Warned Hezbollah. Clinton
Photo: AFP

Clinton warns Syria of dangers of smuggling arms to Hezbollah

Day after Nasrallah threatens to 'cut hands' of those who will try to arrest Shiite group operatives over Hariri assassination, Secretary of state says Washington committed to preserving stability in Lebanon

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, referring to reports of continued arms smuggling from Syria to the Hezbollah in Lebanon, said the US warns against the dangers of transferring technologies and advanced weaponry to the Shiite movement.


In an interview with the Lebanese daily al-Nahar, published Friday, Clinton also warned Hezbollah against the use of violence in its attempts to stop the international investigation into the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.


The top diplomat said Hezbollah must realize that violence goes against the interests of the US, Lebanon and the entire Middle East, adding "They should also know that if the goal of violence is to stop the tribunal, it won't work."


Clinton said "intimidation or threats" from Hezbollah should not be tolerated.


"The problem in Lebanon is not the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. The problem is that some are threatening violence in order to try to stop justice," she said in the interview.


Addressing reports of the massive smuggling of arms – including long-range missiles - from Syria to Hezbollah, Clinton said Washington was committed to preserving stability in Lebanon and would not accept any attempt to jeopardize the country's security.


On Thursday Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah threatened his opposition in Lebanon and the International Court of Justice in The Hague and claiming Israel was behind attempts to charge his group for assassinating Hariri.


Nasrallah also issued a veiled threat against current Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri and accused him of assisting the US in hurting Hezbollah.


In a televised speech in honor of the so-called Martyr Day and with rising tensions ahead of the completion of a UN investigation in the backdrop, Nasrallah stressed that 'Those who imagine that we will allow the arrest or detention of any of our fighters are mistaken."


"We will cut off the hand that reaches out for any one of them. Those who think that the resistance will not defend itself and its dignity against any accusation are mistaken," he said.


The rising tensions in Lebanon are also affecting burgeoning US ties to Syria.


Clinton said Syria's behavior "has not met our hopes and expectations" over the past 20 months.


President Barack Obama has made repeated overtures to Damascus this year in an attempt to peel Syria away from its alliance with Iran and the militant groups Hezbollah and Hamas.


But in October, the American ambassador to the United Nations accused Syria of working with Iran and Hezbollah to destabilize Lebanon.


"Syria's actions have not met its international obligations. Syria can still choose another path and we hope that it does," Clinton said.


AP contributed to the report 



פרסום ראשון: 11.12.10, 11:31
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