Tracker

Iran-Lebanese Hezbollah Relationship Tracker 2011

The Critical Threats Project’s Iran Tracker will be providing 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.  A complete tracker is available for 2010.

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

LAST UPDATE: FEB 2, 2012

highlights in bold represent recent updates

 
IRANIAN-HEZBOLLAH RELATIONS

DECEMBER 18: According to a recent poll by Iranian state-media agency IRNA, the majority of people in Lebanon want Hezbollah to keep its weapons. 68% of those surveyed in the poll, which was conducted from December 12-15, believe that Israel will attack Lebanon again if Hezbollah is forced to give up its arms.[1]

DECEMBER 2: In a speech at the Saban Forum, US Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta warned against Iran’s “continued support to groups like Hezbollah, Hamas, and other terrorist organizations” and claimed US foreign policy towards Iran dealt primarily with preventing nuclear development and discouraging the arming of terrorist militias.[2]

NOVEMBER 23: In an interview with Al-Alam News Network, former IRGC commander Major General Yahya Rahim-Safavi threatened retaliation to potential Israeli attacks on Iran, claiming "They [Israel] are within range of Katyusha rockets of our friends in Lebanon's Hezbollah."[3]

NOVEMBER 21: Hezbollah and the Amal Movement issued a joint statement declaring that they “firmly support the Islamic Republic of Iran against all American and Israeli threats.” Representatives of both parties also reaffirmed their solidarity with the Syrian people and institutions.[4]

NOVEMBER 19: Fars issued a report denying previously published claims that the death of senior IRGC commander General Hasan Tehrani Moghaddam had occurred while testing an intercontinental ballistics missile. Among the quotes retracted was one by the deceased’s brother, Mohammed Tehrani Moghaddam, which claimed the General had set up missile batteries for Hezbollah.[5]

NOVEMBER 19: Hezbollah’s Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem, Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s Secretary General Ramadan Abdullah, former Iraqi Prime Minister Ebrahim Jafari, Ayatollah Asif Mohseni from Afghanistan, and the Secretary General for the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Taskhiri were present at the first meeting of the Islamic Awakening Coordination Council in Tehran.[6]

NOVEMBER 5: Head of Hezbollah-sponsored Loyalty to the Resistance bloc Muhammad Ra’d responded to recent anti-Iranian statements made by the US and Israel by emphasizing the strength of Iran. Ra’d claimed, "the Zionist enemy is too weak to launch a war against Iran, and this enemy knows that if it carries out any foolish act against Iran, the latter will not allow it to catch its breath to preserve its presence."[7]

NOVEMBER 1: Hojjat al-Eslam Ruhollah Bejani, Secretary General of the Tabriz representation of the Iranian wing of Hezbollah, claimed there will be a protest on November 4 against the anti-Islamic policies of the Republic of Azerbaijan. [8]

OCTOBER 26: Representatives of the House Foreign Affairs Committee underscored Iran’s continued funding and ideological support of Hezbollah as well as Hezbollah’s partnership operations with Mexican drug cartels during a recent hearing. Representative Michael McCaul stated, “the potential combination between Iran, Hezbollah and the drug cartels is very powerful and very dangerous.”[9]

OCTOBER 12: U.S. Department of Treasury officials imposed sanctions on Iranian airline Mahan Air for supporting Hezbollah and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force (IRGC-QF). The Treasury designation revealed that Mahan had provided covert transportation of weapons, personnel and materiel for both organizations.[10]

OCTOBER 9: Lebanese authorities banned a showing of Iranian film-maker Nader Davoodi’s documentary “Red, White, and the Green,” which covers Iran’s 2009 election and the resulting protests and violence, and informed Davoodi that he would not be allowed to travel to Lebanon.[11]

SEPTEMBER 30: Head of Loyalty to the Resistance bloc MP Mohammed Raad accompanied parliamentary speaker Nabih Mustafa Birri to a conference in Tehran held in support of the Palestinian resistance movement.[12]

SEPTEMBER 21: A member of the Syrian opposition claimed that "Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah have a hand in the acts of repression and violence exercised by al Assad's regime” by offering “military and technical assistance to repress protests and cut off means communications.”[13]

SEPTEMBER 17: Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem met with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi in Tehran to discuss mutual cooperation and recent developments in the Middle East.[14]

AUGUST 26: Representative of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to the IRGC Hojjat ol-Eslam Ali Sa'idi issued a statement emphasizing the link between the interests of Hezbollah and Hamas with those of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Sa’idi claimed plots against Hezbollah were intended to undercut Iran, and stated that any threat against them would be “seen as an attack on positions and interests of the Islamic system.”[15]

JULY 21: Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah met with Deputy Head of the Iranian Islamic Council Sayyed Rida Bahunar to discuss regional developments. Nasrallah thanked Iran for “everything it has offered to Lebanon and the Palestinian cause since the victory of the Islamic revolution in Iran until today,” and Bahunar expressed Iran’s continuing support for Lebanon and Hezbollah.[16]

JULY 12: Iranian Fars News Agency reported that Hezbollah envoy to Tehran Abdullah Safieddine warned Israel against attacking Iran, stating, “The Zionist regime knows very well that if it decides to pose a threat to the Islamic Republic of Iran and embarks on committing such a grave mistake, it won't be able to escape (the retaliation of) the Lebanese Hezbollah.”[17] 

JUNE 6: Al Manar reported that Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah met with an Iranian delegation in Tehran. According to Press TV, Gholamali Haddad-Adel, senior advisor to Iranian Supreme Leader Sayyed Ali Khamenei and leader of the Iranian delegation, stressed Iran’s continuing support for Hezbollah.[18]

JUNE 6: Al Manar reported that Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah praised Iranian Supreme Leader Sayyed Ali Khamenei at a speech in Tehran. Nasrallah stated that “In the early days of July 2006 War, we received [a] verbal message from Imam Khamenei telling us that we’ll remain victorious and undefeated power after this war.” Nasrallah added that Khamenei “said that when the US is unable to protect its interests through regimes in the region or through armies and fleets and become obliged to enter all the fleets to the region, this is a sign of weakness.”[19]

MAY 19: Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammed Reza Shibani and Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Ghadanfar Rokon Abadi met with Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah in Lebanon to discuss local and regional developments.[20]

APRIL 10: Hezbollah’s website reported that Hezbollah MP Nawwaf Moussawi defended Iran’s role in the Arab world in response to former Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s criticism of Iranian interference, stating, “We are proud of the relation we have had for centuries with Iran.” Moussawi noted that unlike other Arab governments, Imam Khomeini and the Iranian people “stood by Lebanon since the ‘Israeli’ occupation in 1982.”[21]

APRIL 9: Hezbollah’s website reported that Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah responded to former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s criticism of Iranian involvement in the region in a speech, stating, “We are proud of our relation with Iran, of our alliance with Iran as well as with Syria and other countries.”[22]

MARCH 10: U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton testified in a House Appropriations Committee on Foreign Operations hearing that Iran is using its relationship with Hezbollah to influence the uprisings in the Middle East. She stated, “We know from our intelligence reporting, from anecdotal reporting, our embassies, our political officers that everywhere Iran can take advantage, they're going to, either directly or indirectly through proxies like Hezbollah and Hamas. There's no doubt that Hezbollah… is going to try to influence the outcome in Bahrain.”[23]

MARCH 8: The Lebanese Daily Star reported that Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast expressed Tehran’s support for the formation of a new government led by Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati “that represents the various sectors and political parties of the Lebanese people.” Mehmanparast commented on the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon, stating, “This trend and this movement by the Tribunal [toward] indicting Hezbollah [members] is a conspiracy.”[24]

MARCH 7: Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi stated that Tehran supports “any agreement that the Lebanese achieve” on the formation of the next government, rejecting claims that the Islamic Republic is actively working to empower Hezbollah politically. Salehi ignored the prospect that the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon would issue indictments against Iranian figures, stating, “We don't give the international tribunal any consideration.”[25]

MARCH 2: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified in a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing that Iran is using its relationship with Hezbollah to influence the uprisings in the Middle East. She stated, “[the Iranians] are using Hezbollah, which is a political party with an armed wing, to communicate with counterparts in Egypt, in Hamas, who then in turn communicate with counterparts in Egypt. We know that they are reaching out to the opposition in Bahrain.”[26]

FEBRUARY 6: For the 32nd anniversary of Khomeini's accession to power in Tehran, Iranian ambassador to Lebanon Ghadanfar Rukun Abadi chose Tyr for the Khomeini festival. Tyr is a symbolic choice, because it highlights Iranian support for Hezbollah. Ghadanfar Rukun Abadi called Hezbollah, "Lebanon's most honorable resistance to occupation."[27]

FEBRUARY 2: Iran’s ambassador to Lebanon, Ghadanfar Rukun Abadi said the conflicting Lebanese coalitions, including Hezbollah, should come together. He stated, “I have previously affirmed the position of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is to call on all the parties to reach understanding, [engage in] dialogue and agreement and work together to better serve Lebanon. At this stage, I reaffirm that the Iranian position is to stand at the same distance with all the Lebanese and call on them to reach agreement and close ranks in order to serve this country.”[28]

JANUARY 24: Iranian Fars News Agency and the Tehran Times report that Iran’s acting foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi and Syrian President Bashar al Assad met in Syria on Monday to discuss regional issues, focusing on Lebanon. Salehi stated, "finding a Lebanese solution through multilateral efforts by the Lebanese factions and parties constitutes the stable and principled stance of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”[29]  

JANUARY 17: Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Brigadier General Masoud Jazayeri stated in an interview with Iranian Mehr News Agency that the United States tries to create instability in Lebanon through the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon because the government “is aware that it cannot rival the heroic Hezbollah.”[30]

JANUARY 17: Press TV reported that Iranian MP Mohammad Karami-Rad commented on the situation in Lebanon, stating, “The March 14 incident and the subsequent investigations regarding the assassination of [former Lebanese premier] Rafiq Hariri and [Hezbollah Secretary General] Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah has had a positive effect on different Lebanese factions and changed the course of Hariri's assassination case.”[31]

JANUARY 4: Tehran Times reported that Speaker of the Iranian Parliament Ali Larijani stated, “It is Iran’s policy to fight against the global arrogance and support the oppressed, so we say openly that we back Hezbollah and Hamas.”[32]

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FUNDING

DECEMBER 13: US federal prosecutors released information about the indictment of Hezbollah operative Ayman Joumaa in an elaborate money laundering scheme, connected with Colombian and Mexican drug cartels, to raise funds for Hezbollah. Analysts claim that Hezbollah’s increasing participation in such plots indicates that financial support for the organization from Iran is diminishing.[33]

OCTOBER 13: Representatives of the House Foreign Affairs Committee expressed concern about funds raised for Hezbollah through Lebanese expatriates in Latin America. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes Daniel Glaser, however, noted that “the most significant donor to Hezbollah is Iran. All other forms of Hezbollah fund raising pale in comparison to the funds that Hezbollah gets from Iran … Iran is the chief financial supporter of Hezbollah and Hezbollah survives on Iranian support.”[34]

FEBRUARY  10: The U.S. Department of the Treasury issued a press release announcing that Lebanese Canadian Bank SAL and its subsidiaries (LBC) are linked to Hezbollah through the “bank’s role in facilitating the money laundering activities of an international narcotics trafficking and money laundering network,” which has financed Hezbollah. The Treasury also linked LBC to Hezbollah leaders outside of Lebanon, including Tehran-based envoy Abdallah Safieddine.[35]

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ARMS TRANSFERS and MILITANT OPERATIONS

DECEMBER 21: Israeli defense officials reported their growing concern over Syrian military exercises, which recently included the testing of new P-800 supersonic Yakhont anti-ship missiles received from Russia, claiming that there is a possibility Syria will give the missiles to Hezbollah.[36]

DECEMBER 13: IDF Major General Yair Golan predicted that if the Assad regime falls in Syria, “his [Assad’s] arsenal of advanced weapons, including ground-to-sea missiles and aerial defense systems, will fall into the hands of Hezbollah and other radical groups,” with or without the consent of the opposition movement.[37]

DECEMBER 11: In an interview with RFI radio, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe claimed that Hezbollah perpetrated the recent attacks on French UNIFIL forces with the support of Syria. Juppe called Hezbollah “Syria’s armed wing [in Lebanon]” and called on the Lebanese state to protect the country’s peacekeepers.[38]

DECEMBER 6: Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak claimed Israeli intelligence had observed a recent escalation in weapons transfers from the Syrian regime to members of Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. Military estimates claim Hezbollah has stockpiled around 40,000 Katyusha Grad rockets, among other missiles.[39]

NOVEMBER 23: Lebanese security forces investigating an explosion at a Hezbollah-owned ammunition depot were prevented from entering the site by members of Hezbollah.[40]

NOVEMBER 21: According to U.S. officials, Hezbollah captured crucial CIA operatives working in Lebanon. Counterterrorism expert Matthew Levitt said the fate of the agents is unclear, and that "Hezbollah has disappeared people before. Others they have kept around."[41]

NOVEMBER 9: An Israeli reconnaissance drone disappeared over south Lebanon, increasing speculation by the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) that Hezbollah is able to disable such technologies through its advanced communications network and Iranian-sponsored electronic warfare capabilities. [42]

NOVEMBER 8: Free Patriotic Movement Member of Parliament Michel Aoun issued a statement opposing recent attempts of the March 14 coalition to enforce the disarmament of Hezbollah. Aoun claimed the action was contingent on the strengthening of the Lebanese armed forces, and proposed, “First give Lebanon security and then ask for the disarmament of Hezbollah."[43]

NOVEMBER 3: In a radio interview with the Voice of Lebanon, Future Movement Member of Parliament Ahmad Fatfat refused to recognize the legitimacy of Hezbollah’s weapons arsenal, claiming his coalition could not “accept the existence of illegitimate weapons that challenge Lebanon's security every day.”[44]

OCTOBER 30: Maronite Patriarch Beshara Ra’i issued a statement claiming "The issue of Hezbollah's weapons is not only in the hands of the Lebanese but also the international community." Ra’i asked the international community to help the Lebanese government disarm Hezbollah by sending aid to the Lebanese armed forces and convincing Israel to implement UNSC resolutions. [45]

OCTOBER 20: Al-Joumhouria reported that Hezbollah expects an Israeli attack on Lebanon “at any moment” and has obtained thousands of rockets, anti-aircraft weapons, long-range missiles, and land-to air and sea missiles.[46]

OCTOBER 10: Security forces in Cyprus claimed that a merchant affiliated with Hezbollah smuggled 2,000 Soviet anti-aircraft SAM-7 rockets through Syria into Lebanon. The rockets are reportedly part of a larger shipment trafficked by Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) agents from Libya to other countries in the region.[47]

OCTOBER 3: Egyptian law enforcement officials detained suspected Hezbollah spy Hassan al Manakhly after he appeared on a Cairo talk show. Manakhly had been serving a 10-year sentence for spying for Hezbollah and "planning terrorist attacks inside Egypt." Manakhly escaped detention during Egypt’s protests.[48]

AUGUST 16: According to security sources, Hezbollah helped a Palestinian faction transport and deploy short-range rocket launch pads in Aley in support of the Syrian regime. Hezbollah and the Progressive Socialist Party, whom the deployment concerned, issued a joint statement in which they "decisively den[ied] the existence of such [military] movement.” [49]

AUGUST 5: Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu confirmed that Turkish authorities seized an Iranian weapons shipment bound for Syria. Western sources believe the shipment was ultimately meant for Hezbollah.[50]

JULY 18: The Israeli press reported that according to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Hezbollah is responsible for the May Istanbul bombing thought to be carried out by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The reports allege that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps Qods Force directed Hezbollah to carry out the attack targeting Israeli Consul General to Istanbul Moshe Kamhi. Turkish Hurriyet Daily noted that Turkish intelligence officials denied the Italian report.[51]

JUNE 26: Haaretz reported that according to French newspaper Le Figaro, Hezbollah in recent weeks has transported missile stockpiles from Syria into south Lebanon due to fears that Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s regime would fall amid widespread unrest in the country. The report claimed that the weapons were “Iranian-produced Zilzal, Fajr-3 and Fajr-4 missiles.”[52]

MAY 29: Haaretz reported that according to a Lebanese MP quoted in Israel Radio, Hezbollah forces are actively supporting the Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s regime crack down on the opposition.[53]

MARCH 2: SITE Intelligence Group assessed that Hezbollah has been successful in using Facebook as a means of disseminating its propaganda to a global audience, noting that its hundreds of fan pages have created a social network of over one hundred thousand people worldwide.[54]

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INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

DECEMBER 30: Israeli law firm Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center accused Twitter of breaking U.S. law by giving Hezbollah access to its network, claiming that Twitter’s “provision of social media… to Hezbollah and other foreign terrorist organizations would constitute the type of seemingly innocuous material support that would render your company and you personally criminally and civilly liable."[55]

DECEMBER 27: Maronite Catholic Patriarch Bechara Rai reiterated his hope that the Lebanese government will disarm all non-state militias, including Hezbollah, stating that “it is the state’s duty alone to ensure the security of citizens and peace throughout the country, to gather up all arms and to place them under the sole control of Lebanon's legitimate forces, so that Beirut and the whole of Lebanon be freed of arms.”[56]

DECEMBER 22: In Havlish, et al. v. bin Laden, the federal district courts case against the 9/11 terrorists in which many of the victims’ families were plaintiffs, Manhattan Judge George B. Daniels ruled that both Iran and Hezbollah provided direct assistance to al Qaeda in the 9/11 attacks. Iran and Hezbollah allegedly instructed Al Qaeda operatives in how to use explosives to demolish large structures.[57]

DECEMBER 19: Hezbollah International Relations Officer Ammar Moussawi met with UN Deputy Special Coordinator for Lebanon Robert Watkins to discuss local developments. Moussawi condemned recent Israeli espionage operations in southern Lebanon and claimed that “Hizbullah rebuffs anything that might jeopardize the internal stability, especially in the south.”[58]

DECEMBER 16: White House spokesman Tommy Vietor disclosed that Hezbollah commander Ali Mussa Daqduq, imprisoned by the American military in Iraq for his role in the deaths of four U.S. soldiers, has been turned over to Iraqi authorities. Daqduq faces trial in Iraq, though it is unclear on what charges.[59]

DECEMBER 8: Lebanese Finance Minister Mohammad Safadi advised members of the US Congress to increase their aid to the Lebanese military, because doing so would render Hezbollah redundant as an armed militia. Safadi insisted that the Lebanese government “is not a Hezbollah captive” and advocated the provision of the “arms needed to preserve stability and reinforce the state’s authority through its legitimate powers.”[60]

DECEMBER 6: In his first public appearance in several years at a speech in southern Beirut, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah commented on the futility of SNC president Burhan Ghaliyoun’s pledge to sever ties with Iran and Hezbollah, declaring such a regime “would surrender [to Israel] and would be disloyal to Arabs.” Nasrallah also claimed that Hezbollah is increasing in both numbers and weapons stockpiles.[61]

DECEMBER 2: According to Syrian National Council president Burhan Ghalioun, the group, which is the main opposition movement in the country, would cut military ties with Iran and end funding and arms transfers to Hezbollah and Hamas if it gained power. Ghalioun claimed that “after the fall of the Syrian regime, [Hezbollah] won’t be the same.”[62]

NOVEMBER 28: Marjayoun-Hasbaya MP and Hezbollah official Ali Fayyad met with the head of the Middle Eastern Affairs department at the German Foreign Ministry Robert Dolscher to discuss domestic and regional issues.[63]

NOVEMBER 28: A Hezbollah delegation led by Khaled Abu Zeinab met with Grand Mufti of the Lebanese Republic Mohammad Rashid Qabbani.  “We stand by Sheikh Qabbani and call on the Lebanese people not to use Lebanon to deliver statements against Arab countries, especially in regards to Syria,” Zeinab said after the meeting.[64]

NOVEMBER 27: Tens of thousands of anti-Syrian protestors gathered in Tripoli to rally against the Syrian regime and its ally, Hezbollah. According to demonstrator Mohammed Hamdash, the crowd was “here to say that we are against this Syrian-Iranian government imposed by Hezbollah.”[65]

NOVEMBER 18: The US Drug Enforcement Administration extradited an Iranian citizen and a Turkish citizen from Romania for providing narcotics and material assistance to Hezbollah. According to a statement by Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara, “Aksu [Cetin Aksu, the Turkish citizen] is also charged with agreeing to buy a deadly laundry list of weapons on behalf of an associate of Hizballah.” The weapons deal was valued at $9.5 million USD and included 48 American-made Stinger SAMs, 100 Igla SAMs, 5,000 AK-47 assault rifles, 1,000 M4 rifles, and 1,000 Glock handguns.[66]

NOVEMBER 17: Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem met with Sudanese Ambassador to Lebanon Idris Suleiman to discuss regional developments. Sheikh Qassem emphasized the important position Hezbollah holds in regional events, calling it “the immune baseline to prevent [enemy] aggressions and foil the goals of those conspiring in our region.”[67]

NOVEMBER 13: Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri condemned the Lebanese government’s vote against suspending Syria from the Arab League. Hariri claimed, “This is not the Lebanese will that voted, it is the Hezbollah government headed by (Najib) Mikati.”[68]

OCTOBER 21: A delegation from Hezbollah’s parliamentary Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc met Russian officials during a visit to Moscow to discuss regional developments. Head of the Bloc MP Mohammad Raad claimed, ”this first visit paved the way for cooperation and following up discussions with the Russian officials.”[69]

OCTOBER 15: The FBI set up anti-missile and anti-aircraft ground-to-air missile technology on the roofs of the US embassy buildings in Beirut and Nicosia because of the perceived risk of a Hezbollah attack using Iranian missiles.[70]

OCTOBER 1: Hezbollah International Relations officer Ammar Moussawi met European Union Ambassador to Lebanon Angelina Eichhorst to discuss regional developments and the importance of domestic stability.[71]

SEPTEMBER 8: Hezbollah International Relations officer Ammar Moussawi met UN Secretary General’s Special Coordinator to Lebanon Michael Williams to discuss recent regional developments. Moussawi emphasized Hezbollah’s commitment to internal affairs and predicted “the attempts of some Lebanese political groups to interfere in Syrian affairs will have negative repercussions that do not serve the Lebanese national interest.”[72]

SEPTEMBER 7: Chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen issued a press release regarding recent intelligence indicating the possible existence of a Hezbollah base in Cuba. Ros-Lehtinen emphasized the dangerous nature of this development and said that “given Cuba's close relationship with Iran and Syria, Hezbollah's primary benefactors, it would not surprise me if Cuba is providing a safe haven for Hezbollah to expand its operations in the Western Hemisphere.”[73]

SEPTEMBER 1: Security reports indicate that Hezbollah is working to establish a terrorist cell in Cuba headed by senior Hezbollah member Talal Hamla. The center will reportedly be utilized initially for logistical matters, intelligence and networking, but will ultimately serve as the base for an offensive against Israeli targets in South America.[74]

JULY 29: According to a statement by the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Pre-Trial Judge Daniel Fransen ordered the public release of further details from the indictment, including the full names and aliases of the four suspects wanted for assassinating former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, their photographs, and charges. The suspects are Mustafa Amine Badreddine, Salim Jamil Ayyash, Hussein Hassan Oneissi, and Assad Hassan Sabra. The statement maintained that “making the requested information available in public fora may increase the likelihood of apprehending the accused in the event that any of them are noticed by the public.”[75]

JUNE 30: The UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) issued a press statement announcing the submission of an indictment, confirmed by Pre-Trial Judge Daniel Fransen on June 28, and arrest warrants for the assassination of Rafiq Hariri to the Lebanese authorities. While the STL refrained from commenting on the identity of those indicted and kept the indictment sealed, the following names were leaked: Mustafa Badreddine, Hezbollah’s operations chief, allegedly planned and supervised the assassination; Salim Ayyash, a member of Hezbollah, allegedly led the assassination cell; Hassan Oneissi; and Assad Sabra.[76]

JUNE 24: U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Maura Connelly issued a statement after meeting with Lebanese General Michel Aoun, dismissing Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s claims that the CIA had recruited three members of Hezbollah as spies. Connelly called the accusations against the U.S. Embassy “an attempt to deflect attention away from internal tensions in Hizballah.” Connelly also reiterated the American government’s expectation that Lebanon will fulfill its obligations to the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon.[77]

JUNE 16: Congressman Howard L. Berman introduced to the House of Representatives the Hezbollah Anti-Terrorism Act (HATA), H.R. 2215, which ensures that “United States taxpayer dollars are not used to fund terrorist entities in Lebanon.” Congressman Charles Boustany, who cosponsored the bill, expressed “serious and grave concerns about the composition of the Lebanese Cabinet and the direction they may take the country” and pledged to “monitor developments to ensure the new government’s actions are not contrary to U.S. national interests.”[78]

JUNE 13: U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, reacted to the composition of the new Lebanese government, stating that “Now, Hezbollah and its cohorts will control the Lebanese government and likely benefit from the years of U.S. assistance, including to the Lebanese military.” She advised that “the U.S. should immediately cut off assistance to the Lebanese government as long as any violent extremist group designated by the U.S. as foreign terrorist organizations participates in it.”[79]

JUNE 13: Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati announced the formation of the new government, in which the March 8 bloc led by Hezbollah received 18 out of 30 seats. Mikati claimed that the “The fact that Hezbollah and its allies have 18 seats in the 30-member cabinet does not mean that the country will join the radical camp in terms of its relations with the international community.”[80]

MAY 31: The Daily Star reported that EU Ambassador to Lebanon Angelina Eichhorst, at the Issam Fares Center for Lebanon, called disarming “Hezbollah and any other armed factions” as a necessary step towards instituting EU-recommended reforms, such as strengthening the armed forces.[81]

MAY 22: President Barack Obama stated in his speech to AIPAC that the United States is prepared to “stand up to groups like Hezbollah, who exercise political assassination and seek to impose their will through rockets and car bombs.”[82]

MAY 9: U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford stated in an interview with Sawa Radio that “The American administration is asking Syria to stop [military] aid to Hezbollah immediately and to recognize Lebanon’s sovereignty.”[83]

APRIL 25: The Wall Street Journal reported that the Bahraini government accused Hezbollah of colluding to remove the regime from power in a report to the United Nations. The Gulf nation claimed that the organization has been training the Bahraini Shi’ite opposition in camps in Lebanon and Iran. According to the report, “Several terrorist acts carried out in Bahrain have revealed that many Bahraini Shi'ites received military training from Lebanon's Hezbollah.”[84]

APRIL 4: The Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates approved the suspension of American weapons shipments to the Lebanese Armed Forces following Hezbollah’s defection from the national government in January. Department of State spokesman Mark Toner denied the freeze in a news briefing, saying, “our assistance programs to the Lebanese armed forces continue and… no decision regarding any kind of freeze has been made at this time.”[85]

MARCH 31: James G. Stavridis, Commander of U.S. European Command and NATO Supreme Allied Commander of Europe, testified in a House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing that Iran’s relationship with Hezbollah poses a major threat to U.S. interests abroad. He stated that “The continued development of missile technologies by states such as Iran and Syria, coupled with the transfer of rocket and missile capabilities and technologies to non-state actors such as Hizbollah, present the most significant combination of capability and intent into realized threat to European Command's interests in Europe and the Levant.”[86]

MARCH 29: James G. Stavridis, Commander of U.S. European Command and NATO Supreme Allied Commander of Europe, testified before in a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that Hezbollah could be involved in the Libyan opposition. He stated, “We have seen flickers in the intelligence of potential al Qaeda, Hezbollah. We've seen different things. But at this point, I don't have detail sufficient to say that there's a significant al Qaeda presence or any other terrorist presence in and among these folks.”[87]

MARCH 29: Bahraini Interior Minister Sheikh Rashed bin Abdullah al Khalifa accused Hezbollah in a speech to Parliament of inciting the Shi’ite protests in the kingdom, stating that Hezbollah’s involvement was “proven by the demonstrators’ methods as well as statements of support from the Lebanese Shiite group and Tehran.”[88]

MARCH 24: AFP reported that Bahrain is preparing to deport 90 Lebanese Shi’ites for their alleged connections to Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, according to Kuwaiti newspaper al Seyassah. This news emerged one day after the Bahraini government halted flights to and from Lebanon and two days after Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement advising Bahrainis not to travel to Lebanon in response to Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah’s criticism of Bahrain’s crackdown on protesters.[89]

MARCH 20: Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement calling Hezbollah “a terrorist organization” and condemning Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s comments on the unrest in the kingdom as “blatant interference” and “a violation of Bahrain's sovereignty.”  The statement asserted that the kingdom holds the Lebanese government responsible for Nasrallah’s remarks, “which will undoubtedly have an impact on the course of bilateral relations between the two brotherly countries.”[90]

MARCH 18: White House National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor stated in an interview with Haaretz that “U.S. policy toward Hezbollah has not changed and is not changing. Hezbollah is a designated foreign terrorist organization and our efforts against the group are in line with that status.”[91]

MARCH 18: U.S. Representative Steve Chabot expressed his opinion that the U.S. should stop funding the Lebanese Armed Forced, stating in an interview with the Daily Star, “If Hezbollah is calling the shots or playing a major role or even a minor role in calling the shots, then, as far as I’m concerned, not a penny of U.S. [funding] should go to assist in terrorist-connected activities.” Chabot added that financial support of the Lebanese Armed Forces “ought to be based to a considerable degree on the extent of [Hezbollah’s] involvement in any future government,” noting that the organization facilitates Iranian and Syrian involvement in Lebanese affairs.[92]

MARCH 15: The Israeli navy intercepted a ship that was carrying an estimated 50 tons of arms allegedly originating from Iran and destined for Hezbollah and Hamas.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that, “The only certain thing is the source of the weaponry was Iran, and there was a Syrian relay station as well.  This is the main axis that provides the forces of terror in Lebanon and Gaza."  Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak alleged that the cargo constituted “the beginnings of an advanced system, which could have affected IDF activity along the Gaza Strip coast.”[93]

MARCH 11: Acting Prime Minister Saad Hariri accused Hezbollah of carrying out Syrian and Iranian interests in a speech to his supporters, stating, “Their decision, the decision of their weapons, is not in their hands, but in the hands of the external forces that provide them with arms, finance them and press on them to make the weapons dominate our lives and to control our country, its resources and its future.” Hariri called on the group to disarm, adding that “There should be no weapons but those of the Lebanese state, and decisions of war and peace ought to be made by the Lebanese state.”[94]

MARCH 11: The Special Tribunal for Lebanon issued a statement announcing that Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare filed an amended indictment that “expands on the scope of the indictment filed on 17 January 2011.”[95]

MARCH 10: U.S. Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper testified in a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing that the United States should continue its military aid to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) even if Hezbollah controls the government. He stated, “I would think that to the extent that we can sustain influence and insight and help counterbalance the Hezbollah military wing, that it would be a good idea.”[96]

MARCH 4: The President of the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Antonio Cassese, published his second annual report, stating that the tribunal “should endeavor to complete the submission (plus possible confirmation) of indictments” in its third year, which started on March 1, 2011. Cassese also said that the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon made progress “in spite of the hostile rhetoric against the tribunal which escalated into clear intimidation and physical violence during the reporting period.”[97]

MARCH 2: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified in a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing that the United States should continue funding the Lebanese Armed Forces until it is able to determine “the extent of Hezbollah’s political influence over” the new Lebanese government. She stated, “we worry that if the United States does not continue supporting the Lebanese armed forces its capabilities will rapidly deteriorate. Security in the south and along the border with Israel will be at risk.”[98]

FEBRUARY 28: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon released his latest report on the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, expressing his satisfaction with “the relative stability and calm that prevailed in the UNIFIL area of operations.” He cautioned, however, that “the presence of Hizbullah and of other armed groups operating outside of the control of the State continues to pose a serious challenge to the ability of the State to exercise its full sovereignty and control over its territory.”[99]

FEBRUARY 25: The U.S. Department of Justice issued a press release announcing that Moussa Ali Hamdan, a dual citizen of the U.S. and Lebanon accused of “provid[ing] material support” to Hezbollah, appeared in U.S. District Court after being extradited from Paraguay on February 18.[100]

FEBRUARY 22: U.S. Senators John McCain and Joseph Lieberman reiterated on a trip to Lebanon their support for the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Senator McCain stated, “The work of the Tribunal is of vital importance to stability, security and justice in Lebanon. It is important that it continue.” Senator Lieberman added, “This is a decisive moment for Lebanon. Choosing between justice and peace in Lebanon is a false choice. Without justice for Rafik Hariri and the dozens of other innocent victims of terrorism in Lebanon, there can be no peace or stability for Lebanon.”[101]

FEBRUARY 16: Catherine Ashton, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union, reiterated her support for the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon after meeting with Lebanese officials in Beirut. She stated, “All UN Security Council Resolutions count and need to be abided by, including those related to the STL.”[102]  

FEBRUARY 16: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted to comments made by Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, stating, “Nasrallah declared today that he will conquer the Galilee. I have news for him. He won't.”[103]

FEBRUARY 15: Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak addressed Israel Defense Forces soldiers, stating, “Hezbollah remembers the heavy beating they suffered from us in 2006, but it is not forever, and you may be called to enter again.”[104]

FEBRUARY 14: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement on the sixth anniversary of the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri reiterating the UN’s support for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in order to “uncover the truth so as to bring those responsible to justice and send a message that impunity will not be tolerated.”[105]

FEBRUARY 14: Acting Prime Minister Saad Hariri called on his supporters to protest the Hezbollah-supported government on March 14 in a ceremony marking the sixth anniversary of the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.  He announced that he would not join the new Lebanese government, accusing Hezbollah of “lies, betrayal and lack of loyalty.” Hariri added, “Our mistake may have been that we extended our hand truthfully every time. But we were met every time with deceit, and our genuine intention was taken as a point of weakness and a sign of fear.”[106]

FEBRUARY 13: President Barak Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued statements encouraging the new Lebanese government to cooperate with the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon on the sixth anniversary of the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. President Obama said, “Ending the era of impunity for political assassinations is essential to realizing the justice and stability that the Lebanese people deserve, and any attempt to interfere with the Tribunal's work or fuel tensions within Lebanon must not be tolerated.” Clinton added, “Those who would try to block Lebanon's cooperation should desist and show a measure of human decency. Ultimately, without justice, there can be no peace and stability for Lebanon.”[107]

FEBRUARY 10: U.S. Deputy Secretary of State James B. Steinberg testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee that Hezbollah used “threats of violence” and “political intimidation” to force the collapse of the Lebanese government led by former Prime Minister Saad Hariri. Steinberg added, “We will be watching Prime Minister Miqati to see whether he makes good on his public pledge to build a broad-based government that represents all sections of Lebanese society.”[108]

FEBRUARY 9: U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen expressed concern in a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing over the direction of long-term U.S. strategy in Lebanon, especially given continued U.S. assistance to the Lebanese government and Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) “despite longstanding concerns over whether such aid could directly or indirectly benefit Hezbollah.”[109]

FEBRUARY 8: U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Maura Connelly reiterated in an embassy press release that the new Lebanese government should respect the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon, stating, “Any government that claims to be truly representative of all of Lebanon would find it impossible to abandon the tribunal's efforts to end the era of impunity for assassinations in the country.”[110]

FEBRUARY 3: Lebanon’s prime minister-designate Najib Miqati said when asked about his commitments to Hezbollah, “of the 68 deputies that nominated me, only 10 belong to Hezbollah … Hezbollah asked me for assurances before electing me but I said I could not guarantee them.” He added, “I agreed to only one thing: protecting the resistance, because keeping weapons pointed toward Israel is agreed upon among all Lebanese.”[111]

FEBRUARY 2: The March 14 coalition’s General Secretariat issued a statement reiterating its commitment to the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) and to restricting Hezbollah’s use of weapons in Lebanon. Additionally, regarding Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi’s statement that the rebellion in Egypt is going to produce an “Islamic Middle East,” the March 14 General Secretariat stated that Iranian officials “should deal with their own affairs…instead of interfering in Arab affairs.”[112]

JANUARY 31: Lebanon’s prime minister-designate, Najib Miqati, made it clear that he wants to publicly distance himself from Hezbollah. Miqati stated, “I have a friendship with Hezbollah and I also have contacts outside of Lebanon, but it doesn’t mean I follow anyone’s agenda. My own agenda is going to be followed and that agenda is to maintain very good relations with the international community and Lebanon has to fulfill its commitments.” Miqati also maintains that he is going to approach the tribunal “in a calm manner as part of a national dialogue.”[113]

JANUARY 31: Syrian President Bashar al Assad denied directly supplying arms to Hezbollah in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. When asked about weapon transfer to Hezbollah, President Assad stated, “Hezbollah is not under embargo; they have the sea from one side, they have Syria, and Syria has Iraq on part of its borders. You cannot stop them smuggling, even if you want. Sometimes they want you to be complicit and sometimes they want you to be the police. What if you want to be neither? We want to be neither. We are focusing on the peace.”[114]

JANUARY 27: Israel's minister of strategic affairs Moshe Yaalon said the “Lebanese Hezbollah guerrilla group infiltrated agents into the Gaza Strip to train Palestinian militants.” Yaalon said, "Hezbollah experts can get into the Gaza Strip, like the Iranian rockets are coming to the Gaza Strip." Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum denied Yaalon's statement and said that all the factions in Gaza are Palestinians.[115]

JANUARY 27: Lebanon’s prime minister-designate Najib Miqati defended his commitment to a government with broad participation. He stated, "I say in all honesty that my nomination by Hezbollah does not mean I am bound by any of their political positions, except as concerns the protection of the national resistance."[116]

JANUARY 26: Regarding Lebanon’s choice of prime minister-designate, Najib Miqati, Israeli vice-prime minister Silvan Shalom said Lebanon was taken "hostage" by Iran and Hezbollah. "The international community must do everything to stop Hezbollah and Iran from taking Lebanon hostage," Shalom told Israeli public radio. Shalom added, "Hezbollah is not simply a terrorist organisation, it's a terrorist organisation controlled by the Iranian state."[117]

JANUARY 25: Lebanon’s prime minister-designate, Najib Miqati, distanced himself from Hezbollah. Miqati claimed, “I am not at all related to Hezbollah by any means.” [118]

JANUARY 25: Bloomberg reported that U.S. officials said the Obama administration has started to review political, economic and military aid to Lebanon, following Hezbollah-backed Najib Miqati’s appointment as Lebanon’s new Prime Minister. U.S. Congressman Howard Berman said that this would “render [Lebanon] a satellite of Iran.”  He said in a statement, “I call on President Obama immediately to suspend all weapons transfers to Lebanon and to review carefully all economic assistance programs in order to ensure that they are not inadvertently strengthening Hezbollah.”[119]

JANUARY 25: U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, stated at a press conference with Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez of Spain, "We both share deep concerns about the influence of outside forces, and we hope to see a government emerge that will serve the interests of the people of Lebanon and sustain the independence and sovereignty of Lebanon." Clinton added, “a Hezbollah-controlled government would clearly have an impact on our bilateral relationship." She also said, "Our bottom lines remain as they always have been. First, we believe that justice must be pursued and impunity for murder ended. We believe in Lebanon's sovereignty and an end to outside interference. As we see what this new government does, we will judge it accordingly."[120]

JANUARY 25: White House spokesman Tommy Vietor showed support for Lebanon, stating "the make-up of Lebanon's government is, as we've repeatedly said, a Lebanese decision, but this decision should not be reached through coercion, intimidation, and threats of violence. Hezbollah, backed by Syria, engaged in all three to achieve its political goals."[121]

JANUARY 25: In a radio interview, Israeli vice prime minister Silvan Shalom, called the possibility of Hezbollah dominating Lebanon’s government “a very, very dangerous development.” Shalom said it would be like having “an Iranian government on Israel's northern border.”[122]

JANUARY 24: An Israeli official stated, “We are concerned about Iranian domination of Lebanon through its proxy, Hezbollah.”  The official added, “We are not going to give the other side any excuse whatsoever to initiate an escalation along the border.”[123] 

JANUARY 24: Lebanon's acting Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced that he will not partake in any future government headed by a Hezbollah-backed candidate, nor will Hariri’s Future Movement. After speaking with President Michel Suleiman, Miqati stated, "I don't distinguish between anyone. I extend my hand to everyone without exception ... I say to Prime Minister Saad Hariri, let us all work together for the sake of Lebanon." Despite Miqati’s comments, Hariri's office said there is no "consensual candidate."[124]  

JANUARY 24: Acting Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s supporters accused Hezbollah of executing a coup and called for a protest "day of anger" on Tuesday. Hariri supporters released a statement that said “the coup that Hezbollah is carrying out, it is an attempt to put the office of prime minister under the control of Wilayat al Fakih (Iran's clerical authority)."[125]

JANUARY 24: The Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) made an official statement regarding the January 24 protests over Hezbollah’s nomination of Najib Miqati for prime minister that said, “The army command warns against messing with security and assaulting private and public property.”[126]

JANUARY 24: U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley expressed concern about the situation in Lebanon in a daily press briefing stating, “The larger the role played by Hezbollah in this government, the more problematic our relationship will be.” He added, “We want to see a government emerge in Lebanon that will continue to support the work of the tribunal and end the era of impunity in Lebanon.”[127]

JANUARY 20: U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton offered to help arbitrate the political crisis in Lebanon, noting that “Any mediation effort engaged in by anyone outside of Lebanon itself should be aimed at supporting the people of Lebanon and making decisions that will lead to stability and security, justice, and a commitment to bringing those who committed the murders of Prime Minister Hariri and 22 others to account.”[128]  

JANUARY 19: Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al Faisal announced on al Arabiya TV that Saudi King Abdullah abandoned month-long efforts to mediate the political crisis in Lebanon. Al Faisal noted that “If the situation reaches separation or partition of Lebanon, this means the end of Lebanon as a state that has this model of peaceful cohabitation between religions and ethnicities and different groups.”

JANUARY 18: UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon Registrar Herman von Hebel stated, “Toward September, October, if things go well, we may see the start of the trial... with or without an accused,” adding that “The problem with international tribunals is that they do not have a police force. We are dependent on the cooperation of states” to carry out arrests of the accused.[129]

JANUARY 18: Special Tribunal for Lebanon Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare said in a videotaped statement, “I have made good on the first part of my promise to the people of Lebanon” by submitting an indictment on January 17 in order to “ensure that the truth emerges.” He added that “Confidentiality is essential as I cannot presume that the pre-trial judge will confirm the indictment. If it is confirmed, the content of the document will be made public in due course.”[130]

JANUARY 17: U.S. President Barak Obama in a White House statement called the filing of the Special Tribunal in Lebanon indictment “an important step toward ending the era of impunity for murder in Lebanon” and called on “all Lebanese leaders and factions to preserve calm and restraint.” He added, “The Special Tribunal for Lebanon must be allowed to continue its work, free from interference and coercion.  That is the way to advance the search for the truth, the cause of justice, and the future of Lebanon.  Those who have tried to manufacture a crisis and force a choice between justice or stability in Lebanon are offering a false choice.”[131]

JANUARY 17: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reaffirmed his support for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in a press conference in Abu Dhabi, stating that “No one should politicize the work of the Special Tribunal… the independent judicial process should not be linked to any political debate.” [132]

JANUARY 17: The Special Tribunal for Lebanon confirmed in a statement that Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare submitted an indictment to pre-trial judge Daniel Fransen.[133]

JANUARY 16: U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Maura Connelly affirmed in a statement after meeting with acting Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri that “The tribunal is an independent, international judicial process whose work is not subject to political influence, either from inside Lebanon or from outside.” She added, “The efforts by the Hezbollah-led coalition to collapse the Lebanese government only demonstrate their own fear and determination to undermine Lebanon's sovereignty and independence.”[134]

JANUARY 14: U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Maura Connelly stated after meeting with Michel Aoun that “It is now more important than ever that all sides commit to constructive dialogue and avoid escalating tensions in the country.” She affirmed that “the STL is an irrevocable, international judicial process,” adding that the U.S. will continue to work with Saad Hariri “as head of Lebanon's caretaker government on all of the issues of vital importance in the U.S.-Lebanese bilateral relationship.” [135]

JANUARY 14: Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri stated, “There is no alternative for all of us to dialogue, and no side in Lebanon will be able to eliminate the other.” He added that “some political figures in particular should overcome the disputes of the past because no one is more important than their country.”[136]

JANUARY 12: British Foreign Secretary William Hague called Hezbollah’s cabinet withdrawal and the collapse of the Lebanese government “an extremely serious development which could have grave implications for Lebanon and for regional stability.” He added, “I condemn the continuing attempts to undermine the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, which must be allowed to carry out its work without hindrance or impediment.”[137]

JANUARY 12: U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton reacted to Hezbollah’s cabinet withdrawal and the collapse of the Lebanese government in a Doha news conference, stating, “We view what happened today as a transparent effort by those forces inside Lebanon, as well as interests outside Lebanon, to subvert justice and undermine Lebanon's stability and progress.” She added, “Lebanon needs now to rally behind its own interests. The Lebanese people need to get beyond political party. It's not political parties that would be put on trial, it’s individuals.”[138]

JANUARY 12: UN special coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams said in a statement that he is “concerned at the possibility of a prolonged political crisis” after Hezbollah withdrew from the cabinet, dissolving the Lebanese unity government.[139]

JANUARY 12: U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Philip J. Crowley reacted to Hezbollah’s cabinet withdrawal and the collapse of the Lebanese government, stating, “We are disappointed by what has occurred today and are concerned. This is a transparent effort by forces who seek to subvert justice and undermine Lebanon’s stability and progress… Hezbollah is presenting a false choice for Lebanon of justice or stability. We think that Lebanon deserves both.”[140]

JANUARY 10: U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton expressed her concern about the situation in Lebanon in a briefing with reporters in Abu Dhabi, stating, “I am deeply worried about the efforts to destabilize Lebanon.” Clinton met with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri as well as Saudi, French, and Egyptian officials “to try to make sure we stabilize Lebanon and prevent any outside interests or anyone within Lebanon who is getting direction from outside interests from taking steps that will destabilize Lebanon and perhaps provoke conflict.”[141]

JANUARY 10: UN spokesman for the Secretary-General Martin Nesirky called Ban Ki-moon’s meeting with Saad Hariri in a statement “cordial and constructive.” He added that “The secretary general reiterated his support for the work of the tribunal, and stressed that it is an independent body. He hoped its work would help end impunity in Lebanon.”[142]

JANUARY 7: Arab daily al Hayat published an interview with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, quoting him as saying of his plans to meet with Saudi King Abdullah in New York, “I am going there to discuss ways of boosting the mediation efforts that are a guarantee to Lebanon's stability.” Regarding the Saudi-Syrian initiative, Hariri stated that “Any commitment on my part will not be carried out until the other party (Hezbollah) implements what they agreed to.”[143]

JANUARY 7: U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Philip J. Crowley stated that in a meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton will “reiterate our support for a sovereign, stable, and politically independent Lebanon.”[144]

JANUARY 7: AFP reported that an unnamed government official close to Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri explained the extent of the crisis in Lebanon, stating, “The government has been paralysed for months and the political leaders should be able to discuss issues and that has not been happening.” Regarding the Saudi-Syrian initiative, he commented, “We hoped to see the process translating into tension-easing steps but that has not so far happened.” “The ball is in their (Hezbollah’s) court,” the official added.[145]

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HEZBOLLAH STATEMENTS

DECEMBER 23: Hezbollah issued a statement denouncing the terrorist attacks carried out in Damascus on Syrian civilians and declared that “such terrorist crimes will not harm the resistance and rejectionist powers.”[146]

DECEMBER 22: Hezbollah issued a statement denying recent accusations of money laundering made against them by the United States, calling them “merely a new attempt to morally target the resistance in Lebanon by trying to tarnish its image and to cover up its national achievements.”[147]

DECEMBER 13: Hezbollah issued a statement condemning the attack against the French UNIFIL forces and denying the French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe’s accusation that Hezbollah carried out the attack themselves.[148]

DECEMBER 10: Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem announced that the report Hezbollah issued concerning the CIA plot against them contained “just a fraction of the information we [Hezbollah] have” on the subject. Qassem warned the CIA that “some of those who work with them also work with others, and since some of their agents are known for financial corruption, this also means that they can be bought.”[149]

DECEMBER 10: Hezbollah released a report claiming it had discovered a CIA plot to recruit spies from many sectors of Lebanese society to gather intelligence on Hezbollah’s members, weapons, and general activity. The organization named the ten CIA officers involved in the plot and claimed they were registered diplomats at the US Embassy in Beirut.[150]

DECEMBER 3: Hezbollah issued a statement condemning the US sanctions against Iran, calling them “part of an international campaign against Iran, Syria, and the people of the region, together with the resistance axis” and demanding “more economic coordination and cooperation between the countries targeted by the Western sanctions.”[151]

NOVEMBER 28: Hezbollah released a statement that called the Arab League’s latest resolution to impose economic sanctions on President Bashar al-Assad’s regime “an unjust measure taken against Syria’s government and people” and the “approval of these sanctions…goes against the principles [that guide] joint Arab work.”[152]

NOVEMBER 28: Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem condemned international interference in Syria and criticized the U.S. for acting “like barbaric tribes from the Middle Ages.”[153]

NOVEMBER 25: Hezbollah and fellow Shiite interest group Amal met to discuss local and regional events. The parties issued a joint statement afterwards, calling on their supporters to “cooperate in…the resisting path against tyrants and occupiers led by the US and ‘Israel’” and reiterating their support of the Syrian regime and people.[154]

NOVEMBER 25: Officials from Hezbollah and the Amal Movement condemned the “flagrant assault on Lebanon’s sovereignty by U.S. intelligence” following revelations that Hezbollah had uncovered a network of CIA informants. The officials also equated the CIA espionage to Israeli intelligence activity.[155] 

NOVEMBER 24: In an interview with Asharq al-Awsat, Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem condemned the CIA’s intelligence operations in Lebanon, claiming that Hezbollah “will deal with the United States and Israel as if they do not miss an opportunity to try to infiltrate the arena in various forms.”[156]

NOVEMBER 23: In response to reports that Hezbollah had uncovered CIA agents operating in Lebanon, Hezbollah’s Loyalty to Resistance bloc MP Hasan Fadlallah stated that “Lebanese intelligence vanquished U.S. and Israeli intelligence in what is now known as the intelligence war.”[157]

NOVEMBER 23: An explosion occurred at a Hezbollah installation near Siddiqin in the Tyre region of south Lebanon.  Local media reported that the explosion likely took place at a Hezbollah arms cache, but Hezbollah officials denied the claim.  The Lebanese Army suggested that a landmine or cluster bomb left over from the 2006 war may have been the cause.[158]

NOVEMBER 21: Hezbollah and the Amal Movement issued a joint statement stating, “We assert our support to Syria, its people, army, and institutions, and oppose the use of Lebanon as a conduit to conspire against sisterly Syria.”  The groups also reaffirmed their support for Iran against American and Israeli threats.[159]

NOVEMBER 20: At the first meeting of the Islamic Awakening Coordination Council in Tehran, Deputy Secretary-General of Hezbollah Sheikh Naim Qassem stated that Israel will not risk an attack on Iran. and said, “We believe that Israel is not able and does not dare to put such threats into action and its threats are just some rhetoric.”[160]

NOVEMBER 18: Hezbollah officials condemned UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701 and said, “UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon insists on confirming once again his ultimate bias toward the Western will, which installed him in this international position…Instead, he should be biased toward strengthening peace and security, which is the international organization’s global goal.”[161]

NOVEMBER 15:  Hezbollah denied accusations from Bahraini officials that both the organization and the IRGC were connected with a terrorist cell recently broken up in Manama, claiming the charges were “untrue and groundless,” adding, “No one knows if the individuals arrested by the Bahraini authorities were members of a military cell or if the cell had military objectives as claimed, and the whole thing could be one of the fabrications of the authoritarian al-Khalifa regime.”[162]

NOVEMBER 14: Hezbollah condemned the Arab League’s decision to suspend Syria’s membership in the organization for failing to implement an Arab plan to end its domestic unrest.  Hezbollah MP Ali Fayyad claimed that isolating Syria will start “a fire in the region which is difficult to put out…. We as Lebanese are duty-bound to protect the country from its negative reverberations.”[163]

NOVEMBER 13: Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri condemned the Lebanese government’s vote against Syria’s suspension from the Arab League. Hariri claimed, “This is not the Lebanese will that voted, it is the Hezbollah government headed by (Najib) Mikati.”[164]

NOVEMBER 13: Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah asserted that war against Iran and Syria will spread to the whole region. He added, “As Ayatollah Khamenei has said Iran is united with a strong army and nation and will never be frightened by enemies’ threats.”[165]

NOVEMBER 11: In a speech commemorating Martyr’s Day, Hezbollah Secretary General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah condemned threats to Iran and Syria that followed the release of the recent IAEA report on Iran’s nuclear capabilities. Nasrallah stated, “they [the U.S.] have to understand that a war against Iran and Syria will not remain limited to Iran and Syria, it will rather affect the entire region.”[166]

NOVEMBER 10: Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah claimed that the U.S. is increasing pressure on Iran because it “needs to put up a smoke screen…and has launched a campaign of intimidation that talks about attacks against Iran and Syria so as to deflect attention from its searing defeat in Iraq.”[167]

NOVEMBER 5: Head of Hezbollah’s Loyalty to the Resistance parliamentary bloc Muhammad Ra’d responded to recent anti-Iranian statements made by the U.S. and Israel by emphasizing the strength of Iran. ”The Zionist enemy is too weak to launch a war against Iran, and this enemy knows that if it carries out any foolish act against Iran, the latter will not allow it to catch its breath to preserve its presence,” said Ra’d.[168]

NOVEMBER 3: In a radio interview with the Voice of Lebanon, Future Movement MP Ahmad Fatfat refused to recognize the legitimacy of Hezbollah’s weapons arsenal, claiming his coalition could not “accept the existence of illegitimate weapons that challenge Lebanon's security every day.”[169]

NOVEMBER 2: Hezbollah officials described Palestine’s status as a full member of the United Nations’ Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization a victory for the Palestinian people and said it “constitutes the first result of the long and painful struggle of the Palestinian people, and the first step of your brave initiative last month to obtain full recognition [at the United Nations].”[170]

NOVEMBER 1: Secretary General of the Tabriz representation of the Iranian wing of Hezbollah Hojjat al-Eslam Ruhollah Bejani,  claimed that there will be a protest on November 4 against the anti-Islamic policies of the Republic of Azerbaijan. [171]

OCTOBER 31: Hezbollah member Tarad Hamadah stated, “Any aggression against Syria is aggression against the members of the resistance front and Hezbollah will not stand still with its hands tied.”[172]

OCTOBER 30: Maronite Patriarch Beshara Ra’i issued a statement asserting, "The issue of Hezbollah's weapons is not only in the hands of the Lebanese but also the international community." Ra’i asked the international community to help Lebanon’s government disarm Hezbollah by sending aid to the Lebanese armed forces and pressuring Israel to implement UNSC resolutions. [173]

OCTOBER 27: Hezbollah issued a statement congratulating the people of Tunisia on the country’s recent Constituent Assembly elections. The organization specifically recognized “the winning political forces - the Islamic and national ones - on gaining the dear public confidence.”[174]

OCTOBER 25: In reaction to suggestions that the U.S. establish a hotline between Washington and Tehran, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said, “Rejection of the U.S. demand to set up a direct hotline by Iran made the U.S. angry and caused it to plot a new conspiracy against Iran in the region.”[175]

OCTOBER 25: Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah asserted, “The exchange of Gilad Shalit (the Israeli soldier held captive in Gaza for five years) with 1,027 Palestinian prisoners proved that resistance is a fruitful option.”[176]

OCTOBER 25: Hezbollah Secretary General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah commented on perceived Israeli and American threats in the region: “I cannot say that Israel won’t wage war but given the preparations in Lebanon by people, army, and resistance, I can rule out war on Lebanon.”[177]

OCTOBER 24: In a televised interview with Al-Manar, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah praised the recent wave of revolutions in the Middle East, stating that they were inspired by national rather than Western elements. Nasrallah also dismissed claims that Hezbollah has been suppressing Syrian protestors, but emphasized that ”we [Hezbollah] are against the toppling of a rejectionist, resistant regime that is ready for reform and has started reforms for the sake of Syrians because the alternative is either a regime that surrenders to the American will and gives ‘Israel’ what it wants, or would plunge Syria into civil war or divide the country.”[178]

OCTOBER 23: Hezbollah issued a statement to Libya that called for “the serious efforts of the Libyan leaders to specify the location of the prison of the Imam of resistance in Lebanon, Imam Musa Sadr and his two companions Sheikh Mohammad Yaghoub and Seyyed Abbas Badraddin and release them immediately.”  Hezbollah also claimed in the statement that Qaddafi imprisoned them to aid the goals of Zionism in the region.[179]

OCTOBER 21: Hezbollah issued a statement congratulating the people of Libya on their revolution and ousting of Moammar Qaddafi. The organization stated that it hoped the new regime would “free and unveil the detention place of the Lebanese resistance's Imam Seyyed Musa al-Sadr … whom the former regime absented for the benefit of the Zionist project in the region.”[180]

OCTOBER 21: Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah warned that Tel Aviv will be the group’s first target if Israel starts a war with Lebanon: “Any war that Israel decides to initiate in the future will start in Tel Aviv, not in the occupied northern areas…They will launch a war without having any of the red lines that they have drawn for themselves in previous wars.”[181]

OCTOBER 19: Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem rejected U.S. claims that Iran plotted to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to the United States in Washington.  “The United States is currently marketing its false accusations against Iran because Iran is the main obstacle to the realization of their plans in the region…By hurling such ugly accusations, the U.S. aims to tarnish the image of Iran in Muslim and Arab countries,” he argued.[182]

OCTOBER 12: Hezbollah issued a statement congratulating Hamas on the terms of the prisoner swap with Israel. The statement also called on “all Arab and Islamic peoples for more consolidation, and for adopting the choice of resistance which proves every time it is the only way to retrieve rights, free prisoners, and preserve sanctities and dignities.”[183]

OCTOBER 3: According to Fars News, Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem declared, “Iran has one of the most advanced ruling systems in the world in terms of freedom, participation, and independence…and this is the advanced and proper model for all those nations which are in a quest for freedom, independence, and glory.”[184]

SEPTEMBER 29: Hezbollah issued a statement condemning the sectarian nature of the Bahraini government’s crackdown on protestors, comparing it to U.S. methods in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay. The statement asserted that it is Hezbollah’s “standing to the side of the Bahraini people and supporting the legitimate demands that set them in the forefront of the Arab peoples struggling for freedom.”[185]

SEPTEMBER 27: According to Ayatollah Jafar Shauhouni, a member of Iran’s Combatant Clerics Association, Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem declared that his group will destroy Tel Aviv if Israel attacks Iran.[186] 

SEPTEMBER 24: Hezbollah issued a statement condemning the ”biased pro-Zionist stance” in President Obama’s speech to the United Nations in which he threatened to oppose the formation of a Palestinian state. It claimed this speech was “a good indicator of the true U.S. stance regarding the Arab revolutions, with its claim to support the principles of democracy, human rights, liberation, and independence.”[187]

SEPTEMBER 23: Hezbollah released a statement of denial in response to claims that five of its members had been arrested on charges of spying for Israel and that one had fled to Israel with “an amount of money.”.[188]

SEPTEMBER 19: According to Fars News, Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem issued a statement lauding Hezbollah’s success in promoting the Islamic Awakening throughout the region. Qassem called the Islamic Revolution a “role model” and stated that Hezbollah, as the “offspring of the Islamic awakening initiated by the late Imam Khomeini” is now able to “play a role in creating awakening moves.”[189]

SEPTEMBER 16: Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem warned that the United States seeks to derail the regional uprisings and revolutions, and commended Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for his key role in the progress of Islamic nations.[190]

SEPTEMBER 4: Head of Loyalty to the Resistance bloc MP Mohammed Raad issued a statement emphasizing Hezbollah’s commitment to Lebanon’s national interests. The statement further asserted, “The opposition is still delusional in thinking that it can strip the Resistance of its arms” and threatened to “cut foreign hands once they start meddling in Lebanon’s internal affairs.”[191]

AUGUST 27: Hezbollah Secretary General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah said that the Lebanese people and all Arabs should support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, because “without Syria the Palestine question would have been disappeared by now.”[192]

AUGUST 26: In a speech on al-Quds International Day, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah expressed his appreciation for the Syrian regime, claiming that “[were] it not for the Syrian administration and its stance even the Iranian support would have been prevented from Lebanon.” Nasrallah also affirmed Hezbollah’s support for “important reforms in Syria for Syria's further development, enhancement and strength for its people, nation and the region.”[193]

AUGUST 21: Hezbollah issued a statement denying that a representative of the organization met with Time magazine to discuss the proceedings of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. The statement claimed that the story is “part of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon's fabrications.”[194]

AUGUST 18: One of the four members of Hezbollah accused by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon  denied his involvement in the case during an anonymous interview with Time magazine. The man insisted that “if the tribunal was built on [genuine] evidence I would have given myself [up] from the first day” and expressed disbelief that Lebanese authorities have the power to apprehend him.[195]

AUGUST 17: Hezbollah Secretary General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah  emphasized the organization’s universal appeal in Lebanon in a speech to the Women’s Branch in the Islamic Resistance Support association. He claimed that “the majority in Lebanon embrace the Resistance apart from its belonging to a definite sect because they view the Resistance as a national cause, national responsibility and a national stance.” Nasrallah went on to deny accusations that Hezbollah recently aided pro-Syrian factions in deploying rocket launch pads in Aley. [196]

AUGUST 15: Head of the Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc MP Mohammad Raad stated, “the resistance’s priority is for its weapons to remain directed at the Israeli enemy no matter how much we’re harmed at home.”[197]

AUGUST 13:Hezbollah Deputy Secretary-General Sheikh Naim Qassem addressed the issue of differences among Lebanese groups: “The Islamic resistance has no enemy but Israel…We don’t have any enemy in Lebanon, but we have certain streams and groups that have political differences.”[198]

AUGUST 5: Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced that Turkish authorities had intercepted an Iranian arms shipment headed to Syria.  Turkish officials claimed that Hezbollah was the intended recipient.[199]

AUGUST 2: During a ceremony for the eighth edition of his book Hezbollah, Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem stated that his group has been offered billions of dollars to give up its weapons.  In response, he said that Hezbollah will continue its resistance.[200]

AUGUST 1: Hezbollah issued a statement condemning an Israeli assault on a Lebanese army unit in the Wazzani locale. The organization claimed that “any aggression targeting one of the golden formula elements, (army-people-resistance) is an act of aggression against all Lebanon, which requires the unity of efforts to protect the country and its people, as well as safeguard its sovereignty.”[201]

JULY 30: Hezbollah regional commander Sheikh Nabil Qaouk called Israeli attacks on Lebanese oil resources futile because the organization’s missiles are capable of reaching Israeli facilities. Qaouk stated that “the integration between the resistance and the government has strengthened the power of the Lebanese position… cutting the road in front of any ‘Israeli’ attempt to impose a fait accompli in the sea.”[202]

JULY 29: Hezbollah issued a statement denying any involvement in the suppression of Syrian protesters. The group claimed that such accusations are “aimed at paving the way for the West to meddle in Syria's internal politics” and are thus counterproductive to Syrian progress.[203]

JULY 26: IRNA reported that Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah criticized the Special Tribunal for Lebanon for “tarnishing the image of the Resistance and doubting its credibility and mission.” Nasrallah added that while the state is responsible for demarcating Lebanon’s maritime borders, “Lebanon will rely on all the elements of strength in order to regain its natural resources, and the most important element is the army-people-Resistance formula.”[204]

JULY 14: Haaretz reported that Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem stated that Lebanon would not tolerate Israeli maritime encroachments, declaring “Lebanon will stand guard in order to protect all its rights – no matter the cost.” He added, “Israel knows its threats are worthless in Lebanon after the bitter experience it had gained in the face of Lebanon's steadfast stance.”[205]

JULY 8: Hezbollah Media Relations Official Ibrahim Moussawi issued a statement criticizing the UN reaction to the Israeli attack on Palestinian demonstrators on Nakba Day. Moussawi claimed that “the minimum position after the horror of the Zionist massacre that was required from the highest international body” should have included “the prosecution of the enemy leaders.”[206]

JULY 5: Hezbollah issued a statement criticizing Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) prosecutor Daniel Bellemare for “refusing to investigate the subject of a possible ‘Israeli’ involvement in the [Hariri] assassination.” The group claimed that Bellemare’s refusal to recognize crucial evidence demonstrated the “erosion affecting the credibility of Court, and the weakness that hits its moral basis.”[207]

JUNE 24: Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah dismissed widespread criticism of the newly formed Lebanese cabinet in a speech broadcasted on al Manar TV, claiming that the “insistence on labeling it as Hizbullah’s government is aimed at inciting domestic and sectarian tensions” in Lebanon. Nasrallah also accused the CIA of attempting to infiltrate Hezbollah by recruiting three of its members for espionage.[208]

JUNE 7: Hezbollah issued a statement criticizing the United States for its continued alliance with Israel in light of recent attacks by Israeli soldiers on civilian protestors in the Golan Heights. The organization claimed that the alliance demonstrated the “U.S. total adoption to such actions, its unwavering support and legitimization of the ‘Israeli’ blatant crimes.” The organization also expressed approval of the “sacrifices, blood, and will of this [Palestinian] youth” as “a practical response to all the defeats and conspiracies.”[209]

JUNE 1: Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah stated that finalizing the new Lebanese cabinet is Hezbollah’s priority, noting, “We want to aid the PM-designate and we will not present a proposal that can harm his efforts… The efforts are underway and we will not stop until we reach a result.”[210]

MAY 28: Hezbollah MP Nawaf Moussawi accused the United States and Europe of interfering in the formation of the new Lebanese government. Moussawi stated that “The real showdown that Hezbollah faces is with the American administration.”[211]

MAY 25: Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah reiterated his commitment in a public speech to the “stability, security, and safety” of Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s regime. He condemned U.S. sanctions on Syria and stated that “we as Lebanese shouldn’t interfere in what is going on in Syria, but let the Syrians themselves to [sic] deal with the issue.” Nasrallah also attacked President Barack Obama’s speech on the Middle East, which “confirmed… that the STL is an American-Israeli tribunal in which the American [sic] is playing judge and jury.”[212]

MAY 20: Hezbollah issued a statement calling President Obama’s speech on the Middle East a “desperate and exposed attempt to confiscate the revolutions.” The statement noted in particular the administration’s “ugly double-standard policies” and “hypocrisy” regarding the situations in Bahrain and Palestine.[213]

MAY 19: Hezbollah issued a statement condemning U.S. sanctions on Syria as “part of the continuous US pressure on Syria… to force it [Syria] to give up its legitimate rights and change its policies that support Arab rights in face of the ‘Israeli’ and US occupations.”[214]

MAY 16: Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah issued a statement praising the “courage, bravery and faith” of the Palestinians who participated in the Nabka Day protests along the Lebanese and Syrian borders.  He urged them to “not accept a home other than Palestine” and expressed sympathy for the families of protesters who died.[215]

APRIL 29: Hezbollah issued a statement praising the reconciliation between Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah, noting that “US-Zionist irritation regarding this reconciliation… is evidence that the reconciliation is in its correct path.”[216]

APRIL 28: Hezbollah condemned the Bahraini military court’s decision to sentence four Shi’ite protestors to death as a “continuation to the crime committed by the regime in Bahrain against its people.” The organization deplored the “severe injustice and oppression the Bahraini people are subject to, only because they are demanding their legitimate rights.”[217]

APRIL 26: ABNA reported that Hezbollah MP Hassan Fadlallah stated that the “resistance’s arms will remain firm and legitimate in standing up to Israel” and that “local and international criticisms that serve the Israeli entity in targeting these arms, could never affect the resistance’s determination and will.”[218]

APRIL 7: Hezbollah issued an official statement denouncing former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s assertion that Iranian interference poses the greatest threat to the Arab world. The statement claimed that Hariri’s comments are “part of an uncovered and blatant attempt to hide the American interference in the region’s affairs as well as a bid to confiscate the people’s will for freedom and their intention to get rid of the American hegemony.”[219]

APRIL 3: Fars News Agency reported that Hashem Safieddine, the head of Hezbollah’s Executive Council, boasted of the group’s growing power, claiming that, “Israel's throat is in our hands and we can choke it as much as we want.  We can destroy the region in five minutes if we want to.” Safieddine added that Hezbollah’s “power does not lie in our equipments and missiles” but “is divine and is rooted in our faith.”[220]

MARCH 31: Hezbollah issued a statement refuting accusations that it has trained Bahraini protesters, saying, “None of our Bahraini brethrens has asked for military or security training at all, and we in our turn did not conduct any sort of training of such type to anyone in Bahrain.” The statement noted that Hezbollah only offered “political and moral support to the people.”[221]

MARCH 31: Khodr Noureddine, a member of Hezbollah’s political bureau, called Israel’s release of a map allegedly designating Hezbollah sites in southern Lebanon a scare tactic intended “to tell us that they will destroy Lebanon. Let them do it if they can and I tell them they cannot.” Noureddine did not comment on the accuracy of the map.[222]

MARCH 27: Hezbollah MP Nawwaf Moussawi denounced the UN-backed Special Tribunal in Lebanon, stating, “The fact that an international judicial movement which neglects ‘Israeli’ crimes is accepted, is a betrayal to the blood of the Lebanese killed by the ‘Israeli’ criminals.”[223]

MARCH 19: Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah expressed in a speech Hezbollah’s support for the uprisings in the Middle East, rejecting claims that external actors, like al Qaeda in Libya and Iran in Bahrain, incited the protests. He condemned the Bahraini government’s violent crackdown on “the most oppressed people” and stated, “No matter how stubborn you are, you are doomed to be defeated, so respond to your peoples before it is too late.”[224]

MARCH 18: Hezbollah issued a statement condemning the Yemeni government’s crackdown on protesters in the capital city of Sana’a, calling it “a new crime piled up to the abominable crimes committed by the Yemeni regime in the past period of time, and where many martyrs were victims.”[225]

MARCH 14: Hezbollah’s website reported that MP Nawwaf Moussawi stated, “We do not accept, and neither do the Lebanese citizens… that the "Israeli" occupation comes back through the so-called the Special Tribunal to take over Lebanon.”[226]

MARCH 13: Hezbollah issued a statement condemning violence against peaceful civilians in response to the Gulf Cooperation Council’s military intervention in Bahrain. The statement said that the use of force “will complicate issues and eliminate solution opportunities” and called the U.S. stance on developments “suspicious,” linking the escalation in violence against unarmed civilians to U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’ visit to Manama.[227]

MARCH 13: Hezbollah MP Nawwaf Moussawi stated in a speech in the village of Kfar Kila that Hezbollah will continue to expand its weapons arsenal, saying, “Let the entire world know that we will not hesitate to bolster our defense, military, and fighting capabilities.  We are not saying this to confront voices or campaigns [against our arms], for we never cared about those.”[228]

MARCH 11: Hezbollah MP Nawaf Salehi called the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon an “American-Israeli political sham” and accused it of “doing security-espionage work for America and Israel.”[229]

MARCH 10: Hezbollah’s website reported that Deputy Secretary-General Sheikh Naim Qassem claimed that the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon aims to not only weaken Lebanon, “so it would not be capable [of] confront[ing] the "Israeli" scheme,” but also empower the March 14 bloc to “compensate [for] their losses and a declining rate in their popularity.”[230]

MARCH 6: Hezbollah MP Mohammad Fneish rejected Special Tribunal for Lebanon Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare’s request for information, stating that “Any procedure related to the STL must be stopped until the new cabinet looks into this issue.” Fneish also claimed that Hezbollah’s “triumph” in the 2006 war gave rise to the current uprisings in the Middle East.[231]

MARCH 5: Hezbollah commander in southern Lebanon Sheikh Naim Qaouk accused Special Tribunal for Lebanon Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare of “violating the Lebanese dignity, sovereignty and honor” by requesting information from Lebanese ministers. Qaouk added, “It is by now clear that the tribunal has become a bridge to fulfill the Israeli objectives that they failed to achieve in the 2006 war.”[232]

MARCH 4: Hezbollah leader Mohammad Raad expressed his support for the four Lebanese ministers refusing to comply with Special Tribunal for Lebanon Prosecutor General Daniel Bellemare’s request for information. Raad characterized the request as “an infringement on Lebanon’s sovereignty and a violation of the Constitution and laws,” calling on the public to not cooperate with the UN-backed tribunal. He called the development “the biggest act of tutelage and piracy modern Lebanon has ever witnessed” and advocated that the investigation be postponed until the new Lebanese government is formed.[233]

MARCH 1: Press TV published an interview with Hezbollah spokesman Ibrahim Moussawi in which he urged the Iranian government, among others, to “raise a voice… against the United Nations organization,” which he deemed “fake,” for its alleged involvement in the 1996 Qana massacre.[234] 

FEBRUARY 16: Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah denied claims in a televised speech that the current Lebanese government is controlled by Hezbollah. Nasrallah also called on “resistance fighters to be prepared for the day when war is imposed on Lebanon” and “lead the resistance to occupy the Galilee [region].” He warned, “I tell the Zionist leaders and generals to be careful wherever they are in the world because Imad Moghniyeh's blood will not go to waste.”[235]

FEBRUARY 10: Hezbollah leader Sheikh Naim Qassem called the new Lebanese government “a government for all Lebanon, whether all sides participate in it or not. It is a government of clear political choices; it is not a government of sectarianism.” He identified Hezbollah’s demands as “apply[ing] the [Taif] accord, enabling national partnership, maintaining civil peace, maintaining the army-people-resistance equation, shutting the door in face of any ‘Israeli’ scheme and taking care of people's affairs.”[236]

FEBRUARY 7: Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah expressed in a speech his support for the “Egyptian people’s revolution against the Camp David regime.” He compared the revolts in Egypt to the 2006 Hezbollah takeover, stating, “What they (Egyptians) have done is no less important than the historic steadfastness of the Islamic resistance in Lebanon in 2006 as well as the steadfastness of the Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip in 2008.”[237]

FEBRUARY 4: According to al Seyassah newspaper, Hezbollah reportedly sent a message to prime minister-designate Najib Miqati disapproving of his statements on achieving consensus on the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL). Hezbollah was upset with Miqati’s statements, because the new majority reportedly wants to stop cooperating with the STL.[238]

JANUARY 27: According to Ya Libnan, Hezbollah’s MP Mohammad Raad said after meeting Miqati that “the Shiite group hadn’t made any demands on the prime minister or imposed any conditions on him regarding the UN tribunal.”[239]

JANUARY 26: Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah gave a speech that attacked Hariri’s supporters. Nasrallah argued that “saying Miqati is Hezbollah's candidate is a sectarian provocation. The next prime minister will not be Hezbollah's, nor will the next cabinet. This is only said to provoke [foreign powers] against Lebanon, [including] the U.S. and Israel.… it is up to the Lebanese. If [we] do not seek to form a national unity cabinet, where are [we] taking the country?"[240]

JANUARY 25:  Hezbollah Secretary-General, Hassan Nasrallah called for a national partnership government. Nasrallah told supporters, “we have supported the nomination of ... Mikati and we call on him to form a national partnership government. The Lebanese have a chance to close ranks.”[241]

JANUARY 25: Hezbollah Secretary-General, Hassan Nasrallah, reiterated that Miqati is a centrist who is not part of the opposition. Nasrallah added, “Those who don't want to take part should give Mikati's government one year before passing judgement [sic].”[242]

JANUARY 25: Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah said in a speech that the incoming prime minister, Najib Miqati, is not a “Hezbollah man” but rather a “candidate of the center.” Nasrallah claimed that the new Lebanese government will not be a Hezbollah government, but he acknowledged that “the United States and Israel are worried that the coming government will lead to a Hezbollah offensive plan.”[243]

JANUARY 25: Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah accused Hariri's supporters of trying to “politically assassinate” his movement. Nasrallah asserted, “We have noticed recently that the matter of the indictments has been accelerated in order to put pressure on us and our allies out of political aims. After the indictments are filed we will not capitulate to any political conditions imposed on us.”[244]

JANUARY 25: Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah asserted that "the new government will not be a Hezbollah government nor will it be led by Hezbollah ... We don't want power." Addressing other political coalitions, such as Hariri’s Future Movement, he said, "If you refuse to take part that means you want to monopolise power."[245]

JANUARY 25: Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah advocated a “national partnership government” and stated, "we have supported the nomination of ... Mikati and we call on him to form a national partnership government. The Lebanese have a chance to close ranks."[246]

JANUARY 24: Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah stated that he will respect Lebanon’s institutions and work toward “a partnership government.”[247]

JANUARY 23: Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah warned the March 14 bloc that “after the release of the indictment, we will not yield to anything that is being imposed on us. To us, the matter is over, but when the indictment is issued, we will have our say on that,” Hezbollah’s website reported. Nasrallah also added, “We are not seeking a monochromic government nor do we want to cancel anyone.”[248]

JANUARY 23: Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah said in a speech, “We [Hezbollah] are not seeking authority,” and that Hezbollah hoped to form a national unity government with broad participation.[249]

JANUARY 22:  Hezbollah’s website reported that its regional commander Nabil Qaouk stated that “America witnesses a retreat in its role and influence as well as an increase in failures. It has become obliged to engage in a clear and direct battle with the resistance. Therefore, we say yes, the US is the strongest in New York and in The Hague, and it can issue resolutions and indictments, but it will remain to be the weakest in Lebanon, within the 10452 Kilometers of borders. We will not allow it (the US) to use Lebanon as an arena to its illusionary victories.”[250]

JANUARY 17: Hezbollah’s al Manar television claimed that “Americans control the [Special Tribunal for Lebanon] indictments in form and content” and are responsible for “pushing the indictment ahead to light the fuse to blow up the bridges for a solution.”[251]

JANUARY 16: Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah stated in a speech, “We will not allow our reputation and our dignity to be tarnished, nor will we allow anyone to conspire against us,” referring to the UN-backed Special Tribunal in Lebanon. Hezbollah’s website added that Nasrallah rejected the “politicized indictment” and made the following demands: “the government should convene concerning the developments and dangers awaiting Lebanon... It should withdraw the Lebanese judges from the tribunal, stop the funding the STL, and annul the memorandum of understanding between the Lebanese government and the tribunal.”[252]

JANUARY 13: Hezbollah MP Mohammad Raad stated that the next prime minister “must be someone with a history of national resistance and ability to confront Western imperialism.”[253]

JANUARY 11: Hezbollah MP Mohamad Fneish stated that the “opposition agreed on not letting the country suffer from government paralysis opposition,” demanding an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss the failure of Syrian and Saudi efforts aimed at mediating the crisis in Lebanon over the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Fneish stated that Lebanon is “the target of the indictment and the STL and its politicized role” and claimed that the month-long negotiations failed due to “US interference and the inability of the other side to deal with it.”[254]

JANUARY 7: Hezbollah Minister Mohammed Fneish responded to Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Haririr’s comments on the Saudi-Syrian initiative published in Arab daily al Hayat, saying, “Hariri’s statements on Hezbollah’s failure to commit to the Saudi-Syrian agreement are accusatory.” Fneish added, “When the Prime Minister refuses to disclose the details or make them public; and when he (refuses) to explain to the people what he is talking about, no one can judge whether he was right or not.”[255]

JANUARY 2: Hezbollah regional commander Nabil Qaouk stated: “The basis to any solution to the current deadlock need a unified Lebanese stance, which does not allow using the STL as a weapon to backstab the Resistance.” He added, “"We know that the US is the enemy of the Resistance and Arab unity.” For his part, Hezbollah MP Hassan Fadlallah expressed his support for the Saudi-Syrian mediated initiative to resolve peace in Lebanon, stating, “We are all concerned helping each other to reach a solution; turning Arab initiative into a success is the responsibility of the Lebanese.”[256]

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