Hizbullah Won’t Attack Israel to Defend Iran-Syria

By Dalia Nehme
Hizbullah Stressed that it would not go into war with Israel if Syria and Iran were attacked by the Jewish state or the United States.

The stand was outlined by Hizbullah MP Hussein Hajj Hassan in an interview with Naharnet.

Hajj Hassan also said reaching consensus on a presidential candidate is “the destiny of the Lebanese people and not a choice,” noting that Hizbullah has not announced its “official Candidate for the presidential office.”

Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun “although he is a front runner for the post, but he is not the only candidate,” Hajj Hassan said.

In answering a question as to what would Hizbullah’s reaction be if Iran was targeted by a military strike, Hajj Hassan said: “We would denounce and reject this strike.”

What next?

“Just denunciation and rejection. Nothing more,” he stressed. “As a Lebanese citizen I say that I will denounce and deplore and carry out demonstrations. This is certain.”

However, he said “Things would be considered on time.”

He accused the United States of “attempting to Iraqize the region” in reference to an alleged scheme by Washington to spread the spate of violence that has ridden Iraq since the 2003 invasion.

Hajj Hassan warned against adoption of a law by the U.S. Congress to partition Lebanon similar to the law that adopts a federal approach to the Iraqi state.

He pledged that Hizbullah would confront such an alleged U.S. Scheme if it targeted Lebanon.

In answering a question as to How would Hizbullah confront such an alleged plan, Hajj Hassan said: “like we responded in the July (2006) war in case a war was staged on us, and we will confront politically if that (war) did not happen.”

If war targeted you or your allies? Hajj Hassan was asked.

“If it targeted us, directly us, our allies know how to defend themselves,” he stressed in reference to Tehran and Damascus.

Shifting to the forthcoming Presidential elections, Hajj Hassan said that reaching consensus on a presidential candidate is the Lebanese people’s “destiny, and not a choice.”

Hizbullah, he said, does not intend to boycott Walid Jumblat’s Progressive Socialist Party as well as Saad Hariri’s al-Moustaqbal Movement irrespective of political differences.

He insisted that Hizbullah wants a new president who rejects U.N. Security Council Resolution 1559 of Sept. 2004 because it is “an aggression on Lebanon’s sovereignty and could lead to an internal problem.”

“Respecting international decisions is not more important than (preserving) Lebanon’s interest and its internal stability,” Hajj Hassan said.

He said Hizbullah supports the international tribunal that would try suspects in the 2005 assassination of ex-Premier Rafik Hariri and related crimes “despite objection to the context of its laws.”

He criticized the arrest of the four famous generals in connection with the Hariri Murder, suggesting putting them under house arrest in line with a conditional release if the authorities believe that they might try to leave the country or if they are worried about their safety.

Hajj Hassan rejected charges that Hizbullah was arming and training allied factions of the opposition and counter-charged that “those who accuse us” of sending groups to Jordan and Israel for training on the use of weapons and military techniques.

Asked when would the Hizbullah-led opposition dismantle its tent city protest of downtown Beirut, Hajj Hassan said the protest is “the response. When the crisis is over the response would be removed.”

Beirut, 01 Oct 07, 13:32

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