Photo: AFP
Hassan Nasrallah
Photo: AFP
Photo: AP
'Lebanese should preserve victory'
Photo: AP
Nasrallah: We'll hold on to rockets
Hizbullah's chief says in interview that while his organization reserves right to operate in south Lebanon, it will not do so unless Israel attacks. Nasrallah urges Lebanese to preserve 'victory's achievements'
Hizbullah will not relinquish its rocket and missile reserve, and it intends to hold on to it, the organization's chief, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, said in an interview to the as-Safir newspaper. Nasrallah added that Hizbullah will only use the rockets if it is attacked by Israel.


"We have just come out of the war, and are not in a hurry to carry out operations in the Shebaa farms. However, we reserve the right to do so. No one can send calming messages to Israel on this matter," Nasrallah stated.


In the interview, Nasrallah stressed that Lebanon must preserve the achievements obtained by his group, and warned his local rivals of "blackening the face of victory."


"The responsibility of Lebanon and the Lebanese, who think of themselves as parties to this triumph, to act in order to maintain this victory and not allow it to be lost. Maintaining the triumph is always more difficult than gaining it, and in Lebanon this is even harder," he stated.


According to Nasrallah, the Israel Defense Forces, which used to be a legend, "has turned into an example of failure and embarrassment in this war. The army used everything it had, except for nuclear weapons, but failed to achieve the goals on which it declared: Annihilating Hizbullah and the group's rocket infrastructure, and releasing the two captive soldiers. Olmert's greatest achievement in this long and extensive war was that he brought civilians to the shelters."


When asked what were the chances that Israel launch a new war in the region, Nasrallah replied: "If Israel wants to open a new war, it will have to make a thousand calculations, especially if we reach a reasonable state of affairs in Lebanon, after the Lebanese army and UNIFIL deploy, and in a way that does not jeopardize Hizbullah's weapons, which defeated Israel."


Nasrallah added that Israel will have to make the same calculations regarding Syria.


Hizbullah's chief also called for renewal of the "national dialogue" on the state's defense strategy, and said that the experience gained in the recent war should be taken into consideration. He said that the resistance served as an alternative for the vacuum left by the state, but added that if the country is strong enough to defend the people, this may serve as a solution and an outlet for his group's weapons.


During the war, Nasrallah has on several occasions lashed out at the Arab leaders for failing to support him, and for even standing in his way in his war against Israel. Now, the group head said that he was willing to rehabilitate the relations with the Arab states, Saudi Arabia in particular, and that Hizbullah was holding contacts with several countries through "mutual friends."


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