Tracker

Iran-Lebanese Hezbollah Relationship Tracker 2010

 

The Critical Threats Project’s Iran Tracker will be providing biweekly updates on Hezbollah’s relationship with Iran.  Iran Tracker will document Hezbollah’s interactions with Iranian officials, information regarding the organization’s funding transfers of arms and materiel, militant operations, meetings and relations with groups and countries, and Hezbollah’s official statements.

Please see full reports on the Iran-Hezbollah relationship for 2008 and for 2009.

 
IRANIAN-HEZBOLLAH RELATIONS
FUNDING
ARMS TRANSFERS and MILITANT OPERATIONS
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
HEZBOLLAH STATEMENTS

LAST UPDATE: 05:00 PM EST on 31 DECEMBER

highlights in bold represent recent updates

 
IRANIAN-HEZBOLLAH RELATIONS

DEC 20: Supreme Leader Khamene’i dismissed the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon, calling it “a rubber stamp court.” He stated, “Any verdict it may issue is null and void… I hope the influential parties involved in Lebanon will act based on wisdom and logic so that this issue doesn't turn into a problem.”[1]

NOV 29: Iranian Supreme Leader Khamene’i told Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri to strengthen his ties with Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, stating “these relations must be more consolidated.” He added, “As long as the occupying Zionist regime exists, Lebanon needs resistance.”[2]

NOV 29: U.S. diplomatic memos illegally released by WikiLeaks reveal that Iranian Red Crescent ambulances were used to transfer weapons to Hezbollah during the 2006 war with Israel. One document stated that “IRC shipments of medical supplies served also to facilitate weapons shipments” and that a witness “had seen missiles in the planes destined for Lebanon when delivering medical supplies to the plan.”[3]

NOV 10: Fars News Agency reported that Hezbollah’s Labor Union head Hashem Salhab met with an Iranian labor contingent in Beirut. Salhab stated that “Lebanon is prepared to increase cooperation with Iran in labors issues.”[4]

NOV 2: Tehran Times reported that Iran’s ambassador to Lebanon Ghadanfar Rukun Abadi met with envoys from Syria and Saudi Arabia to discuss the potentially destabilizing effect of the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL). He said that “preserving Lebanon's unity is of the utmost importance” to Iran and that he was not worried because he trusts in “the awareness of the (Lebanese) people and all political parties.”[5]

OCT 17: Iran reportedly orchestrated a deal to position Nouri al Maliki as Iraq’s new prime minister that involved Syria, Hezbollah and the highest Shiite authorities. According to London’s the Guardian, Sheikh Mohamed Kawtharani, a member of Hezbollah’s politburo, spoke with Moqtada al Sadr in Qom, Iraq, to convince him to support Maliki, along with General Qassem Suleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s Qods Force.[6]

OCT 14: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah met at the Iranian Embassy in Beirut to discuss regional and domestic developments.[7]

OCT 14: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a speech in Bint Jbeil, “Today the resistance in Lebanon has become an example to the resistance of all the nations. . . . Resistance is the key of victory to the Lebanese nation and all the nations in the region.”[8]

OCT 5: Iran’s Press TV reports that Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said, “Iran is ready to provide unlimited economic and even military support for the Lebanese government and people.”[9]

AUG 30: Iranian ISNA news agency quoted President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying that an alliance of Lebanon’s resistance groups and Iran would work against the “enemies of humanity.”  “Iran and Lebanon share heavy responsibilities and missions… Enemies are endeavoring to damage Lebanon’s solidarity and unity, but Lebanese resistance groups will thwart their plots and conspiracies with their tact and promotion of solidarity.”[10]

AUG 25: Iranian Defense Minister Ahmed Vahidi said Iran is ready to equip the Lebanese Armed Forces after Nasrallah’s proposal that Lebanon seek aid from Iran. Vahidi said, “Lebanon is a friend and its army is our friend, he said. “We are prepared to help them . . . should there be a request.”[11]

AUG 23: A source told al Liwaa newspaper that recent statements by Iranian officials on the UN-backed Special Tribunal are due to fears that Iranians, including IRGC Qods Force Commander in Lebanon Hassan Mahdavi and IRGC Qods Force Commander Qassem Soleimani, will be indicted in the Hariri assassination.[12]

AUG 12: Corriere della Sera, an Italian paper, reported that a secret meeting between IRGC head of intelligence bureau Hossein Taeb and the new Turkish intelligence chief, Hakan Fidan, occurred in which Turkey and Iran signed an agreement that established territorial continuity between Iran, Syria, Turkey, and Lebanon. The route will be used, according to Western sources, as a way to transport “sophisticated weapons” from Turkey to Syria to Lebanon.  The IRGC would, in coordination with Hezbollah, facilitate and ensure the arms transfers.  The Iranians are seeking to build a network like that in Sudan.  The Turkish Foreign Ministry later denied the report.[13]

AUG 12: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad welcomed Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah’s allegations of Israeli involvement in the 2005 assassination of Rafik Hariri. The “very damning evidence has exposed all of the Zionist enemy's conspiracies," he said. Last week Der Spiegel reported that the IRGC Qods Force Commander in Lebanon, Hassan Mahdavi, has told Nasrallah that Iran does not want to be implicated in the Hariri murder in any context. [14]

AUG 10: Iran’s ambassador to Lebanon Ghadanfar Rukun Abadi met with Lebanese army chief General Jean Qahwaji to offer Iranian assistance to the Lebanese Armed Forces.[15]

AUG 9: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met with Lebanese Foreign Minister Ali Shami to convey “solidarity and unity” against Israel.  Shami commended Iran’s “material and spiritual support for Lebanon,” according to ISNA.[16]

AUG 6: Ali Akbar Velayati, the top foreign affairs advisor to Khamene’i, met with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah in Lebanon. The two “agreed that the tribunal has been orchestrated by the Zionist regime and its allies,” Press TV reports. Velayati also met with Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri, President Suleiman, and Speaker Berri. He stressed the “fraternal relations between Iran and Lebanon” and praised the “Lebanese Resistance.” [17]

AUG 5: Syria and Iran signed a memo of understanding on cooperation in road, aerial, marine and railroad transport in order to increase the flow of goods between the countries. Iranian transportation officials also announced plans for a national railway to link Lebanon to Iran via Iraq and Syria.[18]

AUG 4: Fars News reports that Khamene’i’s representative to the IRGC Ali Saeedi emphasized support for “the Lebanese and Palestinian Islamic Resistance groups,” calling Lebanon and Palestine the “front line” for Iran’s confrontation with its enemies.[19]

AUG 3: The Iranian foreign ministry said the “hysterical assault” by Israel raised the risk of “a new adventure” against Lebanon.[20]

AUG 2: Der Spiegel reports that a meeting took place between Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and the IRGC Qods Force Commander in Lebanon, Hassan Mahdavi. Nasrallah told Mahdavi he had agreed “in an emergency” to allow the UN-backed Special Tribunal to prosecute the main suspects, Abd al Majid Ghalush and Hajj Salim, and to claim that they were manipulated by foreign intelligence agencies. Mahdavi allegedly stated that Iran does not want to be implicated in the Hariri murder in any context.[21]

JULY 27: In anticipation of indictments of Hezbollah members, Iranian Speaker of the Parliament Ali Larijani said the UN-backed Special Tribunal is playing a political game “aimed at pressuring Iran and Hezbollah to help Israel propose a new peace plan.” He said no peace plan is possible as long as Israel exists, and warned the Tribunal to “think twice because this game could cut their hands.”[22]

JULY 8: The chairman of Iran’s Guardian Council, Ahmad Jannati, met with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah in Beirut to convey his condolences following the death the senior Lebanese Shi’ite leader Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah. Jannati also attended the funeral of Fadlallah while in Beirut.[23]

JULY 7: Israeli newspaper Jerusalem Post reported that a senior IDF officer named Hassan Mahdavi, a senior member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ Qods Force, as the overseer of Hezbollah’s operations in Lebanon.  Reportedly, part of Mahdavi’s work is to oversee daily operations and to be a liaison between Tehran and Beirut.[24]

MAY 25: Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah met with the new Iranian ambassador to Lebanon, Ghadanfar Rukun Abadi, to discuss political developments in Lebanon.[25]

MAY 3: The former Iranian ambassador to Syria dismissed U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s claims that Syria had transferred Scuds to Hezbollah. Hussein Sheikh al Islam said Secretary Clinton “is not particularly intelligent” and “doesn’t know what a Scud missile is or what the border between Syria and Lebanon looks like.”[26]

MARCH 18: Sheikh Naim Qassem, the Deputy Secretary-General of Hezbollah threatened Israel that a “heavy price” would be paid if Israel attacked Iran.  Qassem declined to detail any role that Hezbollah would play in extracting revenge on Israel for an attack on Iran.[27]

FEB 25: Nasrallah attended a banquet in Damascus hosted by President Bashar al Assad in honor of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  Al Manar reported that the three met to discuss regional developments and the “Zionist threat against Lebanon and Syria.”[28]

FEB 18: Ahmadinejad and Nasrallah discussed recent developments in Lebanon during a telephone conversation.  Reportedly, Ahmadinejad told Nasrallah to be ready to confront Israeli threats and that should Israel attack, Hezbollah forces could respond to "close their case once and for all.”[29]

JAN 17: Nasrallah met with Iranian Vice-President of the Shura Council Mohammed Reza Tajeddini in Beirut to discuss local and regional issues.[30]

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FUNDING

DEC 16: The Jerusalem Post reported that Israeli intelligence assessments indicate that Iran’s leadership has cut Hezbollah’s annual budget by over 40 percent.  In addition, the report claimed that “According to information that has reached Israel, [Qods Force Commander in Lebanon Hassan] Mahdavi has clashed with senior Hizbullah officials…on critical issues pertaining to the group, which is refusing to accept the Iranian’s authority.”[31]

OCT 1: A South Florida businessman, Khaled Safadi, pled guilty to charges against him.  U.S. authorities accused him shipping video game consoles and cameras to a South American mall.[32]

AUG 3: The U.S. Treasury Department announced new sanctions targeting Iranian-linked terrorist organizations. “Iran is the primary funder of Hizballah and has long been recognized as the most active state sponsor of terrorism,” it stated. Four of the designees were senior IRGC Qods Force officers, including Hushang Allahdad, a financial liaison to Hezbollah, and Hassan Mahdavi, the commander of the IRGC-QF in Lebanon. Mahdavi, also known as Mohammad Reza Zahedi, recently met with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah regarding the UN-backed Special Tribunal.  Treasury designated the Iranian Committee for the Reconstruction of Lebanon (ICRL) and its director Hessam Khoshnevis for providing funding and expertise to Hezbollah’s reconstruction and telecommunications projects. The Imam Khomeini Relief Committee in Lebanon and its director Ali Zuraik were designated for assisting Hezbollah with youth training camps. Treasury also designated Syrian-based Iranian official Razi Musavi, “a key conduit for Iranian support to Hizballah.”[33]

JULY 30: President Barack Obama renewed an asset freeze on persons who work with Hezbollah. “[A]rms transfers to Hezbollah that include increasingly sophisticated weapons systems serve to undermine Lebanese sovereignty, contribute to political and economic instability in Lebanon, and continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States,” he said.[34]

JULY 1: An NCO in the IDF is accused of passing sensitive information to drug smugglers allied with Hezbollah. The soldier is believed to have provided information on the positions of Israeli troop positions for the drug traffickers to avoid.[35]

JUNE 25: Republican Congresswoman Sue Myrick said that Hezbollah was using Mexican drug routes to expand its influence. Myrick alleged that "Iranian agents and members of Hezbollah" were training at a Venezuelan facility where they were learning Spanish and posing as Mexicans in order to gain entry into the United States.[36]

JUNE 16: A Lebanese citizen suspected of financing Hezbollah was arrested by Interpol in Paraguay in the tri-border region near Brazil and Argentina. Interpol authorities in Paraguay are deciding whether to extradite Moussa Hamdan to the United States, where he has an outstanding warrant for his arrest.[37]

JUNE 4: Two Lebanese-Americans were arrested at their home in Ohio on suspicion of providing material support for Hezbollah. Hor Akl and his wife Amera were charged with conspiring to support a foreign terrorist organization, money laundering and arson relating to insurance fraud. They were planning to travel to Lebanon to visit relatives and were seeking to deliver $500,000 to Hezbollah.[38]

APRIL 20: The Pentagon released a report saying that Iran has provided Hezbollah with weapons and up to $200 million a year.[39]

MARCH 15: A former HSBC employee said Mossad agents had approached him while he worked at the bank about potential connections HSBC had with Hezbollah. He said the Mossad agents believed that Hezbollah was using HSBC for their criminal operations.[40]

FEB 25: Al Seyassah reported that Ahmadinejad transferred $300 million to Nasrallah at the meeting.  Nasrallah had asked for the money from Khamene’i, who then moved it from his account under the line items of “Exporting the Islamic Revolution” and “Funds of the Oppressed.”  Hassan Mahdavi, the Force Commander of the Lebanese Qods Corps, IRGC, will personally oversee the disbursement of the funds.[41]

FEB 19: U.S. federal agents arrested three businessmen, Khaled T. Safadi, Ulises Talavera, and Emilio Gonzalez-Neira, in south Florida on charges of exporting video games and electronic products to a mall in Paraguay that served as a front for Hezbollah.  A fourth man was also charged in the indictment, but was not arrested.[42]

JAN 12: Hezbollah denied reports that it trafficked drugs to Europe to fund its activities.  The German magazine Der Spiegel published the original report.[43]

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ARMS TRANSFERS and MILITANT OPERATIONS

DEC 7: AFP reported that a Pentagon official believes Hezbollah possesses fifty thousand rockets and missiles, including 40 to 50 Fateh-110 missiles and 10 Scud-D missiles.[44]

NOV 6: Israeli daily Haaretz reported that Iran delivered multiple unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and an attack aircraft to Hezbollah. The report said that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) was behind the transfer and sent experts to Lebanon to train Hezbollah personnel.[45]

OCT 26: The French newspaper Le Figaro reported the details of Hezbollah arms transfers from Syria into Lebanon, implicating Syria for helping the group reconstitute its arsenal. Three units are responsible for arms transfers: Unit 108, which controls movement of arms in Syria to the Lebanese border; Unit 112, which controls movement across the border into sites in Lebanon; and Unit 100, which has received weapons training in Tehran.[46]

OCT 24: Classified U.S. military documents released by Wikileaks revealed evidence that in 2006 Iran enlisted Hezbollah to provide paramilitary training to insurgents in Iraq. One report said that training exercises took place in Iran and that Hezbollah militants were advising members of the Shiite extremist group Jaysh al Mahdi on a mission to kidnap U.S. soldiers in Iraq.[47]

OCT 16: 300 kilograms of explosives, 250 kilograms of dynamite and about 50 kilograms of C4, were found near the south Lebanese village of Shuba, along with two Kalashnikov rifles.  The cache was transferred to a Lebanese army base.[48]

OCT 8: The Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, reports that Google Earth satellite imagery taken on March 22 shows what appears to be five 11-meter-long missiles, allegedly Scud B or Scud C missiles) at the Syrian military base in Adra.  Two other missiles, one mounted on a mobile launcher, are reportedly in a training area with 20 to 25 people.[49]

SEPT 20: Special Hezbollah units in Iran have successfully tested the third generation of the Iranian missile, the Fatah 110, according to a report by Kuwaiti newspaper al Rai. The report said the Iranian missile has a maximum range of 200 kilometers and uses solid fuel propellant. This means it is capable of reaching occupied Jerusalem and Ashdod if it was to be launched from the Lebanese border.[50]

SEPT 14: Head of the Israeli Counter-Terrorism Bureau, BG Nitzan Nuriel, said, “Hizbullah has weapons that are not found in Europe … [it] has unmanned drones and missiles with a range of more than 300 km and so is the case of Hamas in Gaza.”  He added that Syria “[provides] rockets for [Hamas and Hezbollah], and for this we send a clear message to Syria: next time you transfer missiles we will respond. . .”[51]

SEPT 3: Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren warned that Hezbollah has placed around 15,000 rockets on Lebanon’s southern border, some of which could hit Eilat.  He added, “Today, those same missiles have been placed under hospitals, and homes and schools because Hezbollah knows full well if we try to defend ourselves against them, we will be branded once again as war criminals….We know Hezbollah has in violation of UN resolutions once again penetrated southern Lebanon, transformed entire villages into armed camps and put in about 15,000 rockets along the Israeli border.”[52]

SEPT 1: Kuwaiti paper al Rai reports that Syria and Hezbollah have signed a defense pact with “broad-based ‘field understandings.’”  The two would have “combat cooperation” and there will be a joint intelligence center established.[53]

SEPT 3: A number of explosions reportedly blasted through a house in the city of Shehabiyeh, a Hezbollah stronghold in south Lebanon. The house, allegedly functioning as an arms depot, is in the regional purview of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). State-run National News Agency reported the story, though it later withdrew its report. Hezbollah released a statement explaining that there were no casualties in the “fire” and that a police investigation is ongoing. A source reported that uniformed members of Hezbollah prevented journalists from entering the site. Lebanese security forces later reported that five people were injured in the explosions. An Israel Defense Forces’ unmanned aerial vehicle in the region made available footage of the smoke originating from the site. [54]

AUG 9: The Israeli DEBKAfile website reports that a group of Iranian intelligence officers toured the Lebanese border to view Israeli army positions after last week’s armed clashes.[55]

AUG 6: Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren claimed Hezbollah has an arsenal of more than 42,000 Iranian and Syrian-supplied rockets.[56]

AUG 6: Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in an interview that despite the 2006 Summer War and subsequent UN Security Council resolutions, Lebanon “is full now with 45,000 rockets and missiles of all kinds covering Israel.”[57]

JULY 19: A report in the World Tribune said that Hezbollah now has 5,000 militants deployed along the Israeli border. The fighters were said to be conducting reconnaissance missions, operating out of civilian homes, hospitals and schools.[58]

JULY 13: Israeli defense officials are worried that Hezbollah may be tunneling under the Israeli-Lebanese border to attack IDF positions or a border community. Officials believe that Hezbollah militants would use the tunnels to kidnap soldiers, as they did in 2006, or to barricade themselves inside a house with Israeli civilians. Hezbollah could also use the tunnels to plant explosives at strategic points along Israel’s northern border.[59]

JULY 8: Reports of an Iran funded a M600 missile factory in Syria that will send half of its output to Hezbollah, according to a report in the French newsletter Intelligence Online.[60]

JULY 8: IDF released aerial photographs of what it claims are Hezbollah stockpiles of weapons in towns and villages in south Lebanon, using civilians as human shields.  Lt. Col. Avital Leibovitz: “We are talking about new tactics Hezbollah has adopted since 2006… As a result of the war, Hezbollah has moved three-quarters of its weapons into urban areas.  We are talking about over 100 villages in the south that Hezbollah has turned into military bases.”  There is an average of 30-200 fighters deployed in every Shiite village across the south.  Hezbollah forces number around 20,000, over a third of whom have undergone combat training in Iran.[61]

JULY 6: Mexican police broke up a Hezbollah plot to establish a South American cell according to Kuwaiti newspaper al Seyassah. Mexican authorities arrested Jameel Nasr, the group’s leader in the region. Authorities said he made frequent trips to Lebanon to receive instructions from Hezbollah leadership, and often traveled to other Latin American countries.[62]

JUNE 30: Syria’s acquisition of advanced radar systems from Iran could potentially be transferred to Hezbollah. Hezbollah’s use of the radar system could increase the group’s ability to launch missiles accurately and improve its air defenses.[63]

JUNE 24: A report in an Albanian newspaper said that Hezbollah has received SA-16 and SA-18 anti-aircraft missiles stockpiled in Albania and smuggled through a Lebanese shipping company. The report in the Albanian newspaper Gazeta Tema accused the members of the Albanian government of purchasing the weapons from Ukraine with the specific purpose of transferring them to Hezbollah.[64]

JUNE 22: Kuwaiti newspaper al Rai reported that Hezbollah militants were able to track and almost assassinate a top Israeli official. Hezbollah operatives followed the unnamed Israeli official while he was on vacation, but called off the hit at the last minute to avoid detracting from the negative attention Israel received after the deadly Israeli raid on the Turkish flotilla.[65]

MAY 29: Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu confirmed the Times of London report that Hezbollah was operating bases in Syrian territory. Netanyahu added further that Syria had transferred Scud missiles to the Hezbollah base in Syria.[66]

MAY 28: A report in the Times of London stated that Israeli and American officials believe Syria transferred two Scud missiles into Lebanon, where they are suspected to be in an underground storage facility in the Beqa’a Valley. Israel reportedly planned to attack one of the Syrian trucks transferring weapons to Hezbollah as it crossed the Lebanese border, but held back on American request. American officials are still hoping that Syria can be convinced to stop supplying Hezbollah with weapons without military intervention. New satellite imagery shows one of the secret arms facilities in Adra, Syria, where Hezbollah militants have living facilities and trucks to transport the missiles to Lebanon. They allegedly transfer the weapons during bad weather to prevent Israeli satellites from tracking the truck movements. The weapons are moved from the Adra site to Hezbollah bases in the Beqa’a Valley or southern Lebanon.[67] 

MAY 28: The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar Ilan University in Israel released a new study indicating that Iran could easily transfer nuclear material to either Hamas or Hezbollah. The report stated that Iran had the capability to transfer nuclear weapons over land, sea or air through a variety of different transportation methods. The report also stated that the rockets and missiles currently in Hezbollah’s possession could be fitted with nuclear warheads.[68]

MAY 20: Hezbollah mobilized thousands of its militants along the southern Lebanese border in anticipation of an Israeli military exercise set to begin May 23. "The Hezbollah fighters have (been instructed) to be completely ready to confront Israeli manoeuvres on Sunday," said Nabil Qaouk, a regional commander for Hezbollah. He added that the fighters will forego going to the polls during Lebanon’s municipal elections on Sunday.[69]

MAY 18: Hezbollah sources told the Kuwaiti paper al Rai that the militant group had the capability to launch 15 tons of explosives at Israel every day in the case of another war between the two sides. The sources went on to claim that Hezbollah possesses a wide range of missiles with a heavy payload, including the 1-ton Zilzal missile and half-ton Fateh 110 and M600 missiles.[70]

MAY 12: Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that the arms seized from a cargo plane in Bangkok in December 2009 were destined for Hezbollah and Hamas.  The weapons are believed to have originated from North Korea. The Thai government said in January 2010 that the cargo plane was en route to Iran when it made an emergency landing at Bangkok International Airport.[71]

MAY 5: Israeli defense officials said that Syria had supplied Hezbollah with M600 missiles in the past year. The M600 is the Syrian version of the advanced Iranian Fateh-110 missile. The missile’s range would allow Hezbollah to hit Tel Aviv from southern Lebanon.[72]

MAY 4: Head of Israel’s Military Intelligence research department BG Yossi Baidatz said that “Weapons are transferred to Hezbollah on a regular basis and this transfer is organized by the Syrian and Iranian regimes.  Therefore, it should not be called smuggling of arms to Lebanon – it is organized and official transfer.  He called the recent alleged transfer of long-range missiles the “tip of the iceberg.”[73]

APRIL 27: U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said that “Syrian and Iran are providing Hezbollah with rockets and missiles of ever-increasing capability . . . we’re at a point now, where Hezbollah has far more rockets and missiles than most government in the world.”[74]

APRIL 13: Israeli President Shimon Peres accused Syria of providing Hezbollah with Scud missiles.  An Israeli estimate of Hezbollah’s missile arsenal is 40,000 rockets.[75]

MARCH 14: Lebanese MP Hussein Moussawi, a member of Hezbollah’s bloc, declined to comment on recent reports that the group had acquired advanced anti-aircraft weaponry.[76] 

MARCH 10: Lebanese officials resumed talks aimed at how to rein in Hezbollah’s military wing. Lebanese political parties are divided over whether or not the group should be allowed to remain armed.[77]

FEB 17: Netanyahu said that Hezbollah had around 15,000 missiles before the 2006 Second Lebanon War and now it has 60,000-70,000 missiles.[78]

JAN 23: Hezbollah placed long-range rockets deep into Lebanon and the Beqa’a Valley.  Some of Hezbollah’s rockets now have a range of over 150 miles, making it possible to hit Tel Aviv from Beirut.[79] 

JAN 21: Hezbollah militants fired an anti-tank rocket at an IDF bulldozer that was clearing a minefield along the Israeli-Lebanese border, killing one soldier.  A senior Lebanese army source said that Hezbollah fired on the tank because it had crossed the border.[80]

JAN 20: The Israeli navy seized an Iranian ship en route to Syria carrying weapons destined for Hezbollah from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.[81]

JAN 17: A U.S. official reported that Hezbollah operatives trained in Syria on SA2 anti-aircraft missile batteries.[82]

JAN 16: Nasrallah received Khaled Meshaal and other Hamas officials, including Mussa Abu Marzouq and Oussama Hamdan, to discuss the Lebanese and Palestinian situation.[83]  Reportedly, Hamas and Hezbollah concluded talks to establish a joint military command for their militias.[84]

JAN 7: UN peacekeepers uncovered 660 pounds of explosive devices near the border with Israel, possible produced by Iran or Syria.[85]

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INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

DEC 31: U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Maura Connelly stated that the release of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon “indictments… will mark a new stage in a transparent, independent judicial process -- a process that has the backing of the United Nations.” She added that the tribunal’s “work is legitimate and necessary, and cannot be stopped by any bilateral or regional agreement.”[86]

DEC 25: Lebanese President Michel Suleiman stated during a Christmas mass that “The political impasse in Lebanon is moving towards a solution,” expressing optimism that 2011 “will be the year of launching the government's work.” He added in an official statement, “We hope that the year 2011 will witness stability and economic prosperity… We have to agree on preventing what could hurt our unity.”[87]

DEC 22: U.S. Representative Steven Rothman asked France to reconsider selling Lebanon missiles in a letter to President Sarkozy, stating, “I agree in principle that strengthening the LAF against Hezbollah is an important goal, but I believe that providing the LAF with anti-tank missiles is neither helpful nor necessary in that regard… Lebanon is in a precarious situation whereby Hezbollah is in a powerful position to usurp the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF).”  He added, “If this were to occur, Israel would be in grave danger of having your anti-tank missiles used against her.”[88]

DEC 22: Lebanese PM Saad Hariri’s office issued a statement denying a report by Lebanese newspaper al Diyar which quoted Hariri as saying that, in “the interests of the country,” the Lebanese government will “work to stop the activities of the tribunal and to cancel the work protocol between the government and the tribunal.” Hariri’s office stated that the Prime Minister “did not say in front of visitors or in private meetings any of the statements attributed to him by al-Diyar.”[89]

DEC 22: UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon prosecutor Daniel Bellemare called claims that the tribunal is politicized “groundless.” “It seems to me that these allegations are made by people who may fear the outcome of the tribunal's decision or of the tribunal's effort to uncover the truth,” he stated, adding that “The fact that this institution was created by a political body or the fact that we operate in a highly politicised environment does not mean that we are politicized.”[90]

DEC 21: The U.S. Department of the Treasury designated Iranian Liner Transport Kish as a terrorism supporter “for providing material support, including weapons to Hizballah on behalf of the IRGC.”[91]

DEC 21: Lebanese PM Saad Hariri commented on Supreme Leader Khamenei’s recent dismissal of the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon, saying, “This is Iran’s position… We have nothing but respect for Ayatollah Khamene’i, and we fully respect all of his opinions, which he is free to hold.”[92]

DEC 20: U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Philip J. Crowley commented on Supreme Leader Khamenei’s condemnation of the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon, stating that “the supreme leader does not have the authority to – over the tribunal. It was convened by the United Nations. We are supporters of it, but as our statement at the opening made clear, it is independent, and we look forward to whatever judgments the tribunal issues.” He added, “We regret that there are many in the region who have chosen to politicize the work of the tribunal.”[93]

DEC 20: According to Naharnet, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s press office issued a statement announcing that Head of Defense Office Francois Roux and Deputy Head of Office Alia Aoun returned from their trip to Lebanon. The statement said that “Mr Roux noted that when the Prosecutor (Danielle Bellemare) submits the (draft) indictment to the Pre-Trial Judge (Daniel Fransen), the proceedings will enter a new phase that will either result in a confirmation or a dismissal of one or more counts in the indictment.” Roux also noted that the defense will be allowed to hear testimony from false witnesses.[94]

DEC 20: Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that “The process of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon must not be politicized.” He added that “Turkey supports the independence and sovereignty of Lebanon, attaches extreme importance to stability in that country and therefore supports the government of national unity led by Saad Hariri... Maintaining stability in Lebanon is very important for the region.”[95]

DEC 19: British Foreign Secretary William Hague said that Lebanon “is one of our concerns over the coming weeks,” adding that the country is one place “to watch for a political crisis or an outbreak of violence” in January 2011.[96]

DEC 17: The French UN mission issued a statement announcing a two million dollar contribution to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon by the French government. The statement denounced attempts to delegitimize the investigation, saying, “This tribunal must, in the interests of Lebanon as well as the entire region, be allowed to continue working completely independently and in an atmosphere of calm.” The mission added that “The international community must continue to lend the tribunal its political and financial support.”[97]

DEC 16: Lebanese President Michel Suleiman applauded in his announcement that his government would file a complaint with the UN about the recently discovered Israeli spy devices the “importance of cooperation between the Lebanese Armed Forces and Hezbollah, which helped uncover Israeli spy violations.”[98]

DEC 14: UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams met with Hezbollah International Affairs Minister Ammar Moussawi. Williams commented on the meeting in a statement, saying, “We spoke first of all about Security Council Resolution 1701 and agreed that stability has been restored in south Lebanon and along the Blue Lin.”[99]

DEC 10: U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said after traveling to Oman and the UAE that “There clearly is concern, not just in this region but elsewhere, about Iran's overall aggressive behavior with respect to Hezbollah and Lebanon and other places around the world… And I think that's a broadly shared concern.”[100]

DEC 9: Registrar of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon Herman von Hebel stated that the tribunal’s indictment is forthcoming, adding that the tribunal will not indict an organization, but individuals: “We are talking about individual criminal responsibility, not group responsibility.”[101]

DEC 9: Former Israeli Defense Minister General Mofaz stated that “Hizbullah is now stronger than the Lebanese army… and without any doubt it proved its existence and ability to control Lebanon within hours.” He added, “The Arab world and Gulf countries should ally themselves with moderate Sunni forces against Hezbollah and Iran which are trying to control the entire region and transform its (population) into Shiite.”[102]

DEC 7: Israeli Military Intelligence Official Colonel Adler stated that “Even though it has been four years since the end of the last war, the organization has a score to settle with Israel following the murder of Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh.”[103]

NOV 30: U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen told UN special envoy Terje Roed-Larsen that "Hezbollah, with the help of Iran and Syria, is massively rearming, the Lebanese government is becoming more and more subordinate to Iran and Syria, and the line between the Lebanese Armed Forces and Hezbollah is gradually being erased." She added, “We need to have a clear vision of what the end-state is and how we can achieve it… Above all, we must protect the security of the US and our allies, uphold Lebanon's sovereignty, and ensure that those responsible for (late) prime minister (Rafiq) Hariri's murder are held responsible.”[104]

NOV 30: Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak stated that “The Hezbollah continue to grow stronger, with the help of Syria and Iran, but I think that they silence along the border will continue.” He added that “if the situation deteriorates, we will hold the Lebanese government and any group which supports the Hezbollah accountable.”[105]

NOV 29: Turkish PM Erdogan stated that “no one can imagine that Hezbollah is linked to the assassination of Rafik Hariri.” He added, “Hezbollah says it is Lebanon's spirit of resistance, and even uses the term 'al-Shahid al-Hariri.' No one can imagine it is linked to this thing. The organization even supports a Syrian-Saudi initiative to reduce tensions.”[106]

NOV 29: Iranian Vice President Mohammad Reza said in a meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri that Iran supported an “integrated and united Lebanon.” Reza added that Iran “strongly advises the court (UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon) to stay away from political affairs and settle the issue peacefully."[107]

NOV 22: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the Ghajar issue, saying Israel planned to "pull out of the north side of the village and instate a regime there that would not allow the vacuum Hezbollah could use to take over the area."[108]

NOV 19: UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams said that Hezbollah’s arsenal “raises concerns” and that potential instability in Lebanon was a major worry, according to Palestinian Ma’an News Agency. Williams was also quoted as saying that Hezbollah’s weapons were “mostly Iranian-made.”[109]

NOV 15: Israeli Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi expressed concerns that Hezbollah officials may be planning a takeover in Lebanon if the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) indicts some of its members. Ashkenazi said that Hezbollah has strong ties with Iran and that Tehran’s growing influence in the region is worrisome. [110]

NOV 12: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned in an interview with al Nahar that weapons transfers to Hezbollah via Syria would not be tolerated: “Syria's behavior has not met our hopes and expectations over the past 20 months -- and Syria's actions have not met its international obligations… Syria can still choose another path and we hope that it does.” Clinton called Hezbollah’s attempts at violence and intimidation unacceptable and said that the group “should know that resorting once again to violence in Lebanon runs completely counter to the interests of the Lebanese people, the interests of the region, and of the United States… They should also know that if the goal of violence is to stop the tribunal, it won't work.” [111]

NOV 12: The U.S. released $100 million in aid to the Lebanese Armed Forces. Representative Howard Berman announced the lift, stating that the LAF took “important steps to prevent a recurrence of dangerous and provocative actions” and was reassured that Hezbollah would not get any of the money.[112]

NOV 8: The UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon will indict “between 2 and 6 members of the militant group Hezbollah by year-end,” according to the Wall Street Journal. Senior Hezbollah military commanders Mustafa Badr al Din and deceased Imad Mughniyeh are among those suspected.[113]

NOV 8: U.S. Senator John Kerry said, referencing Hezbollah, “Those who are trying to make [the STL] an issue, those who oppose it, they need to think carefully about rule of law, about the institutions that have put this tribunal together, and what it is trying to accomplish, well outside of your prime minister's ability to affect.”[114]

NOV 7: Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Hezbollah impeded negotiations surrounding the border town of Ghajar leading up to Israel’s recent decision to withdraw unilaterally. He stated, “A trilateral agreement between Israel, Lebanon and the UN could have been reached a while ago, but Hezbollah thwarted the initiative. Therefore, I suggested we reach an agreement with the UN instead of waiting for the Lebanese."[115]

NOV 6: Lebanese Armed Forces Chief Jean Qahwaji discounted reports that Hezbollah began planning for a potential takeover of Lebanon if the UN-back Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) indicts members of the group. He stated, “The party (Hezbollah) or any other one does not need to carry out such a maneuver." Qahwaji went on to reiterate that, “the army's mission is to prevent fighting between the Lebanese."[116]

NOV 2: Military Intelligence Chief Major-General Amos Yadlin warned the Israeli parliament of Hezbollah’s growing strength, saying that the organization “could get all the most advanced weapons systems possessed by Syria if it asks for them." Yadlin reminded Israeli officials of potential instability in Lebanon, adding, "If it wanted to, Hezbollah could take over Lebanon in a matter of hours.”[117]

OCT 30: A spokesman for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon criticized Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah’s call to boycott the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon saying, “Any call to boycott the tribunal was a deliberate attempt to obstruct justice.”[118]

OCT 29: U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley emphasized the destructive impact of Hezbollah’s attempts to "discredit, hinder, or politicize" the work of the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon and said that such efforts “should not be tolerated." He added, “There’s a presentation by Hassan Nasrallah that somehow one has to choose between justice and stability. And we reject that as a false choice.”[119]

OCT 29: Bashar Ja'afari, Syria's ambassador to the UN, rebuked charges levied by the U.S. ambassador that Syria had supplied weapons to militant factions in Lebanon, including Hezbollah. Ja’afari called on the international community to accept the investigation done by Syrian officials stating, "In the report, it says that the highest Lebanese officials confirmed to the Secretariat that no smuggling of weapons whatsoever took place across the Syrian-Lebanese border.”[120]

OCT 29: U.S. ambassador to the UN Susan Rice maintained that Hezbollah would not enjoy its current military superiority “if not for Syria's aide and facilitation of Syrian and Iranian arms.” Ambassador Rice said Syria’s actions and material support for Hezbollah “displayed flagrant disregard for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity and political independence of Lebanon under the sole and exclusive authority of the Lebanese government.”[121]

OCT 27: IDF officials announced plans to encrypt surveillance drone data. The announcement came in response to a Hezbollah statement asserting the group’s ability to intercept drone footage, which led to a notable ambush in 1997 known in Israel as the “Shayetat Disaster.”[122]

OCT 23: In a meeting with Lebanese President Michael Suleiman, French President Nicolas Sarkozy reportedly expressed concern over the impact of the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s findings on the situation in Lebanon.[123]

OCT 18: U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen expressed her growing concern over the influence that Iran and Hezbollah exert in Lebanon. She said that "U.S. assistance to the Lebanese armed forces cannot be reviewed in a vacuum, separate from the increasing influence of Iran, Syria, and their proxy Hizbullah over the Lebanese government."  She added, “Serious questions remain about whether U.S. security assistance to Lebanon advances American interests and whether it should continue.”[124]

OCT 18: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon expressed concern over Hezbollah’s military arsenal in his twelfth semi-annual report on UN Security Resolution 1559, stating that the group “maintains a substantial paramilitary capacity that remains distinct from and may exceed the capabilities of the Lebanese Armed Forces.” He added, “the United Nations continues to receive, on a regular basis, reports that Hizbullah is upgrading and expanding its arsenal and military capabilities.”  The UN Secretary General urged Hezbollah to disarm and “complete the group’s transformation into a solely Lebanese political party,” saying that its arsenal "creates an atmosphere of intimidation and poses a key challenge to the safety of Lebanese civilians and to the government's monopoly on the legitimate use of force."[125]

OCT 17: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “Lebanon is rapidly becoming a new satellite of Iran.  It’s a tragedy for Lebanon.”[126]

OCT 14: Mark Regev, a spokesman for the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said, “Iran’s domination of Lebanon, through its proxy Hezbollah, has prevented Lebanon from being a partner in peace and turned Lebanon into an Iranian satellite and a hub of regional terror and instability.”[127]

OCT 14: White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said, “I think [Ahmadinejad’s visit] also suggests that Hezbollah values its allegiance to Iran over its allegiance to Lebanon.”[128]

OCT 13: The Brigades of Abdullah Azzam warned Lebanese Sunnis of the danger of an Iran-Syria-Hezbollah alliance in the first statement in a series entitled, “So That the Way of the Sinners May Become Manifest.”  The Brigades warn that “Very soon will return the events of the early eighties of the past century in a similar fashion, and will return the slaughter of the Sunnis anew, and the mill of war will grind on two major axes: Lebanon and Palestine.”[129]

OCT 5: U.S. State Department spokesman Crowley said of Ahmadinejad’s upcoming visit to Lebanon: “We certainly would hope that Iran would play a constructive role in the region.  Throwing stones, whether they’re literal or figuratively – or figurative, I would not consider constructive.”  In a side meeting at the UN General Assembly, Crowley said that State “expressed our concern about [the visit] given that Iran, through its association with groups like Hezbollah, is actively undermining Lebanon’s sovereignty.”[130]

OCT 3: Syria issued warrants for the arrest of 33 people accused of providing false testimony to the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon, including “judges, security officers, politicians, journalists and other Lebanese, Arab and foreign officials and individuals.”[131]

OCT 1: Fares Souaid, coordinator of Lebanon’s March 14 alliance, said of Ahmadinejad’s planned visit to Lebanon: “The message is that Iran is at the border with Israel…. The Iranian president is here to say that Lebanon is a land of resistance and to reaffirm his project of a continuous war with Israel.”[132]

SEPT 29: Lebanon’s March 14 coalition questioned Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s forthcoming trip to Lebanon following a meeting: “... The (March 14) secretariat regards with much caution and suspicion the visit of the Iranian president to Lebanon, due to his anti-peace positions and his insistence on considering Lebanon an Iranian base on the Mediterranean coast.”[133]

SEPT 28: State Department spokesman Philip Crowley voiced “concerns about Syria’s activities inside Lebanon and its relationship with Hizbullah.” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reportedly warned Syrian FM Walid Muallem in a side meeting in New York.[134]

SEPT 28: Israel FM Avigdor Lieberman said, “Iran can exist without Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah, but the terrorist organizations cannot exist without Iran.”[135]

SEPT 26: Ahmed Helmi, the Egyptian Consul in Lebanon, met with Hussein Ezz Eddin, Hezbollah director of Arab affairs. The Egyptian government reportedly arranged the meeting through a mediator to prepare for a scheduled meeting between the Egyptian Ambassador in Lebanon, Mohamed al Bedwei, and Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah.[136]

SEPT 25: The Brigades of Abdullah Azzam releases video “vilifying” Hezbollah.  Clips are shown of Hezbollah militants killing Sunnis and receiving commuted sentences.  Hezbollah, the Brigades says, operates above the law in Lebanon and serves Iran.[137]

SEPT 25: Samir Geagea, leader of the Lebanese Forces political party, said, “[Hezbollah is] asking us to choose between the tribunal and civil peace, but our answer is the tribunal and civil peace together, because there can’t be real, profound civil peace without accountability and without putting an end to crime and criminals.”[138]

SEPT 21: Lebanese Information Minister Tarek Mitri said, “The government stressed that the media war [between the government and Hezbollah] must be stopped and a dialogue started.”[139]

SEPT 21: The Lebanese Phalange party said that Hezbollah’s arms are now “unfortunately only pointed towards the Interior, and this absolves the government” of the agreed upon “army, people, and Resistance [Hezbollah]” formula.  “Therefore, it’s impermissible any longer that a state official focus on ‘the Resistance’ in speeches and statements, especially at the foreign affairs level.”[140]

SEPT 16: Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak visited the Israeli-Lebanese border, where he said, “…[the landscape] could change very fast unfortunately, thing have happened. . . . You are required within second to stand up and demonstrate the abilities you have purchased during your service.  Hezbollah is as sophisticated as we are.  They consider every move and try to hurt and surprise us.”[141]

AUG 25: Ynet news reported that Palestinian Authority security forces have recently made dozens of arrests in the West Bank of young men suspected of making contact with Hezbollah recruiters. A Palestinian security official said Hezbollah is trying to establish a presence in the West Bank in order to conduct terror attacks on Israeli targets there and within Israel. Senior Hezbollah officer Kais Obeid, who kidnapped Israeli businessman Elhanan Tannenbaum in 2000, is coordinating the recruitment.[142]

AUG 23: The Daily Star reports that a well-informed judicial source says the UN-backed Special Tribunal’s indictments will be pushed back two months to November in order to thoroughly examine the “evidence” submitted by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.[143]

AUG 22: Iran’s Press TV reported that the Free Patriotic Movement party’s official website quotes a Saudi Arabian opposition official saying that Saudi Arabia has allocated $500 million to influence the UN-backed Special Tribunal, “not only to ruin the reputation of Hezbollah, but to tarnish the image of Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah,” the official said. The website also reported that Hezbollah has evidence about the Hariri assassination that is damaging to Saudi Arabia.[144]

AUG 19: Lebanese Forces party leader Samir Geagea proposed placing Hezbollah units and weapons under the command of the Lebanese army. His plan calls for LAF special forces to deploy to villages in south Lebanon “wearing civilian clothing” in order to “fight as small units in a decentralized fashion,” he said. Hezbollah MP Mohammad Raad rejected the plan as “not positive and not encouraging.” Speaker Nabih Berri welcomed the plan, saying “The Resistance needs us all to embrace it.”[145]

AUG 19: An Israeli Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center report says Hezbollah and Hamas have circumvented US-backed restrictions on broadcasting by using Nilesat and Arabsat satellite companies.[146]

AUG 15: While UNIFIL spokesman Neeraj Singh claims the peacekeeping force “has not found any evidence of new military infrastructure in its area of operations,” Israel is releasing information pointing to a deployment of 5,000 Hezbollah fighters into villages in south Lebanon. One Israeli officer said Hezbollah has dug underground tunnels to connect the houses of Aita al Shaab, a border village, and has placed a lookout post in a house for mentally handicapped children. Arms trucked from Iran via Syria are stored in stand-alone structures, garages, and basements, or buried in backyards.[147]

AUG 12: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the U.S. backs Argentina’s call for Iran to extradite suspects of the 1994 Buenos Aires Jewish center bombing, allegedly carried out by Hezbollah. Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman cautioned, however, that even though Iran is not cooperating with extradition requests, Argentina “does not seek any type of operation in Iran that is not peaceful and lawful.”[148]

AUG 11: House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton wrote Defense Secretary Gates, “I am concerned that the training and equipment we have provided the LAF (Lebanese Armed Forces) for the purposes of counter-terror may in fact be used by the LAF against the Israelis.  I am also concerned of reports that the LAF is collaborating with Hezbollah and that Hezbollah is, as a result, an indirect recipient of our aid.”[149]

AUG 11: Lebanese Defense Minister Elias Murr said he would not accept U.S. military assistance to Lebanon’s army if it prevents the army from using the weapons against Israel. Murr also said that the Lebanese sniper who sparked last week’s border clash by killing an IDF commander was acting on orders.[150]

AUG 11: The UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon prosecutor, Daniel Bellemare, will investigate claims by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah that implicate Israel in the Hariri assassination. He requested that Lebanese authorities “provide all the information in possession of Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah,” and invited Nasrallah “to use his authority to facilitate its investigation.”[151]

AUG 11: Some prominent Lebanese officials welcomed Nasrallah’s accusations of Israeli involvement in the Hariri assassination. Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun said Nasrallah offered “valuable evidence.” Druze leader Walid Jumblatt said the claims “opened the door wide” for further investigation. The parliamentary majority March 14 coalition, however, played down the speech.[152]

AUG 9: Representative Howard Berman, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, announced that $100 million in U.S. military aid to Lebanon’s army has been suspended since August 2.  "I have been concerned for sometime about reported Hizballah influence on the LAF and its implications for our military assistance program for Lebanon,” he said. The August 3 border clash reinforced the committee’s decision. "Lebanon cannot have it both ways," Representative Eric Cantor said. "If it wants to align itself with Hezbollah against the forces of democracy, stability and moderation, there will be consequences."[153]

AUG 9: President Michel Suleiman warned that any decision by friendly states to end arms sales to Lebanon “will represent a political stance [against Lebanon].” He downplayed concerns that Hezbollah controls the army: “The army is the army…but this does not prevent the people along with Lebanon’s national capabilities from being on the disposal of the army.”[154]

AUG 9: Israeli news site Enyan Merkazi reports that Lebanese Brigadier General Fayez Karam, arrested last week for allegedly spying for Israel, met with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah in 2006.[155]

AUG 7: U.S. State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley ruled out a suggestion that the Lebanese army is being “manipulated” by Hezbollah. Strengthening the Lebanese government’s security capabilities, he said, “contributes to stability in the region and is in our interest.” Meanwhile, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak called U.S. weapons aid to Lebanon a dangerous “mistake.”[156]

AUG 6: Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren said the line between the Lebanese Army and Hezbollah is “increasingly cloudy.” He added, “The Lebanese Army shares all its intelligence with Hezbollah. . . . There are high-ranking officers in the Lebanese Army who are closely associated with Hezbollah.”[157]

AUG 5: The U.S. State Department released its “Country Reports on Terrorism 2009.” The report documents Iranian and Syrian support for Hezbollah as well as Hezbollah’s activities in 2009.[158]

AUG 5: Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon warned, “There is a danger of the Hezbollization of the Lebanese army, if the army begins to behave like Hezbollah.”  He added, “If Hezbollah manages to take control of the army, we will have to treat (the army) in a completely different manner.” Defense Minister Ehud Barak ruled out Hezbollah involvement in the border clash, “Tuesday’s incident was not programmed by the chiefs of staff of the Lebanese army in Beirut or by Hezbollah.”[159]

AUG 5: Retired Israeli major general Giora Eiland said, “Hizballah is and will be the only effective military force in Lebanon and the only party responsible for strategic decisions in Lebanon.” He speculated that Hezbollah planned the border clash.[160]

AUG 5: Speaking about the border clash, Amal Movement official Jawad Khalifeh said “the resistance men,” or Hezbollah militants, will “perform their duties” if necessary. He added that the Lebanese Cabinet will consider “all means of force that enables it to defend our country.”[161]

AUG 5: Beirut Mayor Bilal Hamad met with Speaker Nabih Berry to announce the city’s “determination to adopt a development strategy away from the Policy of axis,” the Future Party Movement reports. He stressed commitment to southern Beirut, including the Elissar development project, a competitor to Hezbollah’s government-funded Waad projects.[162]

AUG 4: Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun suggested that the incident legitimizes Hezbollah’s role in Lebanon. “Under the current circumstances, it is the Lebanese Army’s role to guard the border and the resistance’s role starts when the Israelis enter the country,” he said. Meanwhile, Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt stressed “the importance of the resistance which is a true guarantee against Israeli plots,” in a meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad. [163]

AUG 4: In a warning to the Lebanese Army, Hezbollah, and Hamas, Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu said, “Whoever shoots at Israeli citizens, doesn’t matter from where, we will get to him and hit with immense force.”[164]

AUG 3: Two Lebanese soldiers, an Israeli lieutenant colonel, and a Lebanese journalist were killed when the Lebanese and Israeli Armies exchanged fire near the Blue Line. The incident began when Lebanese Army snipers shot the commanding officer of an engineering battalion that was cutting down a tree on the north side of a technical fence. The Israelis responded with rockets and a helicopter gunship strike on Lebanese Army positions in the village of Adaysseh. Israeli officials claim the patrol was part of a “routine” engineering effort in Israeli territory “aimed at minimizing the weak spots Hezbollah can utilize." [165]

AUG 2: The Israel Defense Forces believes that a miniature glider that crashed in northern Israel last month was launched by Hezbollah’s al Manar broadcasting network as an act of provocation.[166]

AUG 2: Spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Ofir Gendelman warned that “all of Lebanon will pay dearly if Hezbollah attacks Israel,” in an interview with the Kuwaiti newspaper al Rai. Israel will consider the kidnapping of Israeli citizens abroad by Hezbollah to be a declaration of war, he said.[167]

AUG 2: Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah met with Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri, confirming “the profoundness of the strategic relation between the Amal movement and Hezbollah,” according to al Moqawama, Hezbollah’s website. The meeting came after Berri’s remarks criticizing the UN-backed Special Tribunal as an Israeli ploy.[168]

JULY 30: Israel’s Channel 1 reports that Mustafa Badr al Din, the brother-in-law of the assassinated Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh, is the main suspect in the UN-backed Special Tribunal’s investigation of Rafik Hariri’s murder.[169]

JULY 30: Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict, Michael Vickers, met with top Lebanese defense officials in Beirut, reaffirming the U.S.’s commitment to “countering extremism inside Lebanon.”[170]

JULY 30: U.S. CENTCOM commander, General James Mattis, told a Congressional Committee that the U.S. should boost the Lebanese Armed Forces “to balance the influence of Syria and Hezbollah.” Hezbollah undermines the sovereignty of Lebanon, he said.[171]

JULY 29: Fatima Issawi, spokeswoman for the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon, said Hezbollah’s claims of hostile interference in the group’s work are “unsubstantiated.” She added that the Special Tribunal’s results would speak for themselves.[172]

JULY 29: In a meeting with a political assistant to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, Prime Minister Saad Hariri criticized the leader’s media campaign against the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Hariri said Nasrallah is addressing him “through screens.”[173]

JULY 26: Ahead of an official visit to Washington, DC, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned in an interview with The Washington Post that the Israeli Defense Forces will strike Lebanese government targets if Hezbollah resumes rocket attacks on Israel.[174]

JULY 20: Israeli Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi said that Israel was prepared to attack Hezbollah in the densely populated villages where the group is believed to be storing weapons.  He said, “Hezbollah prefers to hide weapons in populated areas in an attempt to protect them from Israeli attacks, yet if war erupts again, we will have no other choice but to target these caches and their surroundings, and Hezbollah will be responsible for that.”[175]

JULY 14: Hezbollah has threatened to oppose a new security agreement between Lebanon and France over a clause calling for increased cooperation in the war on terror. French law considers Hezbollah a terrorist organization and therefore, the group believes the new pact would directly affect them. [176]

JULY 4: Lebanon’s highest Shi’ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, died Sunday at the age of 74. Fadlallah was considered to be the spiritual leader of Hezbollah, although he held no formal role within the group.[177]

JULY 4: Lebanese villagers disarmed UNIFIL peacekeepers patrolling in southern Lebanon and took control of their vehicle before Lebanese army forces could intervene. Hezbollah deputy secretary Naim Qassem said that UNIFIL should execute its role “in a way so as not to arouse mistrust and worry of citizens as was the case during the latest exercises."[178]

JUNE 25: The U.S. embassy in Beirut issued a statement reaffirming its commitment to disarming Hezbollah. Ryan Gilha, a public affairs officer at the embassy, also said that the United States was committed to supporting a strong Lebanese state.[179]

JUNE 14: Lebanese Forces party leader Samir Geagea pulled out of the most recent session of Lebanon’s national defense dialogue over what he claims to be a “scheduling conflict.”  He has publicly objected to the refusal by the parties at the dialogue to discuss disarming Hezbollah.[180]

JUNE 7: Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri met with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah for the first time since Hariri took office last year. The meeting took place in a south Beirut suburb controlled by Hezbollah. Reports on the topic of their discussion were vague, although a Hezbollah statement said they “exchanged views on local and international developments where they had similar views on all issues.”[181]

MAY 28: In meetings with UN officials in New York City, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri asked for evidence of Hezbollah arms smuggling. UN Secretary General expressed his concerns to Hariri over violations of resolution 1701, especially on the issue of illegal arms transfers to Hezbollah.[182]

MAY 27: Lebanese Forces MP Antoine Zahra said that he believes Hassan Nasrallah’s claims that Hezbollah has doubled its capabilities since the 2006 war due to rampant arms smuggling across the Syrian border. He added that “everyone knows that arms are being smuggled into Lebanon.”[183]

MAY 23: Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moualem said Syria would not cow to Western demands that it put an end to arms transfers to Hezbollah. Moualem continued, stating that the Syrian government “will not be a policeman for Israel.”[184]

MAY 20: U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffery Feltman said that Syria needed to make a more determined effort to stem the flow of weapons to Hezbollah from its territory.[185]

MAY 18: John Brennan, Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Adviser for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, said, “There is certainly the elements of Hezbollah that are truly a concern to us what they're doing. And what we need to do is to find ways to diminish their influence within the organization and to try to build up the more moderate elements.”[186]

MAY 8: Lebanese President Michel Suleiman said, “To demand now, in this regional atmosphere full of dangers and the drumbeats of war that Israel is banging every day, and before we reach an agreement on a national defense strategy to protect Lebanon, we cannot and must not tell the resistance [Hezbollah] … ‘Give us your weapons and put it under the state’s command.’”[187]

APRIL 28: An Egyptian court convicted 26 men of spying for Hezbollah and planning terrorist attacks in Egypt.  Sentences ranged from six months to life and the verdict cannot be appealed.  Mohammed Qiblan, the group’s Lebanese leader, was convicted in absentia.[188]

APRIL 20: Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Dianne Feinstein said, “I believe there is a likelihood that there are Scuds that Hezbollah has in Lebanon.  A high likelihood.”[189]

APRIL 20: Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri compared the charges of Hezbollah having Scuds to the accusations that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction before the 2003 invasion.[190]

APRIL 19: State Department released a statement on the allegation the Hezbollah had received Scud missiles from Syria.  “The transfer of these arms can only have a destabilizing effect on the region, and would pose an immediate threat to both the security of Israel and the sovereignty of Lebanon.”[191]

APRIL 15: Syria denied U.S. and Israeli accusations that it has provided Hezbollah with Scud missiles.[192]

APRIL 7: Lebanese President Michel Suleiman stated that Lebanon would not permit the U.S.-Lebanese security agreement to harm Hezbollah.  Nasrallah had voiced concern that the agreement would force Lebanon to give the U.S. access to Lebanese security institutions’ databases.[193]

APRIL 6: In an interview on al Akhbar al Fajr website, Saleh al Qarawi, a leading al Qaeda operative, accused Hezbollah of “protecting” Israel and serving as its “bodyguard.”  He said that Hezbollah has impeded al Qaeda from carrying out operations against Israel and that al Qaeda would strike Israel again.[194]

APRIL 1: In a visit with Syrian President Bashar al Assad, Senator John Kerry expressed concern over the flow of weapons through Syria to Hezbollah. He said weapon trafficking must stop in order to promote stability in the region.[195]

MARCH 30: The UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) reportedly met with Hezbollah's head of security Wafiq Safa.[196]

MARCH 26: In an interview with al Hayat newspaper, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said he was concerned with Hezbollah’s failure to disarm. He reiterated that Lebanon should work to implement UN Security Resolution 1701, which calls for Hezbollah to relinquish its weapons.[197]

MARCH 23: IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi addressed the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee saying, “Hezbollah is building up its forces north of the Litani (river).  It continues to arm.  The border is calm, but this can change.”[198]

MARCH 22: Lebanese Defense Minister Elias Murr said in an interview with al Manar that an armed Hezbollah was a valid deterrent to Israel and necessary to preserve Lebanese sovereignty.  “Logic says that if some parties were annoyed with Hezbollah weapons, then this doesn’t mean providing Israel with free gifts,” he said.  “As long as I’m the Defense Ministry [sic], I won’t be . . . the cause of the ruination of my country.”[199]

MARCH 22: The UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) announces it has interrogated Hezbollah members.[200]

FEB 16: Hezbollah International Relations Officer Ammar al Moussawi and MPs Ali Fayyad and Nawwar al Saheli met with French Senate President Gerard Larcher at the Lebanese foreign ministry to urge France to react to the Israeli threats.[201]

FEB 12: Nasrallah met with MP Walid Jumblatt, Druze leader of the Progressive Socialist Party, regarding Nasrallah’s mediation efforts between Jumblatt and Syrian President Bashar al Assad.[202]

FEB 10: Lebanese PM Saad Hariri voiced concerns about Israeli threats of war and announced that his government would support Hezbollah if there were to be a new war with Israel.[203]

JAN 26: The Egyptian prosecutor in the case of 26 Hezbollah-linked militants accused of planning attacks in Egypt is seeking the death penalty for six of them.  Last April, Nasrallah admitted that one of the men was a member of the Hezbollah and had been working with ten others to supply military equipment to the Palestinians.[204]

JAN 23: Netanyahu’s office issued a statement saying that Israel was not planning any imminent attack on Lebanon in response to Lebanese fears that Israel might attack Hezbollah.[205]

JAN 21: Nasrallah met with the Lebanese representative of the Fatah al Intifada Movement, Said Moussa, also known as Abu Moussa.  The two men agreed that Palestinian issues in Lebanon should be addressed in a Palestinian-Lebanese dialogue.[206]

JAN 20: Nasrallah met with the head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq Ammar al Hakim to discuss possible threats to Lebanon and Iraq.[207]

JAN 15: An Israeli official noted that a bomb attack on two cars carrying Israeli diplomats in Amman, Jordan might have been the work of Hezbollah.[208]

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HEZBOLLAH STATEMENTS

DEC 31: Hezbollah MP Nawwaf Moussawi stated “Hezbollah will remain positive towards its dealing with the Saudi–Syrian efforts, for its success is in its interests…it is not in our interest to involve the resistance in internal conflict. [We want to ensure that] Lebanon is stable and there is agreement founded upon the basis of not attacking the resistance.”[209]

DEC 24: Hezbollah’s Minister of Agriculture Hussein Hajj Hassan stated that “any indictment to be issued by the prosecutor of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and to target the Resistance is null and void.” He added, “The STL is fully politicized, it is hence our obligation to unearth the breaches and violations committed by this tribunal and the international investigation into Rafik Hariri’s assassination.”[210]

DEC 21: Hezbollah’s website reported that Hezbollah MP Hassan Fadlallah stated, “We have been suffering from violations of our security, whether related to the telecommunications or information sectors, and these violations represent a dangerous "Israeli" assault on Lebanon's sovereignty.”[211]

DEC 21: Hezbollah’s website reported that Hezbollah MP Ali Ammar praised Supreme Leader Khamenei’s recent dismissal of the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon as brave, stating that “The person who puts himself in the boxing ring would be punched the same way he is punching.”[212]

DEC 21: Hezbollah MP Walid Sakari commented on Supreme Leader Khamenei’s recent dismissal of the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon, saying, “Iran wants to tell those who seek strife through the indictment: Stay right there. We won't stand idle while the fire is burning our homes.”[213]

DEC 21: Press TV reported that Hezbollah issued a statement calling Supreme Leader Khamenei’s recent dismissal of the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon “honorable,  as “a clear expression of opinion by those who are concerned with preserving Lebanon's unity in the Arab and Islamic world.”[214]

DEC 20: Press TV reported that Sheikh Naim Qassem stated, “Hezbollah has announced time and again that the solution which addresses the conspiracy of the indictment is the best solution for Lebanon and all the various Lebanese components.” He added, “They believe that the release of the indictment will be a sword put at the neck of Hezbollah and they believe that its repercussions will weaken Hezbollah and hence bring about the circumstances which will enable Israel to benefit more and more, whether it is by issuing threats of war or by launching war.”[215]

DEC 20: Newsweek published an interview with Hezbollah leader Sheikh Naim Qassem, who commented on Ahmadinejad’s October visit to Lebanon: “He [Ahmadinejad] confirmed that Iran’s political presence in the region is one that is huge, respected, and wanted. And we noticed that the Lebanese officials wanted to solidify the relationship with Iran. The prime minister went to Iran after to profit from the relationship. Iran has its own place in the region, and it is not tied with Hizbullah.”[216]

DEC 19: Hezbollah MP Nawwaf Moussawi called the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon “a burden to those who designed it” and “an instrument of destruction developed to destroy free states in order to fail under American custodianship.” ABNA also quoted Moussawi as saying that “The Israeli threats have only increased the Resistance's confidence that it has made great progress in obstructing several goals of the conspiracy that is the STL,” which “was primarily prepared to destroy free and independent states in order to subject them to American hegemony.”[217]

DEC 19: Press TV reported that Hezbollah MP Mohammad Raad stated that the goal of the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon is “to enslave the Lebanese, humiliate them, dominate their resources, control their fate, and jeopardize their future” while Hebollah’s “objective is to rescue this country from the international conspiracy.” Raad added that “the enemy has its own measures inside the tribunal that aim to fabricate a false indictment… that seeks to undermine our civil peace, tamper with our stability, and incite the Lebanese against each other.”[218]

DEC 17: Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah commented on the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon in a speech marking Ashura, saying, “We refuse to be falsely accused and we shall thwart the objectives behind such indictment.”[219]

DEC 17: ABNA reported that Hezbollah leader Sheikh Naim Qassim belittled the impact of the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon: “First, the indictment will not change a thing in our reality and effectiveness as well as in Hezbollah role, morale and position. Whoever had the illusion that the indictment would weaken us perceived that at the opposite, it has increased our cohesion with the opposition members and supporters. Therefore, following the leaks, we became even stronger and firmer in our interactions with ourselves, what means that the upcoming indictment will have no influence on any of us.”[220]

DEC 16: Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah called the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon a “new conspiracy against the resistance and Lebanon,” adding that it “will disappear with the wind.”[221]

DEC 15: Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah stated that “Israel is not satisfied with spies and aerial photography” after the LAF discovered two surveillance cameras overlooking Beirut. “I thank the brothers at the Lebanese army who have been working since morning in the snow to dismantle this equipment.” He added, “Netanyahu, Lieberman and the rest of the Israelis are not interested in the path of negotiations with the Palestinians, and then with Damascus and Beirut.”[222]

DEC 13: Press TV reported that Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem called the UN-backed Special Tribunal in Lebanon an “Israeli-American tool.”[223]

DEC 13: Hezbollah MP Mohammad Raad stated that the UN-backed Special Tribunal in Lebanon is “in the lowest levels of criminal justice standards.”[224]

DEC 13: Hezbollah reported on its website that regional commander Nabil Qaouk stated that “Some in this country resort to twisted ways to confront the resistance, such as using the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, which has become a scheme of exposed goals.” He added, “The internal issues should be resolved before the Syrian-Saudi initiative succeeds.”[225]

DEC 12: Hezbollah MP Mohammad Raad stated that “everyone must bear the results if STL’s indictment is issued without a compromise.” Hezbollah MP Hassan Fadlallah also stated that “We know how to protect our Resistance, how to defend it and how to face these conspiracies that are being plotted against our country. Those who are conspiring against Lebanon and the Resistance are the ones who have to worry.”[226]

DEC 11: Hezbollah official Mahmoud Qmati stated: “When we warn of unrest, we are not threatening or intimidating… When we say that the issuance of the indictment might cause unrest or civil strife, that does not mean, as they are interpreting, that Hezbollah and the opposition are plotting a coup.”[227]

DEC 10: ABNA reported that Hashem Safieddine, the head of Hezbollah’s Executive Council, stated that “There’s no doubt this tribunal, the so-called international tribunal, resembles everything except the tribunal. It’s maybe similar to the tribunals of the Middle Age. But this is not a tribunal. This is pure hypocrisy.” On the United States, he said, “The United States and those who follow it must know that they’re conspiring on Lebanon’s Resistance.” Safieddine added that “Even in Lebanon, some people believe they can pressure the Resistance through a verdict or a tribunal. This is impossible. Those who bet on pressuring the Resistance will turn to be losers.”[228]

DEC 10: Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem called the STL a “conspiratorial tribunal.” He added, “Our partners in this country better find a solution, in cooperation with us, so that we end this conspiracy against Lebanon and the Resistance, because if they don't exert the appropriate efforts and don't take the appropriate stance, they will have to suffer the consequences of this conspiracy.”[229]

DEC 8: Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem stated that “the tribunal's indictment is refused in advance… It is clear that the indictment is oriented towards accusing Hezbollah members, hence the party itself, which we totally refuse for STL's decision are politicized and seek shaking Lebanon's stability.” He added, “Our opponents must start learning from the past experiences with the USA, and working with us on reinforcing Lebanon's independence.”[230]

DEC 8: Press TV reported that Hezbollah MP Mohammad Raad criticized the Special Tribunal for Lebanon for serving malign Western interests and for not considering Hezbollah’s evidence. He asked, “Why was Syria accused in the beginning and then the course of the investigation was changed? What is Israel's role in the investigation? Does the Court take Israel's statements?” He added, “We waited for a response and despite the promises, we have not seen a reply.”[231]

DEC 4: Press TV reported that Hezbollah regional commander Nabil Qaouk stated that indictments issued by the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon will “put Lebanon on the path of political mines and booby traps planted by America and Israel, through which they want to drag Lebanon into an abyss.” He added that “Lebanon today faces a new chapter of targeting the resistance through the international tribunal.”[232]

DEC 3: Hezbollah MP Hassan Fadlallah stated that “The information leaked on meetings between the prosecutor general of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon [Danielle Bellemare] and the (former) U.S. ambassador [Michele Sison] confirms what we have always said, that the U.S. administration is using the court and the investigation committee as a tool to target the resistance."[233]

DEC 3: Hezbollah’s media relations department issued a statement saying the group discovered Israeli spy devices: “Telecom technicians of the resistance managed to discover a spying device the enemy had planted in Wadi al-Qaysiyya… The enemy detonated its devices as a result of the discovery,” which represented “another achievement” for Hezbollah.[234]

DEC 3: ABNA reported that Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem stated that “An indictment that accuses Hezbollah is not just a political position, but an assault against the Resistance and Lebanon.” He added, “We are not afraid or upset by false accusations … and the other camp will be the first side to be harmed by the indictment.”[235]

NOV 30: Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem commented on the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon, saying that “Hezbollah is not asking Prime Minister Hariri to make statements but rather to take action.” Hariri has “adequate means” to end the accusations against Hezbollah. Qassem added, “The post-indictment phase is completely different from pre- indictment phase… All options are conceivable,” noting that “If we don't take advantage of the opportunities currently available, we will face a new scenario.”[236]

NOV 29: Press TV reported that Hezbollah regional commander Nabil Qaouk stated that the U.S. is working to “to speed up” an STL indictment against the militant group. In doing so, the U.S. is launching a “new confrontation with the resistance” and “only wants to serve Israeli goals in Lebanon as it has no friends in Lebanon and all it wants is to target the resistance and weaken it.”[237]

 

NOV 28: Hezbollah Secretary General Nasrallah said that the UN-backed Special Tribunal in Lebanon “could be a cover for a new Israeli war.” ABNA also quotes Nasrallah saying, “There are some who believe that this indictment is an opportunity to get rid of Hezbollah, the enemy or the rival in Lebanon. We regard the indictment and its repercussions as a threat to Lebanon’s security… The time when you were able to threaten us or target our existence and dignity is over.”[238]

NOV 27: Hezbollah MP Nawwar al Saheli called a CBC documentary on the Hariri assassination “an American film whose purpose is to introduce religious strife to Lebanon.”[239]

NOV 24: Speaking about the potential ramifications of indictments by the UN-backed STL, Hezbollah MP Walid Sakari said, "Even if the organization did murder Hariri, that's no reason to destroy Lebanon."[240]

NOV 24: ABNA reported that Hezbollah released a statement calling Israeli plans to expand in the al Buraq area “ongoing Zionist aggressions on the Islamic and Christian sanctities.” The statement went on to say that Israel’s actions were part of a “framework of a systematic plot to Judaize the Palestinian occupied territories.” [241]

NOV 23: Hezbollah MP Hassan Fadlallah accused Israel of spying on the group via its mobile network saying that Israel was “planting secret lines ... in the mobile phones of some members of the resistance." Fadlallah went on to say that “three resistance members” had been using phones that were “sold to them after being implanted with secret Israeli lines" by Israeli agents.[242]

NOV 23: Hezbollah MP Nawwar Sahili released a statement criticizing “Western media reports filled with the content of the (Special Tribunal for Lebanons (STL)) indictment, not to mention the leaks coming out of the tribunal from time to time." [243]

NOV 20: Hezbollah spokesman Hussein Khalil downplayed Israel’s planned withdraw from Ghajar, saying that “The resistance and its weapons are still a national need to liberate remaining occupied Lebanese territories especially Chebaa Farms and Kfar Chouba Hills."[244]

NOV 19: Iran’s Press TV reports that Hezbollah MP Kamel al Rifai said Israel’s recent "plan to pull out from Ghajar is to shift attention and elude the international resolution.” Rifai added that this plan was merely a “transfer of Israel's authority from an occupation force to a mandate.”[245]

NOV 16: Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah spoke about the group’s political development and growing impact on regional affairs saying, "our word is heard in Iran, and in Syria President Bashar Assad consults us regarding many issues." Nasrallah added, "We also have friends with whom we have been playing important roles in Iraq and Palestine.” On Hezbollah’s possible response to the UN-backed Special Tribunal in Lebanon indictments, Nasrallh said “The options before Hizbullah supporters and its allies stretches 180 degrees… Our choices are between standing by idly, and we moving to achieve a broad political change in leadership [of Lebanon], and all [the options] between them.”[246]

NOV 15: Hezbollah MP Nawwaf Moussawi says the group has “prepared various options to confront fallout with the indictment (from the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon).” Moussawi also said an “Arab investigative commission” should be formed and given information on “the collusion that happened in the false witnesses plot.”[247]

NOV 11: Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said the group will refuse to recognize indictments or arrests made against it by the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon. He stated, “Whoever thinks the resistance could possibly accept any accusation against any of its jihadists or leaders is mistaken -- no matter the pressures and threats… Whoever thinks that we will allow the arrest or detention of any of our jihadists is mistaken.”  He added, “The hand that attempts to reach (our members) will be cut off.”[248]

NOV 10: Several Hezbollah members spoke out against the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), saying the group will not abide by the decision if Hezbollah members were indicted. Hezbollah MP Nawwaf Moussawi was optimistic, stating that “the scenarios are ready and victory is our ally.” He added that “accusing Hezbollah of committing a heinous crime such as the assassination of Prime Minister Hariri is an insult in the moral sense, an attack in the political sense, and espionage in the security sense, undertaken by the commission of inquiry.” [249]

NOV 10: Hezbollah commander in southern Lebanon Sheikh Nabil Qaouk commemorated “self-sacrifice martyrs” at an honorary dinner in Deir Kanoun Al Nahr. In an official Hezbollah statement, Qaouk said, “The arms of self-sacrifice martyrs brought us to the current equation with the ‘Israeli’ enemy, making ‘Israel’ weak and defeated.” The statement goes on to say that, “fathers of the self-sacrifice martyrs said that the blood and sacrifices of their children were the source of pride, dignity, victory to the entire nation.” [250]

NOV 9: Hezbollah MP Ali Ammar said that the planned Israeli withdrawal from the northern sector of Ghajar village, which is on the border between Lebanon, Syria, and the Golan Heights, should be extended to Kfar Shuba and Shebaa Farms. [251]

NOV 9: Hezbollah MP Nawwaf Moussawi said opposition officials will demand voting on the false-witness issues surrounding the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon. According to the Hezbollah website, Moussawi hailed the vote as “a major key to stop false testimonies and avoid the emergence of any new false witnesses whether through the telecoms file or any indictment that accuses Hizbullah.”[252] 

NOV 7: Hezbollah MP Nawwar al Saheli criticized the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) when speaking to a crowd in the southern village of Sohmor. Saheli said that the Tribunal was the reaction of political enemies since they “cannot curtail the resistance and Hizbullah.”  He continued, stating that the only goal of the indictments is “stirring up strife in Lebanon” and that “the resistance (Hezbollah) is the real target behind that.”[253]

NOV 2: Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem called the indictment of Hezbollah members by the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) “a warning bell equivalent to lighting the fuse, to igniting the wick for an explosion, and is dangerous for Lebanon." Regarding Hezbollah’s response, Qassem added that “The options are many and it depends on the circumstances at that time.”[254]

OCT 31: Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem announced Hezbollah’s plans to provide protection for officials at “any level politically, militarily, socially, or militarily” who refuse to cooperate with UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) investigators.  Qassem dismissed the investigators as Israeli spies and said those who claim Hezbollah is a threat to stability are part of the “Zionist project to sow division in Lebanon.” He also said the organization will continue to advocate for the investigation of potential false witnesses participating in the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Qassem added that the court had “gone beyond its target of finding the truth” and was now trying to target Hezbollah in an effort to “settle scores.”[255]

OCT 30: Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah called on Lebanese citizens to boycott the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon after officials probed a gynecologist’s office, an act that Nasrallah deemed “scandalous” and a “violation of security.” [256]

OCT 25: Hezbollah released a statement in response to the new data released by WikiLeaks condemning “all terrorist crimes committed by the American occupation forces” as a “violation to the rights of civilians” in Iraq. The statement called on the UN to conduct a “serious and real international investigation into the horrible crimes that were committed.”[257]

OCT 20: MP Mohamad Raad’s Loyalty to the Resistance bloc called UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s latest report on UN Security Council Resolution 1559 "blatantly biased towards the Zionist enemy and its violations of international resolutions." The group also referenced American efforts to sow dissent among Lebanon’s rival factions.[258]

OCT 20: Hezbollah-affiliated al Manar TV reported that the group denounced Ban Ki-Moon’s report on UN Security Council Resolution 1559 as interfering in Lebanese internal affairs. Hezbollah’s statement went on to assert the group’s right as a legitimate political party, saying, "It seems that he [Ban Ki-Moon] did not realize that Hezbollah has been at the core of Lebanese politics, through its representation in the parliament and Cabinet.”[259]

OCT 18: The Iranian publication Fars News reports that Hussein Khalil, the political aide to Hezbollah’s Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, said, “[Iranian President] Ahmadinejad’s visit paved the way for talks between Hezbollah and Saad al-Hariri . . . aimed at reconciliation.”[260]

OCT 18: Hezbollah released a statement condemning Israel’s plans to build additional housing settlements in East Jerusalem. The statement went on to express the organization’s support for the Palestinian cause and its vow to disrupt negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.[261]

OCT 14: Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah issued a statement to welcome Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Lebanon. Nasrallah said, “I bear witness that Iran has never asked us to thank it, and that Iran is practicing its divine duty in line with its creed and religion.”  He added that “Iran wants for Palestine what the Palestinians want for Palestine, and that Iran wants in Lebanon what the Lebanese want in Lebanon.”[262]

OCT 14: Hezbollah MP Mohammed Raad said during his introduction of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, “The resistance [Hezbollah] and Iran are linked ideologically.  That’s why we are seen as a threat.”[263]

OCT 13: Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said, “In my position of responsibility in Hezbollah, I bear witness before you that Iran, which has always supported us and still does, has never demanded of me that I take a particular stance.  It has never issued a command and never expected thanks from us, although we take pride in our deep faith in the guardianship of the just, wise and courageous jurisprudent.”[264]

OCT 3: Hezbollah issued a statement condemning the Danish publishing house for releasing a book containing the “controversial blasphemous cartoons of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).”  The statement concluded with Hezbollah calling for “all Muslims in the world to announce a united stance confirming the refusal of these insults, and raise a loud voice of condemnation.”[265]

OCT 2: Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem said on Saturday that Hezbollah “will determine its position [on the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon] in the coming weeks based on various developments."  He also denied reports of a disagreement between Iran and Syria over Lebanon.  Qassem said, “Syria and Iran support Lebanon’s independence and the Resistance and there is nothing for them to disagree about.”[266]

OCT 1: Hezbollah’s Deputy Secretary General Naim Qassem said, “Lebanese parties, with Prime Minister Hariri at their head, can use their contacts to prevent an unjust accusation being levelled against Hezbollah…. He knows how to do that... he has influence, he has regional and international ties and knows the 'cogs' within the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. He can make the necessary efforts to ensure any accusation is not unjust… We say to Prime Minister Hariri that he follow the necessary contacts so that the truth becomes known... he can tell Saudi Arabia to intervene.”[267]

OCT 1: Hezbollah accused Egypt and Jordan of funding rival Sunni militias in Lebanon. Former MP Nasser Qandil, affiliated with Hezbollah, alleged that Egypt trains hundreds of young men to fight Hezbollah.[268]

SEPT 30: Hezbollah spokesman Ibrahim Moussawi said Hezbollah will block the STL financing, “You know our position on the tribunal, so we cannot agree to finance it.” Lebanon provides 49 percent of the funding.[269]

SEPT 29: Ghaleb Abu Zaynab, a member of Hezbollah’s political bureau, said, “Hezbollah and its allies have decided to oppose any financing of the tribunal…How can we finance a tribunal that has turned into an Israeli-American tool attempting to sow discord in the country?  We do not want Lebanon to fall victim to US interests in the region.”[270]

SEPT 27: Hezbollah MP Nawwaf Moussawi said regarding the upcoming tribunal results, “There will be no concessions when it comes to defending ourselves or facing false accusations and we have the absolute right to use what we see appropriate in that regard.”[271]

SEPT 24: Hezbollah issued a statement strongly condemning the bombing of a military parade in north-western Iranian town of Mahabad. "It is a terrorist crime that reflects the barbarism and brutality of the forces that are trying to impede the progress of the Iranian people and whose aim is to destabilize Iran," read the statement.[272]

SEPT 22: Hezbollah asked a de-mining team to leave southern Lebanon and has prevented workers from the Mines Advisory Group (MAG), a de-mining NGO, that the “area was not set for de-mining.”  MAG had been working near the town of Nabatiyeh, 54 km south of Beirut.[273]

SEPT 17: Hezbollah demanded Friday that Lebanese authorities withdraw a state summons for a former army general who called Prime Minister Saad Hariri a liar and urged people to topple his government. "We in Hezbollah consider the decision politically motivated and it aims to oppress and terrorize any person who says the truth," the militant group said in a statement. "We strongly reject it and call on (authorities) to withdraw it quickly.”[274]

SEPT 16: Hezbollah members of parliament and their allies said they would not reapprove Lebanese funding for the UN-backed STL.[275]

SEPT 15: Hezbollah printed a deck of cards with the faces of senior Israeli officials, according to the Kuwaiti paper, al Rai al Am.[276]

SEPT 13: Al Akhbar newspaper reports that the French Ambassador to Lebanon, Denis Pietton, officially requested to meet with Nasrallah to discuss France’s understanding of the UN-backed STL.[277]

SEPT 12: The Israeli navy is conducting tests of a new missile defense system that will use radar to detect and track incoming missiles and electronic warfare systems to jam missile signals.  Israel developed the new system to counter a growing capability threat from Hamas and Hezbollah.[278]

SEPT 3: Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Friday commended Hamas for its shootings in the West Bank. In a Jerusalem Day rally, Nasrallah praised the al Qassam Brigades attacks that left four dead. Nasrallah also condemned the Palestinian Authority for its direct negotiations with Israel, noting that "these negotiations were born to die.”[279]

SEPT 3: Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah refuses to cooperate with the UN-backed STL’s investigation of Rafik Hariri’s 2005 assassination, and will not provide any further requested information to the prosecutor. Citing his doubts about the tribunal’s legitimacy, Nasrallah pledged, "[w]e are not concerned with answering the questions or requests of the prosecutor."[280]

AUG 25: In a televised speech, Hezbollah Leader Hassan Nasrallah called for the Lebanese government to begin the construction of nuclear power facilities for peaceful domestic purposes. Nasrallah asserted that nuclear power would meet the country’s energy demands, and make available surplus electricity to the nation’s neighbors. He also spoke favorably of Iran’s Bushehr facility noting, "[it] which will provide a large part of Iran's electricity needs, cost much less than the (Lebanese) state's reform plan."[281] 

AUG 25: Hezbollah issued a joint statement with al Ahbash, a Sunni group, following a shoot-out in Beirut hat killed two Hezbollah members, including Hezbollah official Mohammed Fawaz, and a member of al Ahbash. The statement said the clash was “an isolated one and does not carry any political and sectarian undertones.” However, Hezbollah has threatened to act militarily if its demand for four of the persons involved to surrender is not met.[282]

AUG 25: Nasrallah called on the Lebanese Cabinet to seek equipment for the Lebanese Army from Arab states and Iran. “Hezbollah will work hard through his friendship with Iran to equip the Lebanese Army,” he said.[283]

AUG 18: Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Naim Qassem said the strategic relation between Syria and Hezbollah is “baptized in blood and it is still going on better than before,” Naharnet reports. Qassem also warned that another war with Israel “would affect the structure of the [Israeli] entity.”[284]

AUG 13: Hezbollah said it would hand over to Lebanese authorities materials related to the Hariri assassination. The militant group’s leader Hassan Nasrallah presented “evidence” earlier this week that it claims implicates Israel in the Hariri assassination. The group stressed that it still rejects the STL’s credibility.[285]

AUG 9: In a speech via video link, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah presented intercepted footage from Israeli surveillance planes and a Hezbollah interrogation video of an alleged Israeli spy, attempting to implicate Israel in the Hariri assassination. “This isn’t definitive proof,” he said, “but it opens up new horizons for the investigations.”[286]

AUG 9: Hezbollah MP Mohammed Raad called the Lebanese army’s actions in last week’s border clash “a practical verification of the integrative formula of army, people and Resistance in the face of ‘Israeli’ aggressions.” He added that the “resistance” is part of the “army’s creed.”[287]

AUG 4: Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Naim Qassem said regarding military capabilities that the group has achieved a “balance of deterrence” with Israel.  “We have repeatedly said that the Islamic resistance is highly prepared . . . and does not need time to get ready to defend itself and move straight into action.” He warned, “Israel must understand that any aggression on Lebanon, no matter how small, gives us the complete right to retaliate when and how we find appropriate and in line with Lebanon's political interests.”[288]

AUG 3: Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah commented on the border clash in a speech broadcast via video to a crowd in Beirut, praising the Lebanese Army. He said that while this time Hezbollah had contacted the Army’s commanders to offer military action if needed, “from now on” it will not await authorization. “The Israeli hand outstretched to strike the Lebanese military will be cut off by the opposition,” he said.  Nasrallah also warned of a secret “aerial deterrence” that would be used in any future war against Israel.  In the same speech, Nasrallah accused Israel of the 2005 assassination of Rafik Hariri. “I will prove this by unveiling sensitive information at a press conference on Monday,” he said.[289]

AUG 2: Agriculture Minister Hussein Hajj Hassan, a Hezbollah member, insisted that Hezbollah-Syrian relations have not worsened. Addressing the UN-backed Special Tribunal, he said Hezbollah rejects any charges. “We warn against continued U.S. and Israeli efforts aimed at sowing strife among the Lebanese.”[290]

AUG 2: Saudi King Abdullah and Syrian President Bashar al Assad discussed Hezbollah with Lebanon’s rival leaders during a visit to Beirut, says Hezbollah MP Hassan Fadlallah. “We consider this a very sensitive and dangerous subject, (that is) putting the tribunal under Israel's service against the resistance,” said Fadlallah, who attended the meeting.[291]

JULY 30: Hezbollah responded to commander of CENTCOM General James Mattis’s remarks against the group, accusing Mattis of aiming to “spur civil strife among the Lebanese” and “pit Hezbollah and Syria in a confrontation against Lebanon.”  The statement added, “Hizbullah reminds the American General that Hizbullah makes up an integral and main constituent of the Lebanese structure, and that the US administration attempts will not succeed in putting the Lebanese in confrontations with each other in service of its interest.”[292]  

JULY 29: Hezbollah’s website, al Moqawama, reported a meeting between Nasrallah and Omar Karameh, the former Prime Minister of Lebanon who left office following the 2005 assassination of Rafik Hariri.[293]

JULY 28: Hezbollah officials criticized the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon, which reportedly plans to indict Hezbollah members in September. Agriculture Minister Hussein Hajj Hassan called the UN-backed STL a U.S. pawn, warning that Hezbollah indictments would bring civil strife.  MP Ali Moqdad said the STL is a crime, second only to the Hariri assassination itself.[294]

JULY 25: Hassan Nasrallah delivered a speech attacking the UN Special Tribunal, alleging it has links to Israeli Mossad and calling for an investigation into the false witnesses that misled the Tribunal.  He also admitted Iranian and Syrian support for Hezbollah’s “resistance.”[295] 

JULY 22: Hassan Nasrallah announced that Hezbollah members were likely to be indicted by the UN-backed Special Tribunal in Lebanon that is investigating the 2005 assassination of Rafik Hariri. Nasrallah reasserted that no members of Hezbollah were involved in the assassination.[296]

JULY 19: Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah called for a Lebanese government investigation on how Lebanese civilians working for a telecommunications network became Israeli spies. Nasrallah said the arrest of a second alleged Israeli spy working at the Alfa cell phone network was proof that Israeli intelligence had successfully infiltrated Lebanon’s telecommunications sector.[297]

JULY 14: Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Naim Qassem said in an interview with al Nahar, “We now hold a large and precise bank of Israeli targets, and Israel will have to pay the price for any step it takes.  Hezbollah has worked to develop its readiness to rise to the challenge should it arise, and we can safely say that in the past four years we have prepared ourselves far more than Israel has…. But that does not mean that war is near.” Qassem added that he did not believe war between the two sides is imminent.[298]

JULY 11: Hezbollah commander in southern Lebanon Sheikh Nabil Qaouk said that the group has a list of military targets within Israel that it would hit in any future conflict. The statement comes following an Israeli report showing detailed maps and photographs of Hezbollah weapons depots in southern Lebanese villages.[299]

JULY 9: According to a report in Emirati newspaper the National, Hezbollah military officials believe that UNIFIL forces are infiltrating small southern Lebanese villages to photograph potential Hezbollah hideouts. UNIFIL has denied conducting any surveillance operations without a Lebanese army security escort.[300]

JULY 9: Loyalty to the Resistance bloc MP Walid Succariyeh said that the upcoming UN-backed Special Tribunal on Lebanon (STL) investigation into the 2005 assassination of Rafik Hariri will not name any Hezbollah members.[301]

JULY 5: Hezbollah MP Mohammed Raad said recent clashes between UNIFIL troops and villagers in southern Lebanon have circumscribed the authority of the UN force to patrol the region. Lebanese government authorities and UN officials believe that Hezbollah is responsible for organizing the clashes against UNIFIL troops in order to prevent them from entering villages where the militant group has rearmed.[302]

JUNE 24: Nasrallah canceled a trip to Turkey to meet with Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.[303]  

JUNE 22: Hezbollah MP Nawwaf Moussawi called on the U.S. embassy in Beirut to provide a list of Lebanese citizens that have received U.S. funds for political use. Moussawi estimated the amount to be approximately $500 million. A spokesman for the U.S. embassy said that allegations were baseless, and that the United States did not provide funding for individuals for political reasons.[304]

JUNE 22: Hezbollah MP Mohammad Raad said that it was impossible for Lebanon to be neutral in the struggle between Israel and Hezbollah. He criticized those calling for Lebanese neutrality for not being “aware of the size of the problem between Lebanon and Israel.”[305]

JUNE 19: Hezbollah denied that it was supporting an all-female flotilla of boats attempting to break Israel’s blockade by sailing to Gaza. Hezbollah said it had explicitly avoided having any involvement with the flotilla in order to avoid Israeli pretext for attacking the boats.[306]

JUNE 14: Hashem Safieddine, the head of Hezbollah’s Executive Council, said that the militant group would not allow Israel to drain Lebanese gas fields after gas was discovered off of the northern Israeli coast.[307]

JUNE 14: Hezbollah Deputy Secretary Naim Qassem said that the new UN sanctions on Iran were a continuation of US colonialism towards weaker states. Qassem added that the sanctions also proved that the UN was unfairly biased towards Israel.[308]

JUNE 10: Hezbollah issued a statement condemning the new UN Security Council sanctions on Iran, saying the measures  were “unjust” and “will complicate” issues in the Middle East.  A separate statement accused U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, of being an aligned with Israel. The statement said that Feltmen’s recent testimony on Hezbollah denoted “Zionist hostility and once again demonstrates the readiness to support this hostility.” Feltman report called Hezbollah “the most technically-capable terrorist group in the world.”[309]

JUNE 4: Hassan Nasrallah urged “all Lebanese, Palestinian and Arab communities” to take part in Friday’s protest against the Israeli boarding of the Turkish flotilla earlier this week. Nasrallah spoke at a ceremony honoring the 21st anniversary of Ayatollah Khomenei’s death.[310]

MAY 25: Hassan Nasrallah said Hezbollah would strike at Israeli ships if they impose another blockade on Lebanon as they did in 2006. Nasrallah said his group was now capable of striking military and commercial ships headed to Israeli ports.[311]

MAY 19: Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Naim Qassem said Wednesday that it Lebanon would form a resistance movement to Israel even if Hezbollah never existed. He went on to claim that Hezbollah was in part responsible for Lebanon’s rise in national strength.[312]

MAY 6: Hezbollah plans to boycott the upcoming municipal elections in Beirut in order to avoid sectarian tension in the capital city. Hezbollah’s decision will show solidarity with the Free Patriotic Movement.[313]

MAY 3: Hezbollah Deputy Secretary Sheikh Naim Qassem said the US is using the Scud missile issue to obfuscate its lack of progress in getting Israel to go along with the Middle East peace process. Sheikh Qassem also refused to confirm or deny whether Hezbollah had obtained the weapons.[314]

APRIL 30: Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah refused to confirm or deny whether Hezbollah had obtained Scud missiles from Syria. He said the group had the ability to strike deep within Israel, but said that the makeup of their arsenal was a secret.[315]

APRIL 29: Hezbollah and Lebanese government officials protested a visit by a U.S. security team to the Masna’a crossing at the Lebanese-Syria border. The American Embassy in Beirut said the trip had been planned for months and was conducted in coordination with local officials. The Lebanese Foreign Ministry said they had no forewarning of the visit.[316]

APRIL 29: Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah called the sentences received by men convicted of working for the group in Egypt “unjust and politicized.” He vowed to pursue all “political and diplomatic means” to secure their release.  One of the men convicted is Sami Shehab, whom Sheikh Nasrallah has confirmed was working for Hezbollah.[317]

APRIL 28: Hezbollah MP Hassan Fadlallah vehemently denied US and Israeli allegations that the group is stockpiling missiles He further differentiated Hezbollah’s arms from that of the US and Israel, saying that Hezbollah’s were arms of resistance, while the latter countries’ were those of “invasions, occupations and aggressions.”[318]

APRIL 21: Hezbollah denounced United Nation report on Security Council Resolution 1559, which calls for all militias in Lebanon to disarm. In a statement, Hezbollah said it was not a militia, but instead “a Lebanese resistance movement that defends its territory.”[319]

APRIL 17: Hezbollah MP Nawwaf Moussawi responded to Israeli threats saying, “As long as Lebanon is still under Zionist threats, it is not only the resistance’s right, but also it is its duty to be supplied with what it needs to confront the aggression and disturb its political and military goals.”[320]

APRIL 17: Hezbollah MP Ali Fayyad said that the Americans “are encouraging Israel to carry out an aggression against Lebanon that they are trying to endorse at the international level.”  He continued, “The United States is thus placing itself in a position of complicity in the event of aggression and it will have to take responsibility.”[321]

APRIL 16: Hezbollah MP Hussein Haj Hassan refused to confirm or deny the acquisition of Scud missiles from Syria.  Hassan remarked that “what we have is not their [Israel’s] business.” [322]

APRIL 13: Hezbollah MP Mohammad Ra’ad said the Israeli accusations that Syria supplied Hezbollah with Scud missiles are not new and are part of a “symphony we’re used to hearing.”[323]

MARCH 31: Nasrallah confirmed that twelve Hezbollah members had been questioned in the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL). Nasrallah claimed that the Hezbollah members interviewed were assured that they were being interviewed as witnesses and not as suspects.[324]

MARCH 30: Nasrallah warned that calling Hezbollah members to testify in front of the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) would lead to a “political May 7 battle.” He referred to May 7, 2008, when Hezbollah militants seized control of many neighborhoods in Beirut after Hezbollah’s telecommunications network was shut down.[325]

MARCH 17: Hezbollah condemned the use of force by Israeli police against Palestinian protesters in East Jerusalem. Palestinians were protesting the reopening of a synagogue close to al Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount.[326]

MARCH 12: Hezbollah released a statement denouncing Israeli plans to expand settlements in East Jerusalem. The statement also implied that the decision had received American support, and called on all Arab and Islamic nations to respond.[327]

MARCH 7: Hezbollah Administrative Reform Minister Mohammad Fneich said that disarmament was not an option for the militant group.[328]

MARCH 2: Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said that Israel has backed away from conflict with Lebanon because of the strength of the Shiite resistance.[329]

MARCH 2: A Hezbollah MP insisted that all foreigners entering Lebanon must undergo stricter security to avoid assassinations of Hezbollah officials. Hezbollah has been on alert since a top Hamas official, Mahmoud Mabhouh, was assassinated in Dubai in January.[330]

MARCH 1: Hezbollah has tightened its security protocols following the assassination of a Hamas operative in Dubai. Hezbollah has asked that Lebanese officials put extra scrutiny on persons wishing to enter Lebanon from suspicious countries, including Egypt and most European countries.[331]

FEB 16: Nasrallah delivered a speech on the anniversary of the Martyred Leaders in which he warned Israel that Lebanon would retaliate if Israel took any military action in Lebanon.  He threatened Israel saying: “If you bomb Rafik Hariri International Airport in Beirut, we will bomb Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv.  If you bomb our docks, we will bomb your docks.  If you bomb our oil refineries, we will bomb your oil refineries.  If you bomb our factories, we will bomb your factories.  And if you bomb our power plants, we will bomb your power plants.”  He reiterated that Hezbollah was not seeking a war and that it would exact revenge for the assassination of Imad Mughniyah.[332]

FEB 12: Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem announced that Hezbollah would fulfill Nasrallah’s promise of retaliation for the 2008 assassination of Imad Mughniyah, Hezbollah’s military commander.  He added that Israel would determine whether there would be a war, saying “Neither Hezbollah, Iran, Syria nor Hamas will initiate war.”[333]

JAN 27:  Hezbollah released a statement denying reports that a high-ranking delegation, including Sayyed Hashem Safi al Din and MP Nawwar al Saheli, was supposed to be on the Ethiopian plane that crashed on January 25th.  Lebanese daily al Liwaa posited that the plane was deliberately brought down to target the Hezbollah officials.[334]

JAN 16: Nasrallah accused Arab leaders of caving to U.S. pressure on Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.[335]

JAN 15: Nasrallah delivered a speech via video link to the Arab and International Forum for Supporting the Resistance at the UNESCO Palace in Beirut.  His speech stressed that the Resistance will continue to achieve victory in the face of confrontation.[336]

JAN 6: Hezbollah expressed “deep disappointment” over Hamas drills occurring in Dahiyeh without the group’s knowledge.  Two Hamas members were killed when an explosion took place while the members were conducting live ammunition training in the basement of a residential building.[337]

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Full text of speech available from al Moqawama: http://english.moqawama.org/essaydetails.php?eid=11988&cid=231
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“Hizbullah Condemns Statement of American Central Command Candidate Gen. James Mattis,” al Moqawama, August 2, 2010.  Available: http://english.moqawama.org/essaydetails.php?eid=11872&cid=226
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“Hezbollah MP: STL is the second crime after Hariri’s murder,” Ya Libnan, July 28, 2010. Available: http://www.yalibnan.com/2010/07/28/hezbollah-mp-stl-is-the-second-crime-after-hariris-murder/
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“Hezbollah Responds to U.S. Assessment,” UPI, June 10, 2010. Available: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Special/2010/06/10/Hezbollah-responds-to-US-assessment/UPI-91621276190305/
[310] “Nasrallah Urges Lebanese to Join Flotilla Rally,” The Daily Star, June 4, 2010. Available: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=115562#axzz0ptMi33OA
[311] “Hezbollah Says It Will Hit Israel Ships In New War,” AP, May 25, 2010. Available: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/25/AR2010052503556.html
[312] “Resistance Necessary, Hezbollah Says,” UPI, May 19, 2010. Available: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Special/2010/05/19/Resistance-necessary-Hezbollah-says/UPI-75941274291279/  
[313] “Hizbullah To Boycott Beirut Polls To Avoid Sectarian Tensions,” The Daily Star, May 6, 2010. Available: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=114613#axzz0nAMWofqa
[314] “Sheikh Qassem: Washington Seeks Through ‘Scud’ Issue to Conceal Its Crisis With ‘Israel,’” Islamic Resistance in Lebanon, May 3, 2010. Available: http://english.moqawama.org/essaydetails.php?eid=10952&cid=258
[315] “Hezbollah Leader Won’t Say If Militants Have Scuds,” AP, April 30, 2010. Available: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gCHfAWAy_fYeedrL-WswqiDnyzyQD9FDD1E80
[316] “US Tour Near Syrian Border Criticized in Lebanon,” AP, April 29, 2010. Available: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5i5ggkb0W3EnItElUblFtK6XnIOOAD9FCPSNG0
[317] “Hezbollah: Egyptian Jailings ‘Unjust and Politicised,’” BBC News, April 29, 2010. Available: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8651095.stm
“Sayyed Nasrallah Vows to Use Diplomacy to Free Imprisoned Freedomfighters, Calls Rulings Political Cover-Up Fabrications,” al Moqawama, April 28, 2010.  Available: http://english.moqawama.org/essaydetails.php?eid=10920&cid=231
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[320] “MP Moussawi: ‘Israeli’ Threats on Lebanon Mean Resistance Duty to Confront,” al Moqawama, April 17, 2010.  Available: http://english.moqawama.org/essaydetails.php?eid=10816&cid=258
[321] “Scud Allegations May Prompt Israeli Raid: Hezbollah,” AFP, April 17, 2010.  Available: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jzVoKAnK74a-xMsiL0fYhDflZREQ
[322] “Hezbollah Says Its Missiles Not Israel’s Business,” AP, April 16, 2010. Available: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hz827cabHjhovTTdF99xEc5shm4gD9F46RSG2
[323] “Raad: ‘Israeli’ Threats and Accusations: ‘A Symphony We’re Used to Hearing,’” al Moqawama, April 13, 2010.  Available: http://english.moqawama.org/essaydetails.php?eid=10782&cid=258
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[326] “Hezbollah Pledges Solidarity with al Quds Protesters,” Press TV, March 17, 2010. Available: http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=121030&sectionid=351020203
[327] “Hezbollah Slams Israeli Decision to Expand Settlements,” NOW Lebanon, March 12, 2010. Available at World News Connection.
[328] “Hezbollah Disarmament Not For Discussion: Minister,” AFP, March 7, 2010. Available: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hD6H4kW1upya4_RS0yNZ4LPOIKlw
[329] “Hezbollah Claims Israel Changed Rhetoric,” UPI, March 2, 2010. Available at Lexis Nexis.
[330] “All Foreigners in Lebanon Could Be Spies: Hezbollah,” AFP, March 2, 2010. Available at Lexis Nexis.
[331] “Hezbollah Ups Security After Hamas Dubai Slaying,” AP, March 1, 2010. Available at Lexis Nexis.
[332] “Full Text of H.E. Sayyed Nasrallah Speech on Day of Martyred Leaders,” al Moqawama, February 17, 2010.  English version available: http://english.moqawama.org/essaydetails.php?eid=10225&cid=214
[333] “Qassem: Hezbollah Will Fulfill Nasrallah’s Promise to Avenge Mugniyah’s Assasination,” NOW Lebanon, February 12, 2010.  Available at Wolds News Connection.
[334] “Hezbollah Denies Delegation was Supposed to be on Plane,” al Manar, January 27, 2010.  Available: http://www.almanar.com.lb/NewsSite/NewsDetails.aspx?id=121642
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[336] “Sayyed Nasrallah: We Will Defeat Enemy, Change Region’s Face,” al Manar, January 15, 2010.  Available: http://www.almanar.com.lb/NewsSite/NewsDetails.aspx?id=119979
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