Nasrallah. Pointing fingers
Photo: AFP

Nasrallah: US, Israel pressured Hariri to cancel our deal

Hezbollah secretary-general claims Lebanese PM Saad Hariri backed out on agreement to stop cooperating with international tribunal at the last minute, over pressure from US, Israel

Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah gave a speech Sunday, five days after his organization toppled the Saad Hariri government raising concerns Lebanon was heading towards another civil war.


A day before an international tribunal files an indictment draft on the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, Nasrallah accused Israel and the United States of being behind the investigation and claimed that Prime Minister Saad Hariri backed out of an agreement between the parties which was brokered by Saudi Arabia and Syria.


"We had reached the conclusion that we must withdraw the Lebanese judges, stop Lebanese funding of the tribunal and cancel the agreement between Lebanon and the court," Nasrallah said referring to the agreement. "And the Saudis told us they, as well as Hariri, agree to the three clauses."


Nasrallah claimed that "Hariri traveled to the US to seal the deal but without prior warning said 'Sorry, we can't do it.' We were informed that efforts had suddenly ceased, without prior warning. Who is it that stopped the process?"


Nasrallah further added, "It's clear that the US and Israel were against these efforts from the outset…They allowed the plan to move forward despite counting on the fact it will meet difficulties but recently observed great progress and a sudden agreement. They forcefully interfered and announced the plan cannot move forward and must be halted in a sudden manner." 

Nasrallah. 'Israel assassinated Hariri' (Photo: Reuters) 


In his speech Sunday, Nasrallah said that Hezbollah will not divulge his plans for the future before indictment are filed Monday or Tuesday. "How shall we respond? This involves consultations Hezbollah leadership holds with our allies, but surely all we said was true – we shall not allow our name and respect to be compromised or someone tainting us with the blood of the shahid Rafiq Hariri. Tomorrow or the next day we shall announce what our response will be."


The Hexbollah chief said that based on statements made by the US and Israel vis-a-vis Hezbollah and Hariri's attempts to reach an agreement, it was obvious they were the ones responsible for impeding it.


He addressed Hariri: "Why did you go to the US where efforts were halted and matters were back at square one? It raises serious questions...Hariri and his camp – they either never accepted this move and only surrendered to the Saudis or went along with the Saudis, but were met by an aggressive US stance. If America tells him 'no' then it's 'no.'


Hezbollah won't support Hariri as PM

Nasrallah, who repeated his claim that Israel has assassinated Hariri said that Hezbollah did not want to topple the government which had enemies from its first days. "When we face such an impotent government, we must decide. We had no choice but to resign and topple a useless government…We did not do it on the streets or with arms. We did it in a civilized manner."


He announced that the Hezbollah-led opposition has unanimously decided not to support Hariri for next prime minister but refused to name any other candidate they supported.


On Saturday, a US news website reported that the international tribunal was slated to indict Iranian spiritual leader Ali Khamenei for giving the order to murder Hariri in february 2005. The report's credibility is unclear.


Also Saturday, the Hezbollah affiliated Al Jadid TV network released an audio tape in which Saad Hariri is heard coordinating what should be done to implicate Syria with the murder with a main witness in the trial. This was recorded shortly after the murder, when Syria was targeted as the primary suspect in the assassination. The suspicion has since been lifted.


The Lebanese al-Mustaqbal network, owned by the Hariri family, reported Sunday that the international tribunal announced that prosecutor Daniel Bellemare completed the indictment draft and that the papers will be handed to the judge within days, Wednesday at the latest.



פרסום ראשון: 01.16.11, 21:42
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