Friday, February 10, 2012

The speech delivered by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Tuesday February 7, 2012.

In the Name of Allah, The Compassionate, The Most Merciful. Peace be on the Seal of prophets, our Master and Prophet, Abi Al Qassem Mohammad and on his chaste and pure Household and on his chosen companions and on all messengers and prophets. Peace be upon you and Allah Mercy and blessings.

First I would like to welcome all of you. We felicitate you and all Muslims on this fragranced, dear and blessed anniversary. It is the anniversary of the birth of the Seal of prophets and the Master of messengers, our Holy Prophet and Imam Abi Al Qassem Mohammad Bin Abdullah (Peace be upon him). We as well felicitate you and all Muslims on the anniversary of the birth of his great grandson Imam Jaafar Bin Mohammad Al Sadeq (Peace be upon him). We also felicitate you of the 33rd anniversary of the victory of the blessed Islamic Revolution in Iran under the leadership of Imam Khomeini - the grandson Of the Prophet of Allah (May Allah consecrate his secret). This great Prophet and leader – I mean the Prophet of Allah Mohammad (Peace be upon him) could make a great nation and a magnificent civilization. But from what did he achieve that? He got started, raised and struggled in the Arab Peninsula with a people who were ruled by ignorance, illiteracy, superstition, idolatry, disintegration, disunity and tribal, clannish and familial fanaticism, fighting, the absence of any central unifying point whether a religion, cause, leadership, project or culture. So he started from zero and even from less than zero. He started from a status quo which is deteriorated on the intellectual, religious, moral and humanistic levels to the extent that the father used to bury his newborn daughter alive only because she is a female.

The prophet of Allah could make a nation. This is the miracle. It is a faithful nation, a nation of morals, a nation of values, a nation of civilization and a nation which could enter history from its wide gate within a few decades. It is a nation which used to have in the past and still has in the present and in the future history, presence and influence in the world. The one man has become today a nation of more than a billion and 200 million Muslims. He told them to say: I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and I bear witness that Mohammad is the Prophet of Allah (Peace be upon him). The greatest miracle of the Prophet through which he could make this nation and create this change and which one may resort to and turn to for help to awake the nation anew, for the resurrection of the nation, to make an intellectual, convictional, fiducial, social, moral, spiritual, scientific, educational and cultural change in the nation is the Book of Allah Al Mighty which He revealed on the heart of Mohammad (Peace be upon him). It is the Holy Koran. The Koran is the eternal miracle. It is a miracle in itself in its rhetoric and content - as we say in these days in form and in content. It was revealed on the heart of the illiterate Prophet in an illiterate society. The Koran is also miraculous to the effect of the continuation of it challenge all through these centuries to all humanity and to the whole world to bring a book like itself. The Prophet was the prophet of challenge, and this Book was the book of challenge on the convictional, scientific, intellectual, rhetoric, content and on all levels challenge. Today as well, the Ayas of this Koran speak out and address the whole world. In this time and following centuries of enormous scientific, intellectual, cultural, philosophical and civilizational developments which we witnessed, let the whole world thinkers, philosophers, men of intellect, theorists, men of letters and authors meet and bring a book similar to this Koran. This challenge is still valid until this very day.

It is also a clear divine miracle to the effect of safeguarding this Koran – safeguarding its Surahs, Ayas, words and letters against whatsoever addition dropping, falsification and counterfeit though all through history all motives and reasons for such addition, dropping, falsification and counterfeit existed and were available whether within and without the Islamic circle. However 1400 later, the Koran could reach our generation and the present generations safeguarded, protected against any addition, dropping, falsification and counterfeit from cover to cover. Isn't this a crystal clear divine miracle? {We have, without doubt, sent down the message; and we will assuredly guard it} This is the promise of Allah, and Allah Al Mighty doesn't fail to live up to His promise.

The pillar of this Koran and this religion which Mohammad (peace be upon him and his Household) brought along – brothers and sisters – is the call for monotheism and unity. It is a call to assert belief in the unity of the Creator and unity among the creatures, human beings and the slaves of the One Creator. What unites them is that they are the creatures of Allah Al Mighty. People are one of two groups: either a brother of yours in religion or a fellow of yours in creation. This is the speech of our religion and commitment.

Hereof I launch to the first topic in my speech which I will tackle very briefly so that I will have enough time for the other topics. It is Islamic Unity and the project of Islamic Unity. However in this time in which ordeals and seditions mushroomed we must highlight the following point. Dear scholars, leaders, politicians, men of intellect and people in general: everyone who is interested in righteousness, in truth, in his people, in his nation, in his life and in his Hereafter, in this time more than in any time in the past, we must be aware to be verify facts and information.

This is an indispensable prelude before ushering in the other topics. We must be sure and certain of the information. Unfortunately today we reached a stage in which anything which is said in the media is taken for granted. This is not allowed. We must inquire and question to be sure and certain especially now and during the recent years we are witnessing a strange weird stage which might be unprecedented in history. With unashamed insolence, they accuse leaderships, forces and groups of positions, words and statements which were not issued by them. Accordingly, stances are taken, analyses are made, enmities are caused and wars are waged. Events and facts are fabricated; stances are then being demanded to be taken according to these events and facts which did not take place. They rather were fabricated and made-up. This is what is taking place time now in every hour and minute. If man dedicates all of his time to deny these stances and statements, he won't have time to do anything else. I will give only some samples in this framework.

Brothers and sisters! Man must be cautious so as to know how to build a stance. He must verify facts and events. He must not be taken by the intimidations and fabrications, falsifications and propagandas to which the most powerful and most important public opinion institutions in the world are dedicated. This is the most dangerous aspect in any war which might be waged or any event which might erupt. So keep this in mind and Inshallah as I move in some topics we will highlight this point. When we talk about Islamic unity, indeed many have worked for this project over hundreds of years. Even before the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and Imam Khomeini, there were titles, symbols and senior men of intellect whether, Sunnites or Shiites, who worked on this project and established institutions to this effect. However and with no doubt the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran under the leadership of the Imam in 1979 and the establishment of a state with the broadness and strength of the Islamic Republic in Iran and the adoption of this Republic of this project, target and slogan to which it worked for long years on the level of institutions, media and conferences gave a special momentum to the idea and project of Islamic Unity. Islamic Unity never meant melting the various Islamic sects in one sect or that all Muslims who are followers of different sects become the followers of one sect. That was never the idea. In other words, we say there are various sects but Sunnites and Shiites are the most prominent. None among them ever – whether before, with or after Imam Khomeini – said that Islamic Unity means that the Shiites become Sunnites or the Sunnites become Shiites. This is absolutely not evoked. If anyone says that, it'll be illusions – sheer illusions or groundless speech which aims to cause provocations.

Since its early days and with and after the Imam, Islamic Unity meant that the Muslims - whom politics, governors and colonizers lately worked to disjoint, detach, provoke them against each other and evoke conflicts among them - approach each other, meet each other and talk with each other to search for common points and highlight their great common interests as a nation. It meant that they feel with each other, set hatred aside and cooperate to serve these great goals and interests. That's the point. Nothing more than that is demanded. It is not demanded that any side yield to the other on the level of convictional details. That's because there is not any debate on the essential convictions. It is not required from anyone to yield to another on the level of religious subtitles because there is not any debate as far as essential convictions are concerned. Any rational person to whom this project is presented would say that is to the interest of peoples and nations. I also tell you that this is to the interest of the nation, Muslims as well as Christians who live in the East. Their interest is in having mutual concord and cooperation among Muslims the followers of Mohammad Bin Abdullah (Peace be upon him and his Household). This is the idea.

It goes without saying that many tyrants, colonizers and occupiers as well as those who want to appoint themselves as rulers have no interest in having Muslims unite and cooperate. This is according to the rule that says: disperse and rule. Thus they did not allow that to take place and will not allow it to take place as long as they can. Let's talk about the current age. That's because the hegemony of these great powers on fuel, gas, decision making and the occupied sanctities - The occupation is not only an Israeli occupation; it is an Israeli-American occupation. Was it not for America and the West, Israel would have never been established and would not have been able to persist in fact – is possible as long as this nation is disintegrated, fragmented and broken apart. This is why this is an essential pillar in any project of hegemony at the level of the region. When the peoples of our region revolt and call for unity, cooperation, coalition and putting all conflicts and struggles aside, that means that these peoples have set on the path of resorting their decision making, sovereignty, independence, oil, markets and future and this is not allowed by the tyrants and the gigantic companies that have control on decision making in the world.

So all the efforts were to the effect that this nation meet and cooperate as it has many common points even to the effect of being the target of the same enemy, challenges, and even to the effect of confronting these challenges. In the recent decades, events took place to prevent any meeting and cooperation in this nation.

As we are marking the anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, I will start with this example: the war which was imposed on this young republic. What was the crime of Iran? It was that it toppled the Shah's regime which collaborated with Israel and America. As a matter of fact, on the level of his sect, Mohammad Reza Bahlawi was a Shiite. America used to adopt a king who was a Shiite and who used to go to Mashhed – the Shrine of Imam Reza (Peace be upon him), pretend to visit the Imam, publish the Koran and the like. America, Israel and the moderate Arab countries used to support the Shah who was a Shiite. That's because what matters to America is not the sect of the ruler or his religion; it is rather his political allegiance… The crime of this Imam, this people and this revolution is that they toppled this regime which collaborated with America and Israel and restored the balance to this nation following the withdrawal of Egypt in Camp David. Thus war was waged against it. The war against Iran which lasted for eight years was supported by America, the West and internationally. Unfortunately most of the Arab nations backed this war. Some of the rich Arab nations spent hundreds of billions of dollars in this war. These hundreds of billions were barred from the people of Palestine who were writhing with hunger within Palestine and living in the worst conditions in exodus camps abroad. This money was barred from the resisting Palestinian factions who really wanted to restore their land and the sanctities of the nation. Still hundreds of billions of dollars were spent to finance a war that was waged against a young Islamic state which raised the slogan of Palestine and marching towards Al Qods. Indeed this war had dangerous repercussions on the project of the unity in the nation and the rapprochement among its various sides and parties. Following the flop of the war and the disperse of the expectations of toppling the regime of the Islamic Republic in Iran, they moved to another project to prevent the rapprochement of Muslims among each other though what unites the Muslims – as I said – on the convictional, religious, civilizational, moral and intellectual levels is really great and also what unites them on the political level and the level of political challenges is great too. All the peoples of our region and the peoples of the Islamic World long for dignity, esteem, and independence. They long for regimes which spring from their will. They want to control and invest their capabilities, capacities, fuel and gas to the interest of these peoples who have the greatest ratio or a great ratio of ignorance, poverty, unemployment, sickness etc. This nation also has Palestine and the usurped and occupied sanctities. Still the vagabonds daily address the nation of one billion and 200 million Muslims with humiliation. They also work day and night so that Muslims do not meet.

Following that war they set towards another kind of war which is more dangerous and worse. It is sectarian ordeal and fabricating the so called Iranian expansion and the Shiite expansion. Frankly here, I want to talk facts and figures. That's because today they are working on this project all over the Arab world and on the Arab media and websites. Today that is the subject matter of the soft war that is utilized by America and the West in face of this nation. What is the misconception? I will resort to the latest speech delivered by His Eminence Imam Khamenai last Friday. The accusation is in the first place to Iran and the subsequently to Hezbollah. Iran is causing Shiite expansion in the Islamic world. Iran wants to convert the Sunnites to Shiites in the Islamic World. See this logic? What is the percentage of Shiites in the Islamic World? What is the percentage of the Shiites? There aren't precise statistics. However what is the percentage of the Shiites. Let's say 10%, 15%, 20%, 8%? Iran is part of these Shiites. Iran as a state wants to convert the Sunnites into Shiites. Iran wants to convert at least a billion Sunnite Muslims to Shiites. O Sunnite religious men, authorities and governments! Be aware! Declare war! Prepare defensive barricades. There is a lurking danger which is proceeding. It is the Shiite expansion. This is the product of senior and junior devils. This is baseless and groundless. I will talk about the Iranian political expansion in the following subtitle. However, as far as the religious topic is concerned, Shiite expansion is groundless. Some people promote it as an idea and as an accusation. Here I am obliged to say some details.

Let's take Egypt as an example. I have met senior personalities who believe this accusation. They talked about the Shiitization movement in Egypt. Iran is leading this movement and Hezbollah has ties with the leadership of this movement. So far more than 5 million have converted into Shiites. Imagine more than 5 millions converted to Shiites in the past years in Egypt. I told them tell us where they are so that we make ties with them and contact them. If they are not 5 millions, are they four millions, 3 millions, 2 millions, one million, 500 thousands, 100 thousands, 50 thousands, 10 thousands… Tell us where they are. Where are these Shiites in Egypt? Make lists of their names. This is one example.

Thus I say unfortunately, these are great religious authorities in Egypt whom we respect and highly esteem. However and as a result of wrong information and not verifying this given they say; We want to confront the Shiite expansion in Egypt. Where is the Shiite expansion in Iran? In fact, is Iran able to move in Egypt? Who is able to perform a Shiite activity in Egypt?

The funnier example is in Syria. Indeed I am not talking about what is being written on the Internet. I am talking about a person who is open. I know senior religious men from our Sunnite brethren in the Arab and Islamic world, and I also meet them. This is a source of pride and honor to me. They meet with me and with my brethren to discuss the resistance. Perhaps some made a dialogue this me saying that in Syria there is a great Shiitization movement and the regime of President Bashar Assad is accused of supporting this movement. So far in Syria six millions have been converted to Shiites. Can you imagine that? indeed I am far from Egypt. However as for Syria, as they say we are one people in two countries. People know each other. Families and people go there. We know what is there in Syria. Six millions? In fact, the counselor of one of the Arab kings talked with me to this effect. He told me that there is a number of kings and princes who were furnished with reports in the past years which tell them to save the Sunnites in Syria because there is a shiitization movement in Syria and so far six millions have been converted to Shiites.

I went to Sham some years ago. I met officials and even with security sides. I told one of them – should he be listening to me, he'd know himself: May you undergo a study to search for these six million Shiites because some people are convinced that this is true and are promoting it. Tell us where they are. They are neither six millions, nor five millions, nor one million, nor half a million, nor 100 thousands, nor 1000. we are talking about 33 years. There isn't even 5%. There are individual cases everywhere. There are individual cases in which Sunnite people converted to Shiites and Shiite people converted to Sunnites. Today there are media outlets, satellites, books and Internet. There are people who go influenced with events. However there isn't anything called Shiite expansion or Sunnite expansion or the like.

Even here in Lebanon, this took place for two or three months before it stopped. Unfortunately, political enmities in the country led to that: Hezbollah is converting people into Shiites in Akkar and Dinniyeh. Do you remember? that took place some years ago. This is silly. While you and I say this is silly, some senior political leaderships in the Arab and Islamic world, some senior religious leaderships in the Arab and Islamic world and some senior religious authorities who are convinced in this to the extent that a senior religious authority in the Islamic world was furnished with a report and believe the content of this report which said that since the victory of the Revolution 33 years ago till our day, 50 million Sunnites were converted to Shiites. This is really funny. Where are these 50 millions who were converted to Shiites. I do not want to say more in this topic but they are working on it.

Today on the anniversary of the birth of the Prophet (Peace be upon him and his Household) I tell you: We are the Shia of Ali Bin Abi Taleb (Peace be upon him) and the followers of the sect of Imam Jaafar Bin Mohammad Al Sadeq (Peace be upon them) whose birth anniversary we are marking today. We believe that the followers of the other Islamic sects are Muslims. Our rights are theirs and our obligations are theirs too. Every Muslim has the absolute freedom to follow the sect he wants. As Imam Khamenai said last Friday none among us has a Shiitization project or converting any Sunnite to a Shiite and not the billion Sunnites to Shiites. We do not have the project of converting even one dear Sunnite brethren to a Sunnite. This is not our project or goal. We do not work to achieve that at all. This is with absolute clarity.

There might be an association or a personality or a side among Shiites who have this project. That is their own business. However this is not the project of the Islamic Republic in Iran or Imam Khomeini or Imam Khamenai or Hezbollah. The same applies to the Sunnite square. Some people work to this effect. However no one may say or accuse the Sunnite authorities or the Sunnite Islamic movements or the Sunnite Islamic institutions saying their project is to turn the Shiites to Sunnites. Today no one works on this project.

I hope we would be decisive in this point and that no one among us – especially among our Sunnite brethren – allow falsehood and sedition of this kind be implanted. I will even tell you more. We have trained in our training camps many Palestinian fighters. I used to tell the Palestinian sides as well as our brethren in the training camps: You train these Palestinian brethren military affairs which have to do with the resistance. as for culture and convictional guiding, the side to which they belong would bring a sheikh to teach them even an intellectual, religious or sectarian dialogue or debate is forbidden. We do not wish to open any door for any suspicion of this kind.

Moreover, I will make use of the Islamic Unity issue so as to usher to the topic of national unity. I will tackle this issue frankly. In Lebanon, we believe and we take for granted that we are in a diversified and multifold country. In the past they used to say a diversified country but remain reserve on the world multifold. I say it is diversified and multifold and whatever word you want. What's the problem in expression? When I am a Muslim and an Islamist on the level of intellectual belonging and a follower of Mohammad that does not mean at all – this is an address to Christians – that I have no political choice other than establishing an Islamic country in Lebanon. That does not mean either an Islamic country or chaos. No, that is not the case. In fact, one of the aspects of Islam's greatness, flexibility and vitality as a religion, doctrine and legislation is that any Muslim group in any country with special conditions would enjoy special guidance. Things are not closed at all. Consequently, we, as an Islamic movement in Lebanon, are proud of our Islamic and religious belonging. When we talk about national cooperation among Muslims and Christians, and when we talk about the importance of building a national state in Lebanon in which all sides partake and are represented and in which the interests of all sides are served, all sides are protected, all sides are provided with security, stability, justice, esteem and dignity, we would not be talking politically. We start from our religious, doctrinal and jurisprudential principles. This is not a political tactic. This was the path of our authorities and senior scholars during the previous era whether Imam Sayyed Abdel Hussein Sharafeddine, or Imam Sayyed Mohsen Al Amin – as we are talking on the level of Lebanon and the region-, or Imam Sayyed Mussa Assader and his comrades –May Allah restore them safe and sound- or the great late His Eminence Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadallah and His Eminence Sheikh Mohammad Mahdi Shamseddine (May Allah reward them in Heaven) or the authorities of our days. Brothers and sisters! Today would we in Hezbollah as an Islamic movement partake in parliamentary elections without a religious legitimate justification or reason? Would we partake in the government if we don't have a religious legitimate justification?

Now is it I or Hezbollah politburo or Hezbollah leadership who put this religious and legitimate justification? No! This is a jurisprudential stance which our scholars and senior authorities are concerned in.

So this is a religious choice and an Islamic choice. Consequently, there is another point which we have to be decisive on. Our religious belonging whether to Islam or Christianity must not form a barrier before building a state together and before having a united cooperating society. This is our religious and convictional starting point.

Now some people carry on in their provocations. They do not want people to meet with each other in Lebanon. They want discord to remain between Shiites and Sunnites and between Muslims and Christians. They want the Christians to have fear from Muslims always. Thus they adopt positions which were taken back in 1982 and 1983 which say that we want to establish an Islamic Republic.

True in our early days back in 1982 and 1983, there were a group of brethren - I was one of them - who made speeches and talked about the choice of the Islamic Republic in Lebanon. I want to wrap this issue because they weekly tackle it on TV outlets, and the Internet is stuffed with this idea. However, I want to remind some Christian leaderships today who talk about a united state and who talk about democracy and coexistence and civil peace that at that time they also used to talk about a Christian national nation. They used to talk about division and federalization. Now they say stop. You want more frankness. In the early days, we talked to this effect. I am a Muslim. I was then an Islamic young man of 23 or 24 or 25. We all were young. Now the young men in Hezbollah are a bit gray-haired. Later we entered deeper into the Lebanese status quo. We made special studies and researches. We issued documents. For over 20 years Hezbollah's speech has become clear. When Hezbollah gives a political speech, it won't be ashamed or afraid of anyone. These are our convictions which we identify and in which we see the interest of our people in Lebanon, the interest of Muslims from all sects, the interest of Christians and the interest of the country.

I will go back to the primary issue. I have prepared something which I wanted to talk about concerning the region and the peoples of the region, the Islamic governments and the challenges they are facing as Islamic movements. However I will postpone talking about that to another time due to the lack of time as I still have several points which I want to talk about.

I will thus go directly to the main topic which has to do with Iran and the resistance. It also has to do with Syria. If I still have time, I will say a couple of words on Lebanon. So if I did not have time I might postpone talking about Lebanon until on February 16th – the anniversary of the Leader Martyrs. Then, we will have plenty of time to tackle this issue.

On the basis of the speech delivered by Sayyed Leader Imam Khamenai on Friday, His Eminence frankly and clearly said: We – the Islamic Republic – support the resistance movements in Lebanon and the resistance movements in Palestine, and we want nothing in return. This support is rather a legitimate obligation.

Indeed with such frankness, I may say that it is the first time in which the highest authority in the Islamic Republic talks with such clarity to this effect. Based on this I will address and respond to several issues which are evoked on the Lebanese and regional level.

Well the other sides may talk for themselves. I am talking about Hezbollah. Based on this speech I say:

First, yes we receive moral, political and materialistic support in all possible and available forms from the Islamic Republic in Iran since 1982. In the past, we used to say half the story. No one was lying then. However we used to say half the story and remain silent on the other half. We used to say yes we receive moral and political support. When they used to ask us about financial and military support we used to remain silent. We used to say neither yes nor no. We did not want to embarrass our brethren in Iran. Well today when the supreme personality says we provide the Islamic movements with support, the story is over. Let's be clear. The importance of this word is that I want to say the sequel to that. I will not only say that it true and that it the end of the story. This support which is being offered since the very beginning is a source of pride to the Islamic Republic in Iran because this Resistance in Lebanon had achieved the greatest, most important and most evident Arab victory over Israel on May 25th, 2000. This victory was not to be achieved was it not to the Iranian moral and materialistic support to the Resistance movement in Lebanon.

Listen well! The first great evident unconditional Arab victory was achieved with Iranian support. Indeed Syria played a great role. However now I am talking about Iran and the resistance movement which remained steadfast and gained victory in July War. It couldn't have remained steadfast and gained victory was it not for Iranian support. The resistance movement in Palestine is concerned in talking about itself. It's its concern whether it talks or not. However I am concerned to say that this is the truth. The first consequence to this fact is expressing our thanks and gratitude to the leadership of the Iranian Republic, Imam Khomeini, Imam Khamenai, the Iranian officials and the Iranian people who are paying high prices for standing by Palestine and Lebanon. Now if this very Iran – on which they impose sanctions and whose money and stocks they confiscate – sells Palestine, everything will be over.

Is it serious that America's problem in the region is democracy? Well is there democracy in the other side of the world? America's problem is in two points: Israel and the fuel. Let Israel alone and sell us fuel as it suits us and you will be welcome. The Americans don't have any problem whether the ruler wears a crown or a turban. What matters is your position in politics.

Thus we always thank the Islamic Republic and its officials, government and people. That's because who doesn't thank the creature does not thank the Creator and because with gratitude blessings persist. {If ye are grateful, I will add more favors unto you} Ingratitude leads to the waste and loss of blessings.

Among the consequences of this speech, I also have to be clear on the financial and materialistic issue. As you know every now and then they – especially the Americans - show up through media outlets to evoke this issue. Some media outlets, some websites and indeed a section of the antagonistic Lebanese media can't see in you even one merit. Is it logical that one does not have even one merit or good point? So every now and then they show up to talk about drug nets in Latin America, America, Eastern Europe, Africa and others. They say that Hezbollah is running these nets which finance its activities with hundreds or tens of millions of dollars in Lebanon.

As long as His Eminence the Leader Sayyed talked about what we always used to deny, I will add the following:

First, drug trafficking is forbidden as far as we are concerned under the first, second or whatever title.

Second, with the support of His Islamic Republic in Iran, Allah had made us dispense with any penny in the world whether licit or illicit. We are not in need at all. So there is neither drug trafficking – which is sheer fabrication, deception and falsehood – nor money laundry. Try any man whom you accuse of money laundry. We do not practice money laundry; we do not cover; we do not tolerate or accept that. We have talked with the Lebanese officials in the government and the Central Bank concerning what is forbidden and also what is permissible or partially unforbidden on the jurisprudential level. We said we do not make such business. In Hezbollah, we do not have nowadays any commercial project whether abroad or in Lebanon. There isn't any Lebanese businessman abroad whom we deposit our money with or whom we own a ratio of his possessions or whom we take a ratio of his profits. Even locally, in the past we passed through some hard times. We thus established some commercial projects. Later, when our status became better, we cancelled and clarified these commercial businesses.

Today, I frankly say that if someone told you he had a commercial business for Hezbollah don't believe him. That commercial business would be his even if he was a Hezbollah member.

We in the leadership of Hezbollah believe that if any jihadi movement or resistance movement or political party is obliged to do business, it has the right to do business. However, among the natural outcome of business is corruption and corrupting when it has to do with a jihadi movement. Thus we have a cultural and spiritual problem as far as this issue is concerned. So there is no drug trafficking, money laundry, business or anything else at all.

Even as far as donations are concerned, I want to be clear so as to wrap up the financial topic. A year or over a year ago, I had a meeting which was broadcasted on the TV with the Islamic Resistance Support Association. I told them I do not accept that any of you knock the doors of people and lose your face or extend your hands for anyone. We have enough money, weapons, ammunitions and materialistic capacities to perform our obligations. However, we kept the Islamic Resistance Support Association so that if anyone wanted to donate. That's because there is something called jihad with money which has cultural, educational, and convictional background on base of which man is rewarded. Thus we kept this door open. Today we carry projects and establish institutions for tens of millions of dollars. Do you believe that these donations which are collected in Lebanon or elsewhere cover the needs of the resistance for one week? I am not saying for July War; I am saying for one week without war. Are these donations enough?

Thus as far the financial affair is concerned, I am very transparent. Consequently, any accusation on this framework is baseless. Indeed we are sufficed in the sense of having the minimum necessary to meet our requirements. So let no one say that well come and address the economic, social and financial crises. This is the responsibility of the government. So as far as the capabilities to assume our responsibilities as a resistance - which come today under the broad title of defending Lebanon and its esteem, people and wealth - are concerned , we are – God willing – able to assume that and we are not in need to practice any business in the world whether permissible or forbidden.

As a consequence of the speech of His Eminence the Leader Sayyed also that there is support but in return Iran wants nothing, I want to bear witness to this world and the Hereafter. I hope this will be recorded in the book of my deeds in the Hereafter. Perhaps in this world whoever wants to believe me let him believe me and whoever doesn't want to believe me that's his own business. What's between me and the others are my word and theirs and my evidences and theirs. With utmost certainty, Iran is an evidence of {We feed you for the sake of Allah alone; no reward do we desire from you, nor thanks} Since 1982 until this very day, many talk about Iranian dictations in return of support. Never! There are no Iranian dictations in return of support. I have previously mentioned this on the dialogue table when it was headed by Speaker Nabih Berri. All were present and we met and they tackled this issue. I asked them to give me one example of a deed which Hezbollah made since its establishment up till today which served the interests of the Islamic Republic of Iran. None could give one example because there isn't even one example. Half an hour later, someone remembered the issue of the hostages. I told him that the hostages were not taken by Hezbollah and second, the hostages had to do with Lebanese captives and had nothing to do with Iran and the Iranian interests. As for the TWA plane, Speaker Berri interfered then and said that we negotiated this topic and freed captives from Atleet, Ansar and I do not still remember the name of the third region. What has Iran to do with this topic? Later Iran played the role of the mediator; this is another story. I add: Since the dialogue table till this very day I challenge saying whoever among the loyal and opponent Lebanese and all Arabs and the world has an evidence of an action which was made by Hezbollah to the interest of the Islamic Republic of Iran and which had an Iranian interest let him point to it. Iran does not dictate anything on us and it never did. This is my word and you may ask the other resistance movements which received and still receive support from Iran: Does Iran interfere in their choices, decisions and inclinations? This is absolutely untrue.

Even as far as the upcoming events in the region are concerned, there is an analysis that says that what might happen if Israel shelled Iranian nuclear edifices. I will tell you from now that on that day which I rule out – we will tackle this issue on February 16th – Imam Khamenai and the Iranian leadership will not demand anything from Hezbollah. They will not dictate anything or wish for anything. On that day, it is we who have to meet and think and decide what to do.

All the children of the resistance, the resistance men, the resistance peoples and the resistance masses in the region must pay back this republic, regime and leadership with gratefulness, esteem and respect – and not with anything else - for this stance, support and backing.

I move now to the topic of Syria. With clarity and precision I say that as there is much intimidation on us and on others, neither much nor little intimidation may touch on our stance which is based on a vision. Let no one bully us. You may argue with us over our vision with data and analysis. Work on our mind. If anyone wants to work on our hearts and nerves he would be betting on mirage. In whatever topic, our hearts and nerves can't be shaken over what we think is right even if the whole world confronted us.

Let's talk logic and according to visions, data and the interest of the nation, the peoples of the nation and the interest of Palestine. Here, I remind of the remark I said at the beginning namely verifying facts. There are some things that I know because I am concerned in.

For example, some time ago some Arab satellite outlets put a piece of news on the news bar for 24 hours. Indeed it did not say that it adopted it; it quotes a Syrian opposition side as saying "Hezbollah is shelling Zabadani with Katyushas" Praise be to Allah! Well, is this a story of someone eating a sandwich while hiding so it may be believed? How is it that Hezbollah is shelling Zabadani with Katyushas? From where is it doing so? How is it doing so? Indeed, there was nothing happening then at all. However there was bullying. On the following day they wrote: Hezbollah is attacking Zabadani; armed groups confronted and the corpses of Hezbollah men are spread on the roads. Well, where are these corpses of Hezbollah men? Let us see them. For whom they are? That can't be hidden. This is an example of how media tackles the Syrian topic.

Let's say what the media did on the day the Security Council met. "Homos is on fire." They started with fifty killed, one hundred, two hundred, three hundred and fifty are killed. There are hundreds of wounded. Thirty nine buildings were downed. Anyone who might hear that would be shaken. Hezbollah had a clear political stance since the very beginning of the events. However before this scene we were all moved. I called on our brethren to contact our friends and trusted brethren in Homos who have nothing to do with the regime. We asked them what is taking place in homos. They said there is nothing in Homos. As usual there are some open fire and skirmishes. Even as far as the debatable footage is concerned, were these from the loyalists or the opposition? I myself have nothing to do with this piece of news. However, notice its timing. It is natural that anyone in the Arab world and the Islamic word – whether with the regime or against it - would be moved when he watches or hears it. Was the momentum that came prior to the security council meeting based on facts or was that mere exploitation of the media and media outlets, events, emotions, feeling and blood in the framework of a battle which wants to achieve its goals whether through permissible or forbidden means? Isn't this the story?

There are many similar stories. We may remain giving such examples on what is being said in the media on the Syrian issue and which are groundless until next morning. They are absolutely groundless. When they talk about the killed, they say their number. However they did not specify the killed. Who are affiliates to the regime? Who are security men? Who are army men? Who are from the ordinary people? Nobody gives these details. They put you before numbers and you are supposed to take a position or get drowned in the details and step out from the general scene.

Here I call on you, all the people in the Arab and Islamic world and all those who hear me and want to hear me: It is my obligation to say that we are supposed to step out somehow from details and to see the greater scene. That's because when we get drowned in details we will not be able to figure out what is right and what is wrong. No one is infallible as far as details are concerned. Everyone – we as well as others - makes mistakes when it comes to details. So let's head towards the greater scene and through it see what is right and what is wrong and thus push things in that direction. That is if we want to think of the nation, of Syria and the Syrian people, and of Palestine and its sanctities. Let's head to the greater affair and address it. We would go to details to see what is wrong later or as we move along. We would always lose the strategy or the greater true scene as we get drowned or taken by details.

So let's move to the greater scene and say a couple of words on it. What is the status quo in Syria? There is a regime which still exists. It has its leadership, institutions and constitution. The army is with this regime. In the media they talk about dissociations and according to my information some members or officers quit. However that does not mount to dissociations in the sense that a battalion, a brigade, a squad or the like detached. I do not think so. Even more, nothing of that has been claimed. The army stands by the regime and is a part of it. There is a great section of people who express their support to the regime. They demonstrate in streets and they show in polls. I will not mention a percentage. However they exist. So we are not saying that the regime exists but it is popularly isolated. That's not true. The demonstrations bear witness on that. Some Lebanese newspapers wrote that those who gathered in the Umayyad Square when President Assad delivered his speech were tens or thousands of people whom an active party in Lebanon brought from Lebanon to Damascus. Which is the active party in the Majority? That means Hezbollah. Today connotations are being more obvious than declarations. Tens of thousands entered Syria from the Masnaa Border Point in buses and headed to Umayyad Square and no one took footages of them. No one noticed them but a Lebanese newspaper which is interested in this event so as to say that the people are not with the regime. These were not Syrians. Hezbollah rather brought them from Lebanon. Much is being said similar to this pattern. No, a section of the Syrian people - apart from their percentage – is still with the regime.

Second, there is an opposition to this regime whether political, popular or armed though the military aspect is prevailing on the field opposition.

Third, a number of Syrian regions are witnessing armed clashes. Media outlets give contradictory reports on the nature and details of these armed confrontations. However for sure there are armed clashes. Still a great part of Syria enjoys a degree or relative security and stability. This is inside Syria.

Outside Syria and in the general scene, no one can argue that there is an American-western-Israeli- Arab decision (on the level of the Arab moderate countries) to topple the regime in Syria. This is the fact which we sensed in the Security Council and we see every day. This is the truth.

Weeks ago, an official in the Israeli War Ministry wrote a personal analysis in which he appeared to be defending the regime of Bashar Assad. Everyone in March 14 Bloc – whether their heads, senior figures, members, press or TV outlet – delivered a statement and made lengthy analyses to the effect that a front in Israel, Hezbollah, Iran and the regime of Bashar Assad are in face of the entire Arab nation.

This is a part of the misleading misconceptions. There is an Israeli consensus – however to be precautious I will say there is an Israeli semi-consensus – on toppling the regime of Bashar Assad. What does March 14 Bloc have to say? They are speechless. The scene has changed. Israel has become on the other camp and we remained alone. This is the truth. So today there is an American decision to topple the regime, a western decision to topple the regime, an Israeli decision to topple the regime and a decision taken by a number of moderation countries to topple the regime. We say Arab moderation countries as a show of respect. So why is this decision taken? Is it for democracy? Do they all have democracy and human rights? We will not evoke this issue. This is one point.

Let's continue. They want to topple the regime to bring about an alternative regime. Many among the common friends made discussions with us: Why are you worried? Why are you with the regime in Syria and against toppling it – and this is our obvious political stance? There is no problem in a new regime. We guarantee for you the support of the resistance. Arms will reach. Ammunition will reach. The stance from Israel will not change. This has been said and is being said behind the scenes. Some people said: Well, if it is so, why do you involve yourselves in such a decision?

We do not involve ourselves. We are rather in harmony with ourselves in taking this stance. I have an appealing inquiry. I really appreciate and understand that the Islamic movements which won the elections in the rising countries are before a great challenge and very serious events. They are before several events and they are targeted. I tell them: You are targeted by the Americans who want to frustrate your project. They will put before you as Islamic Movements in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen and anywhere else a great number of crises, pressures, hard conditions, mounting chaos and uncontrolled media. After three or four years you will not be able to do anything. This is a real target today to try the Islamic movements. This needs a lengthy speech in the future.

However some Islamic movements today – I personally know them. They are my friends. We met together and had lunch and dinner together. So we are close – and due to the political conditions in their countries are not taking clear stances towards the national cause and the Israeli issue. Rather at times they issue equivocal stances. When we inquire and make discussions, they would tell us that there are special conditions and we have to appreciate that. This is their stance at a time nothing critical is taking place. Some of these regimes are far away from the countries neighboring Palestine. So what if we come to Syria? It is one of the countries neighboring Palestine. There would be American and Israeli demands. America and Israel will come to the alternative country and tell it: We have helped you and supported you. We fought Syria for your sake. Well what will you offer in return? Are democracy and reforms what is demanded in return in Syria? President Bashar Assad is willing to offer that. No what is demanded is the head of the resistance in Lebanon, the head of the resistance in Palestine, the head of the Palestinian cause and the head of the Palestinian people. This is the truth.

Fourth, the regime is saying it's ready to carry reforms. In the coming few days – as far as I know – a draft constitution is to be announced. What was the demand of those who talked with us? The utmost demand was annulling Article 8 from the Syria Constitution – meaning the article that says that Baath Party is the leader of the state and the society. The Syrian leadership is willing to cancel Article 8 as far as I know. Secondly they demand multiplicity of parties. The regime agrees on that. Third they demand electing the president. The regime also agrees. They also agree on electing him for two tenures. The present Syrian leadership is ready to carry the required reforms and is ready for dialogue. All of a sudden they say we do not want dialogue and we do not want reform. It is too late. Why is it too late? There is war in Syria. There is fighting in Syria? Some are pushing Syria towards civil war. Indeed some people say in the media that there is sectarian war, and this is not true. The armed groups are killing members of various sects. They killed Sunnites - Syrian Sunnites - more than members of other sects. It is not true that it's a sectarian war. They want to push Syria towards civil war. He who wants to spare the blood, is cautious not to shed Syrian blood, cares for the Syrian people and the future of Syria does not say it is too late. He doesn't go for dialogue with conditions: either the president resigns or there is no dialogue. So they have targets. Whoever is cautious to keep Syria intact heads to dialogue with no conditions. Despite all what took place in Lebanon, when the Arabs used to hold talks with us, they used to tell us to go to dialogue with no conditions. Though when it comes to Syria, there must be conditions. The leadership is saying it is ready for dialogue. It is ready to carry reforms. It is ready to put a timetable for reforms. It is ready to address the situation in Syria. So why is the door closed before that? Is this a show of concern to the Syrian people? Is this a show of concern to the strength of Syria? Does that serve Palestine and the Palestinian Cause? Whom does this conduct adopted today by America, the West, Israel along with some Arab countries serve? Whom does this conduct serve? Here I am saying what I will say absolutely for Allah. Some might say I am suspicious in my figuring out. Well, I say these are the facts. Let's examine facts and indications. Let's step out of details. In details we have this is killed and that is killed and this did so. These are details. If we get drowned in details we will move towards more killing, more fighting and more bloodshed.

Let's step to the general scene to address the situation. This is what serves Syria, the people of Syria, the future of Syria, the Arabs, the Muslims, Palestine and Lebanon.

The call for the dialogue table is true. There is readiness for reforms. Let people lower their ceilings. They bargain on the west, America, money and arms to topple the regime. What will that lead to along? I believe this is a losing bargain anyway. It will lead to more killing, war, destruction, sedition and enmity. What is the need for all of that as long as it is an internal affair and as long as we talk about reforms? Well let's address this issue. This is our stance. If it is accepted, let's trust in Allah and get started. If it is not accepted, people are free. Let everyone take the stance it likes. We see in this stance the interest of Syria and the people of Syria, the interest of Lebanon and the people of Lebanon, the interest of Palestine and the people of Palestine apart from revenge, reprisal, hatred, and personal or factional enmities which some take as a starting point.

Finally, I will say a word on the Lebanon. As for the government, we take pains that the government remain in office. Mediation is not required now because addressing the current crisis is the responsibility of all the governmental sides. Contacts are underway and that will lead God willing to addressing the crisis. I tell those who started preparing their suits and neckties for the new government. This government will remain in office because security and political stability is required in Lebanon at this stage. Living affairs on top of which come power and unemployment must be addressed. This government is achieving that though it is not the government of Hezbollah. Praise be to Allah now they ceased to say so. Yesterday someone said referring to the government: the antagonistic groups in the Lebanese government. This is good. It is not the government of Hezbollah anymore. Apart from its title, this government so far is the basis of security and political stability in the country. So it is possible that it achieves something. It is trying to achieve something. We must work industriously that it achieves something. It's no time for toppling governments and for having political and security tension in Lebanon. This is not for the interest of Lebanon. The entire region is dependent on the events that are taking place in it. With our cooperation, sincerity, openness to one another we may be able to overcome this difficult stage Inshallah.