Omar Karami with following protests and after surrounding the parliament. They accused his government and all his ministers. They isolated judges from their posts. They isolated generals from their posts. Senior generals who were the pillars of Lebanese security were hurled in jail.

All of that happened in four years. What did change then? I will tell you what changed but first I would like to tell you that one thing has never changed since February 14 which is that there is no evidence to implicate Syria and its allies. What has been concluded is not new. Since the very beginning there is no evidence. But when the political accusation came to light, they went in search for evidence. This is the just and unbiased judiciary; it accuses, issues sentences, executes the sentence and then moves towards forming an investigation committee, the international Tribunal and searches for evidence.

They brought along false witnesses. But we – O dear honorable Lebanese people – are the children of one neighborhood. There is not secret kept in this country. All people know who brought the witnesses, who the witnesses are, who fabricated the witnesses, how they instructed them what to say, where did they feed them, where did they take them, where did they entertain them, how much money they paid them… This is well known. They worked at fabricating the evidence. They bet that the attack will persist and Syria's allies will collapse along with the Lebanese opposition and Syria. When you collapse and become weak and isolated, not only a hundred indictments would be issued against you but also a hundred condemnations from the STL with such judges and such investigation officers (I will tackle this point later).

The steadfastness of Syria before the international, regional and Arab pressures along with the steadfastness of the Opposition in Lebanon before this enormous psychological war and vast campaign and before July War 2006 which anniversary we are witnessing these days altered the political scene. Such developments imposed on them admitting the truth. There is no evidence against Syria or against its allies because since the very beginning there is no evidence. Well they were not able to proceed. They were not able to isolate Syria, and they were not able to eliminate the Opposition. So this story was over. That stage was exhausted. Let's rearrange things anew. Let's visit Syria and meet with Syrians and assure them and pacify them. We are proud of this issue and we acknowledge it as one of the achievements of the steadfastness of Syria and the Resistance in Lebanon. This is one of the most important results that were achieved today.

Yes it is supposed that you assume a true review of all what I said and of all what you did and that you be frank with your masses and the Lebanese people over all the mistakes you committed. I hope we will reach an end to this stage in which we close the previous era so that we can say that we truly entered a new era under the title of normal, excellent, special and great ties between Lebanon and Syria. In this framework, I personally am among the people who look forward to – along with the rest of the Lebanese – the visit of President Bashar Assad to Lebanon and his visit to Baabda Palace where he will welcome presidents, ministers and deputies. Hereof we would usher into a new era under the title of cooperation, fraternity, harmonization, friendship and a united destiny. Thus there will be an end to the stage of "the enemy is before you and the sea is behind you" which was issued by great philosophers.

Now comes the second demand. In my viewpoint, this has its repercussions on our way of dealing with the indictment – and I do not say anything absurd – and on our political dealing, our viewpoint, our stance and our position in the field because this is what will reveal if these are people who are cautious and state men or rather militia men and whether they are leaders who wish to build the country and make it prosper or believe that they are infallible leaders who do not commit mistakes and repent for their mistakes.

The second thing I demand is: You do not want to try the false witnesses, and you do not want to try those who fabricated them who are fit more of trying because those who fabricated them have voluntarily misled the investigation and because the false witnesses are sheer tools. They got a person and gave him money. He is a poor needy person. They told him go and say these words before the investigation committee. Those who stand before the false witnesses have misled the investigation more than the false witnesses themselves. We all know as some false witnesses had spoken through TV screens that they are present and they had talked in press conferences and said that they are ready to speak out before the STL. However no one wishes to summon them because that will cause an endless political, judicial and moral scandal. Well you do not want to try the false witnesses and those who fabricated them. At least there is something called raising the so called impact of oppression and aggression. Raise the oppression from those who were oppressed through the false witnesses whether it is moral, political or materialistic oppression. Do not the families of the Syrian laborers deserve that someone assumes a moral and judicial responsibility towards them? Well, does not Syria deserve another rhetoric from your behalf? Don't the Lebanese political leaders starting from President Lahoud, Premier Karami, the other ministers and deputies (Let's keep Hezbollah and Amal Movement aside) and the judges deserve to be returned to their posts or to equal posts? Today I call on you if you were people of justice and righteousness: Restore the generals to their posts even if for a year (As the heads of the security apparatuses will feel low). Restore them to their posts as a show of rehabilitation even if for one year. Let the Head of the General Security resume his post as the Head of the General Security. Let the Head of the Intelligence be again the Head of Intelligence. Let the Head of the Internal Security act as the Head of the Internal Security and the Chief of the Republic Guards assume his post again. Wasn't it revealed that they are guiltless? Do that then. Don't you talk about the state, values, the law and justice? This is justice.

It's not a show of justice that we whip and crucify people for four years and curse, humiliate and aggress against them and after all say take it easy without admitting perpetrating any mistake. This is the second point which must be addressed.

I will wrap up with the following call for all the Lebanese but in particular to the masses of March 14 camp whom I always used to address saying that you are our people and brother: You and we are the victims of big schemes; much bigger than us and much bigger than Lebanon.

This is the call which I would like to make: These political leaderships must make their review and must correct their mistakes. I would like to say that these political leaderships with their political mentality and way of performance and conduct for four years and a half have dragged the country to the most difficult stage in its history. We were daily – and not one day only – on the verse of civil war. That is not to forget what has become of the country's economy, people, and neighbors, of the people among each others and of families that were disintegrated as a result of the sectarian and factional interrogation in everything. After four years, it wanted to erase everything with a couple of words. This is the big question. I would like to tell you that these - in the framework of a big scheme for the region – want to take Lebanon to similar or even worse circumstance for I don't know how many years – one, two, four, five or ten. Only God knows. Are you willing to follow their lead? Do you want to follow their sample after all this experience? You are free and you assume the responsibility as everyone in this country will assume responsibility as well as all political and religious leaderships. Finally I would like to wrap up saying to assure all: Hezbollah is not afraid of anything at all. They are frightening us with the indictment. Let them issue it then.

The Prince of all believers - Imam Ali Bin Abi Taleb peace be upon him says: "If you were afraid of anything, step in it". What does that mean? Those who conspire against the resistance and Lebanon – and have so far failed – is the one who ought to be afraid and anxious because their schemes will be foiled and defeated anew. We are not afraid at all. We know the nature of the responsibilities we’re shouldering, and we know the grounds we are standing on. We urge those who have so far miscalculated their moves – they have always miscalculated their moves and never had taken the right move – to learn from their experiences to take the right step even if for once and to stop making miscalculations. Peace be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings. The floor is yours.

The journalists' questions and the respective answers given by His Eminence the Secretary General:

Q: I will state my question in brief. To avoid Lebanon falling anew in the hands of an oppressive indictment as they have oppressed Syria and to avoid an indictment that might be oppressive to the resistance, may the indictment be flopped before it comes to light? Via who? Is the current Premier able to do anything in this perspective or is Saudi Arabia able to do anything to this effect?

His Eminence answered: There is an idea which I did not tackle because I do not want to make any demands as I do not make demands because as far as the indictment is concerned we are aggressed against. When we are aggressed against, we know very well how to defend ourselves. However as long as you have asked this question and I know your concern and love for the resistance (as you all do not to repeat myself), yes they may do many things. They may go to the group who is playing the game of nations and tell them the country does not tolerate such games. So stop this game. They can do that and I believe that they have the status and the stance that enable them to tell them to stop their game and sit aside. That's because what is taking place is but a game. This is in fact what I want to explain in the second press conference God willing. What is taking place is even more than playing, and they can stop it. Still I am not asking anything from them. Let them do what they want and take the decision that appeals to them.

His Eminence was asked: Your Eminence… As talking about the tension which will be witnessed in the Lebanese field with the issuance of the indictment, today MP Walid Jumblat is questioning the coincidence of the statements made by the Head of The Executive Body in the Lebanese Forces Party Samir Jaejea and the statements made by Gabi Ashkenazi which make him perplexed. Is His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah perplexed as well or has he other thing to say on these statements?

His Eminence answered: This is not the only thing that makes us perplexed. There are many issues which seem odd. It is important that the Lebanese snatch the shot properly, analyze correctly and think appropriately, and I believe then they will be able to reach correct and good results.

His Eminence was asked: Your Eminence, in the last speech before this one, you discussed May events and hinted that there are responsibilities that ought to be assumed. Today in your word, you tackled the repercussions of the previous four years but you did not mention May incidents in any way. And as I grasped from your word, that the second part (of the press conference) has to do with the indictment and the STL and the post indictment era. Consequently and in this perspective is it possible that you brief us on what you wanted to say on May incidents and you did not say?

His Eminence answered: I did not wish to make this review because I did not want to take much of your time. I mentioned headlines and said more than once that you put us on the verge of civil war. Even more, I believe that what we talked about in the previous speech concerning May 5 is enough.

His Eminence was asked: More than once, it was mentioned that if May 5 was reiterated, there will be May 7. It was said also that if more than that takes place, a May "70" will take place. If the game did not stop as you mentioned will there be a May "70"?

His Eminence answered: Anything which we agree on or we build on we say. So in all cases we examine things well, bear our responsibilities fully and act appropriately. I do not want to anticipate things.

His Eminence was asked: Your Eminence! You have called on the leaderships of March 14 Camp to review what they have done and said all through these four years. Is an apology enough or what is demanded is the resignation of the government or at least the resignation of March 14 ministers from this government?

His eminence answered: As you may have noticed I did not call on them even to apologize. I am very modest. I did not even ask for an apology. All I asked for was that they make a review and speak frankly to their masses. These people want to get along in this country, and they are partners in the country. Our demands are as modest. As prior to the indictment, we do not discuss the governmental subject. We have not called on anyone to resign. However after the issuance of the indictment, we will have our word.

His Eminence was asked: What if the Lebanese interior and particularly Premier Saad Hariri responded? What if he accordingly said what he was quoted as saying (that he will not set the country on fire for the sake of his father's blood)? In your viewpoint, will that have its influence on the Tribunal and the indictment? Meaning will the STL respond should Premier Saad Hariri say he refuses the indictment? Now if the STL carried on its path which you have referred to as a scheme that transcends Lebanon, what will your position be from the Lebanese interior too? Will you hold Saad Hariri, the government or the March 14 Camp responsible in this case?

His Eminence answered: So far I did not hold anyone responsible. Have you seen that I have held anyone responsible as far as the indictment is concerned? It's still too early. As for how would Premier Saad Hariri act? Well he is fit being responsible. He is a man who takes a position and is able to act. He knows all the sessions that took place between him and I and what we have said in this perspective. I was content by the first part only to tell those who are blaming us for what we are talking about that there is given and there is something serious but I did not go into the details we dealt with each other. I used to say always: Be cautious about the investigation, the fabrication of the investigation, the manipulation of the investigation and the exploitation of the investigation and the Tribunal for political targets which you have nothing to do with them. You and I might be victims. This is the statue quo now. No doubt, both our positions will be difficult if the indictment was issued. His position is difficult and our position will be difficult. Everybody should observe the national interest which requires the position which he will take.

His Eminence was asked: His Eminence! If they did not respond to your demands what will happen and when is their deadline?

His Eminence answered: May you show some tolerance! Our demands are rightful whether they responded or not. I said that will influence our viewpoint and our comprehension, the political statue quo and the political future. After all, we know who are the sides in this partnership and how do people act in crises. Now let's carry on with this discussion because part two is very important. Then we will talk about everything God willing.

His Eminence was asked: You have announced frequently in the past years that you respect the decisions issued by the STL. Now it seems that you are worried about the indictment that might be issued against members of Hezbollah. First, will you still remain adherent to respecting executing these decisions? Second what will your position be if an accusation was issued but not against members of Hezbollah?

His Eminence answered: First I would like to assert for you that we have never said that we respect the tribunal’s decisions. We have never said that we respect them or not either. We remained silent on that for the interest of the country, or else all know that from the very first moments we have doubted the tribunal. We even requested that the issue of the tribunal be discussed by the Cabinet. Everybody knows how the previous administration passed the Tribunal bill. Everybody knows that Hezbollah and Amal Movement ministers were not given three days – not one week, but three days only – to give their remarks in the cabinet and that the bill was voted on in an illegal unconstitutional way. Despite this, we remained silent and backed the principle of establishing the court on the dialogue table. God willing I will talk about the Tribunal's system, law and mechanism in the following press conference. There are legal issues especially those concerning the amendments which were worked on. It is clear that the amendments were acted on not to achieve justice but to make films in a new form.

As for Tribunal's mechanism, set-up, experience, law and the conclusions on base of which it acts, I personally do not accept the decisions of this Tribunal unless they are based on solid and true evidence – neither against us nor against anyone. It does not seem to me that the court is founding its decisions on solid evidence. I will tell you why. Any investigation that does not take into consideration all suppositions and work on them all is not a neutral investigation. So if the court said that Al-Qaeda had killed Premier Rafic Hariri, I would refuse its conclusion. So that is not true only if Hezbollah is accused but also if Al Qaeda is accused because the international investigation has skipped one hypothesis not for one moment. No investigation or no discussion worked on the Israeli hypothesis though Israel has the motive, the capabilities, the control and the interest (to kill Hariri). But it is forbidden on the International Tribunal to work on this hypothesis. The STL accuses whoever it wants. So as long as it does not take the Israeli hypothesis into consideration the investigation isn't neutral and consequently, any decision it takes will not be based on an unprejudiced investigation.

-Following your latest meeting with General Aoun, it was spread that he had provoked you against his Christian opponents and that he has demanded from you to change the game rules and that in this perspective he recalled Christian fears… Still some Christians have interpreted the supporting environment as the Christian environment. What's your answer to these allegations?

Sayyed Nasrallah: This is the statue quo prevailing since years in the country. I mean lying; such as accusing Syria first, accusing the allies of Syria, hurling people in jails… This is lying, and what we are heading to is lying. General Aoun did not talk with me at all about invading Christian regions. He did not provoke me against anyone, and he did not tackle changing the rules of the game. I will also tell you more: He did not tackle at all the government because it was said that he talked with me about a governmental change. Never! The man said what he says before the Reform and Change Bloc and what he talks about everywhere that he has a reading for a scenario which might take place and God willing will not take place. I would like to tell you that we have this scenario but we did not talk about then. I have heard about this scenario a year ago from senior political leaderships in the region which says: O Sayyed be cautious. Things are going in such and such direction i.e. what is taking place now. So they are not foretelling things. The opposition does not have any prophets so far. He talked about a scenario but he never talked about provocation or about a governmental change. All what General Aoun said is that if you were not cautious, be cautious then and examine the issue of the resistance and your readiness because things are moving in that direction. I told him that I agree absolutely on your viewpoint and this is our very reading of the issue. It happened that we did not meet since a long time and discuss this issue.

As for the second issue – the supporting environment – I meant the general environment. Someone heard "the supporting sect". I want to have a good opinion, however. But where did I say the supporting sect? If I said the supporting sect, I would be cursing myself as a great number of collaborators are Shiites. Am I able to say that the supporting sect – the Shiites – embraces the collaborators? What about those who were afflicted with what they were afflicted with the rest of the Lebanese in July War? Is this the supporting environment? This environment is supporting for the resistance and not for collaborators. The atmosphere which was made in the country and the political milieu that was made in the country constitute the supporting environment. I heard another person, a minister – they are all ministers – saying yesterday: "He hinted and meant." Well dear do you know what I mean? He meant that I was alluding to the Christians. No I do not mean the Christians. There is a political environment that has made collaborating with Israel something normal. That's because when Syria becomes the enemy and Israel becomes the neighbor, the friend, the support and the guarantee. If this is how we educate people that will form the supporting environment. What will the problem then be if someone deals with his neighbor, cooperate with him and collect information for him. This is something normal in Lebanon!

-Leaked information said the Information Branch has informed Hajj Wafic Safa that three Hezbollah resistance men are suspected of collaborating with Israel. Moreover, MP Hassan Fadlallah was heard responding on this issue and saying true the Information Branch informed of this issue but after investigation it was made clear that was not true. Rather these resistance men are pursued by Israel. He also said that the resistance will respond with documents and evidence. Today I reiterate the question and say why did the Information Branch report to the resistance false information and what are the documents and evidences with which you will respond to this allegation?

-Sayyed Nasrallah: You know that I am accurate and fair. Everyone said previously that I attacked the Information Branch. The truth is that I thanked and praised it for the efforts exerted recently. I only asked a question - and this is my right - though no one so far has given me an official answer. What was leaked in the press is not enough and confirms my information. That means that since a definite period of time they suspect this number. All through this period of time they couldn't know for whom this number is. This is not fit of the Information Branch and its capabilities…

Anyway and to be fair, no, the Information Branch did not provide us with false information. The Branch has its own analyses of telephone calls. On the light of this analysis, it comes out with conclusions. Everyone knows however that the conclusions drawn from telephone calls analysis are not certain and do not lead to decisive conclusions. The same Information Branch and on the basis of phone calls analysis, interrogate people suspected of spying for Israel. Some came out innocent, and we have their names. Many a time the Army Intelligence also summoned people, on the basis of such given, interrogated with them. Still phone calls did not constitute enough evidence for their accusation of collaboration. So then they were set free. Yes there are people, who based on phone calls analysis, were interrogated with, and confessed of collaborating with Israel. As a result of their confession, they were referred to the military court. However others remained to the last moment of the interrogation which might have lasted for one or three days or one or two weeks and still they did not confess. Later on, their collaboration was proven through other means. This needs technical interpretation which is not my domain of specialty even though I comprehend the cause very well. However let others do their work. I am not to do everything after all.

The Interrogation Branch did not lie to us, but the conclusions of their analyses were wrong. They gave us three telephone numbers for three Hezbollah officials suspected of collaborating with Israel. We took those three numbers and we summoned the brothers who owned the numbers. You should know that we do not tolerate collaboration with Israel. Those brothers are still Hezbollah officials, and they are still in their posts because we conducted a real, technical and serious investigation. The men responded excellently and we reached a definite conclusion. If I had 0.1 % doubt that they had been penetrated, we would have at least isolated them and fired them out of the party. That's because we don’t even tolerate suspicion of collaboration. We do not accept anyone before he files a 100-paper-document. When my son Hadi – May Allah have mercy on him and may your children live long – wanted to get enrolled in the resistance, he filled the first 50-paper-document. He came and told me I do not want to partake in the resistance anymore. I asked him why. He said: Why was I supposed to fill these 50 papers. I am the son of the Secretary General. They are afraid of sending me to the front and I live with you in the very home! I told him: Well you have another 50 papers to fill still. See we do not tolerate suspicion.

So we carried out an interrogation and reached a conclusive result that the men are not as such. There is a clear interpretation of the information which we were provided with by the Information Branch. This is a technical, reliable documented interpretation. We were not concerned of informing the Information Branch. In the appropriate time and in principle and as our brethren MP Sayyed Hassan Fadlallah said we are thinking that one of our brethrens hold a press conference. We might need to hold a press conference and we might not need do that. I have explained part of the issue which will be handled in the Press Conference… No there is no penetration. Why were we given those names? Well, there is an attempt in the country to prove that Hezbollah are penetrated. This has to do with a definite story which I will relate to you in the following Press Conference God willing.

-There is an attempt by the President of the Republic to control tension. There is mutual trust between you and Premier Rafic Hariri. You also enjoy in Lebanon a great confidence which was expressed today by MP Walid Jumblat. If we gathered these efforts, may we say that there is a movement that might lead to reducing the so called state of tension, and especially that some has opposed on some of your stances which you issued recently and they had strong opposition to them?

-Sayyed Nasrallah: Why not? This internal movement exists. It is normal that everyone acts with responsibility, discuss and confront this state. We do not search for ways out or for settlements. Some want to stage an aggression on the resistance and on Lebanon. It is demanded from Lebanon to be united to avoid this aggression and this settles the whole issue. All what is taking place are signs of such an aggression. Should we stand together against these signs, the aggression will collapse.

-There are some scenarios which say that Hezbollah might resort to an external war to avoid an internal war as a result of the repercussions of the STL indictment.

-Sayyed Nasrallah: All these scenarios which are tackled are but a proof on the size of the scheme which I pointed to a while ago. We have never and will never wage an external war neither before the indictment nor after it. In July 2006, was it we who waged the war? We captured two Israeli soldiers; never in history had the capture of two antagonistic soldiers led to war. Anyway, evidences later showed that the war was planned for by America, internationally and by the Arabs… not to say more. Never did we wage a war, and our project is not to make war. We are a resistance movement working on liberating the rest of our occupied land in the very way we liberated our land with. We defend our country like we have always done. In principle, as this issue is unprecedented, surely in the most difficult circumstances it is not unthinkable. Maybe the there is an interest – you might tell me – in keeping the people worried. No, it is unthinkable that we wage a war of find a war in the region. We insist that any war in the region will not be a limited war. It will be a great event on the level of the region. This is unthinkable at all.