Full speech delivered by Hezbollah Secretary General, His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, on the tenth night of Muharram 1439 A.H. - September 30, 2017 A.D.
I seek refuge in Allah from the cursed devil. In the Name of Allah, The Most Compassionate, The Most Merciful. Peace be upon the Seal of Prophets, our Master and Prophet, Abi al-Qassem Mohammad, and upon his chaste and pure Household, upon his chosen companions, and upon all messengers and prophets.
Peace be upon you, my master Abi Abdullah, and upon all the souls that sacrificed themselves on your path. Peace be upon you as long as I remain alive and as long as night follows day. May Allah make it not my last visitation to you. Peace be upon Hussein, and upon Ali the son of Hussein, and upon the children of Hussein, and upon the companions of Hussein.
Respected scholars, brothers and sisters! Peace be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings. May Allah reward you abundantly over the martyrdom of the grandson of your Prophet - Abi Abdullah al-Hussein (peace be upon him and on his household, companions, and supporters).
First, I would like to thank you for this massive turnout on the last night. Also, it is my obligation at the beginning to thank all the devotees in all regions, cities, towns, villages, and neighbourhoods who over the past nights and days held these consolation sessions in mosques, husseiniyehs, compounds, squares, and halls, and expressed their sadness and grief for this solemn calamity, and (I thank them for) their deep knowledge and great awareness of the goals of the great revolution and this great and dear martyr.
I thank all the bodies, institutions, societies, parties, movements, respected scholars and all those who organised, administered, and showed kindness. We also thank all the brothers and sisters who exerted efforts to secure the Ashura ceremonies. Praise be to Allah! Year after year, the Ashura occasion is growing in quantity and quality and on all levels. Our special thanks go to the Lebanese Army and the official security forces for the extraordinary efforts they exerted so far and are required to exert in the remaining few hours until tomorrow afternoon God willing, when the ceremonies marking this great occasion are wrapped up. We ask Allah Almighty who bestowed on you and on us in the past days and nights the blessing of security and peace and the appropriate, kind, and emotional commemoration to continue this blessing on us, and we ask Allah Almighty that everyone God willing will assume their responsibility tomorrow.
As usual, we leave the tenth night of Muharram to talking about the developments in Lebanon and the region and the stances that may be taken or expressed, the anticipations, the threats, and the opportunities. Eventually I divided my speech into two parts - a part for today and a part I will leave for tomorrow, the tenth day of Muharram God willing. Thus there are topics that I may not tackle tonight as I may leave them for tomorrow.
My speech is divided into three sections: the first section is the internal local Lebanese affairs; the second part is the situation in the region; and the third, we have the conclusion and renewing the oath and pledge.
As for the Lebanese affairs, we call for safeguarding this general security in the country, the general political security, and the status quo of real peace, communication, dialogue, and meeting between the various political forces, which is for the interest of the country. Running the affairs of the country despite the complexities, difficulties, and different viewpoints cannot be achieved with the mentality of challenge and stubbornness, but rather with the mentality of meeting, dialogue, and searching for solutions, even if it was difficult or tiresome as is the case truly. This is to a great degree the status quo.
In the past days, Lebanon was before a dangerous and great internal crisis following the decision of the Constitutional Council and the fear of the employees and teachers and all those who are covered by the wage scale series, in that the series may be overthrown. Moreover, the country was before a financial crisis before this event in the sense of how to deal with this issue which must be tackled with a positive mentality away from stubbornness and challenging one another.
Despite the chaos in the country, the anticipations, and the (political) overbidding, being keen to reach a solution, the positive mentality, and the serious search enabled the Lebanese to reach a solution within a few days and lead the country to overcome this ordeal. This is what the cabinet expressed yesterday, and the parliament will do what is required, and thus we will overpass this crisis.
I liked to start with giving such an example to assert to the Lebanese that no matter what the differences are and no matter what the difficulties are we can reach solutions, as was the case previously with the electoral law. For many months, we witnessed tough and difficult arguments and sessions as per the electoral law. Such sessions were at times exhausting for those partaking in them. Though we started with sharp differences, we could after all reach a law which does not match the demands of anyone in particular. No one can say that this law matches the demands of anyone in particular. However, for sure it achieves a very great national interest.
I wanted to start with this general atmosphere and general inclination to assert them. In the past few days, we heard some information which is circulated in political and media salons - we do not have precise information on this issue - that some are preparing for a new political confrontation in Lebanon and for new alignments. Now if these alignments have to do with elections, there is no problem in that. It is a normal right for all the political forces to make alignments and coalitions. However, at the beginning of the word, we must warn against talking about provocations that push Lebanon to a new internal confrontation, whether on the political or the popular level. Brothers and sisters and all listeners! The true interest of Lebanon is in evading getting engaged in any internal confrontation under any title. See the situation in the region which I will tackle in a while: divisions, disunity, war, and the collapse of axes and the rise of new axes. It seems that the Americans are preparing for new wars too in the region, new enmities, and new conflicts. Where is the interest of Lebanon and the people of Lebanon in getting engaged in new confrontations on the national level? There is no interest at all.
For those searching for the supreme interest of Lebanon, it is in safeguarding the existing general security and the atmosphere of concurrence, possible and available cooperation, and searching for solutions - even if with difficulty or exhaustion - and avoiding going to conflicts and confrontations.
I am not saying this - and you know that I am not saying this - from the position of the worried or the frightened or the weak. Everyone knows that if I am talking about Hezbollah - in whose name I am talking now - or about our Lebanese political bloc or our allies or our axis which we belong to as Hezbollah - and I do not bind the rest of the allies to belong to this axis - that we are not in the position of the weak, the worried, or the anxious. On the level of Hezbollah, everyone knows that since the establishment of Hezbollah in 1982 till our day, Hezbollah today is in the strongest possible position, whether we are talking on the political, popular, in terms of devotees, military, and security levels, or whether on the level of the country or the region. This is what is expressed in Lebanon as the crisis of surplus power. So you acknowledge that we have surplus power, and you are wondering how this surplus power may be used. "Israel" too acknowledges this when it says that Hezbollah is the second army in the region. This needs some discussions. This does not mean that I agree with this characterization. No one argues that we are afraid, weak, or worried. We are rather talking from the position of the cautious and the responsible.
Thus, I call on the political forces which are said to be pushing in this direction, to have the required level of awareness. We must not allow anyone in Lebanon to move towards conspiracies and confrontations of a decisive outcome - a clear fiasco. I advise no one, whether on the internal level - if anyone is thinking of that - or on the regional level - if anyone is thinking of that, especially Saudi Arabia - of dragging Lebanon into internal confrontations. Frankly speaking, if anyone is thinking of taking Lebanon to internal confrontations, he would be embarking on an adventure with no guaranteed results. I even tell you that we see it as an unsuccessful adventure with futile results to be added to the fiasco of this project in the region.
Based on this atmosphere and this introduction, I will say the following:
First, we support the incumbent Lebanese government continuing its work until its last constitutional day - meaning until the day of the elections - and we are with forming a new parliament. It is said in the country that there are intentions here and there to topple the government and replace it with another government. As for Hezbollah and its allies and friends, I do not think that anyone is thinking that way. I do not know if there is anyone thinking in such a way. Anyway, we are with the persistence of this government until its last day so that it carries out its duties with positive cooperation and not with wasting time. We rather back positive cooperation and with addressing the files, with all the possible capacities and available means.
Second: as per the last topic which was evoked - the wage scale issue and the solutions which were reached - we assert the need to move along on this track. There is no reason for anyone to feel worried, as everyone agrees on that. Let no one overbid anyone as far as this issue is concerned. We did not feel that there is someone who does not want the wage scale law to be put into force as we all voted for it in the parliament. So there is no need to feel worried. The solutions and the track which were agreed upon are good, possible, and appropriate. Indeed, this must open the gate before a comprehensive financial solution as per endorsing the budget, or a settlement, address or revelation of all that is related to state finance over all the past years, because fighting corruption starts from here for all those who talked about fighting corruption. Fighting corruption starts with closing the doors of corruption and addressing the doors of corruption. The Lebanese are concerned with knowing what happened over the past years as far as this issue is concerned. The serious treatment of the financial situation, the governmental persistence over the past few days through the consecutive sessions, the meeting of the political forces, and making haste to address the crisis which occurred, are elements that foretell the Lebanese that their state is cautious that the country does not go towards a financial or economic collapse which some talk about, warn against, or anticipate. From this perspective, the people must have a degree of reassurance while they must also continue demanding officials to act seriously to address the suspended and ongoing files.
Third: on the Lebanese internal level, we have the elections. What was evoked also in the past few weeks was the possibility of a new extension of the parliament term, or the delay of the elections based on whatever technical pretexts or the like. I want to join my voice - the voice of Hezbollah - to that of Speaker Nabih Berri by saying that the parliament's term definitely must not be extended, and no delay must occur to the elections. The elections will take place. There is no new extension or delay. Well, we may hold the elections before time or take more time for the elections or not - that needs discussion on the national level. As for extension, we may decisively say that based on what we know about the will of the political forces, no extension will take place, and there is no reason for an extension, because if there is any technical reason or certain complexities, we must address them and overcome them. Indeed the upcoming elections are near because within a few months only they must take place based on the electoral law which was stipulated in the parliament - without bringing about any amendment to the electioral law and without opening the way for bringing about any amendments to the electoral law because any new argument on any clause in the electoral law or any particular amendment will bring us back to point zero. That would eventually threaten the next elections which we all insist on the importance and the necessity of them being held on time. As for the procedural mechanism, this is open to discussion. The ruling condition must be that we must be keen to facilitate the elections without any pretext, reason, excuse or postponement, not even for one day. That's because we do not agree on a technical postponement even if for one day. The elections must take place on their due time based on the electoral law which was enforced.
Indeed there are people in the country who tried to say that the electoral law meets the demands of Hezbollah. When that was said, we did not comment. We let the issue pass. However, that is wrong. Hezbollah as well as the Amal Movement and many of our allies were calling for proportionality and Lebanon as one single electoral region or for large electoral regions. There are many details which were stipulated in the electoral law that do not agree with the demands of the party - if we want to talk about the demands of the party. That made things more complicated because every side was trying to observe its interests as much as possible.
After all, this settlement law must not be called the law of so and so party or such and such movement or so and so leader. This electoral law was agreed upon based on a possible national settlement, and it must be observed and put into force.
Fourth: as for the security file, we must laud the total liberation of the Eastern Mountain Range and the outskirts, which was called The Second Liberation. We highly value the sacrifices of the Lebanese Army, the security forces, the resistance men, and our people, especially in Bekaa. This is a very important achievement as we said then- and today I want to assert that - as it ends the military presence of the terrorists and the Takfiri groups. However, the security threat still exists - yet not at the same level as in the past. There were outskirts, caves, valleys, and mountains. There were camps which were not allowed to be searched one way or another. There was a large and very dangerous logistic base where booby-trapped cars and bombs were being prepared. These used to form a secure haven for the suicide bombers and those plotting for suicide operations. All of this is over. Thus the threat has decreased but has not come to a final end. I do not agree with the notion that the security threat has ended with the end of the military presence of the terrorists. No, the security threat either did not increase or decreased. But the truth is that it still exists. Why did it retreat? That's because a big base for terrorism which existed in that area came to an end. It is not possible now to bring along booby-trapped cars.
Well, there is something which is required from the Lebanese Army, and it is performing it. It is required to cleanse the area and the outskirts because the outskirts are planted with mines and explosive belts. There are many caves and valleys which were left and not evacuated or handed in. All of this must be cleansed.
Anyway, the human logistical base for launching terrorist operations against the Lebanese villages and cities in Bekaa came to an end. Consequently, the ability of the terrorist groups to execute military action came to an end. However, the threat still exists, especially as Daesh is living its final stages. We may talk about this later. So it is normal that it resorts to this option now. Thus what the Army and the security forces are doing in the Lebanese interior must continue with more awareness, alertness, cooperation, and presence, so that we prevent any security threat in our country.
Despite the security absurdities of some foreign embassies in Lebanon, and despite all that is taking place in the region, we must record that Lebanon is one of the safest countries in the world and not only in our region or in the Middle East. Allow me to say that as per the internal security, Lebanon is safer than the United States of America and safer than Washington itself - that is if we want to talk about security, peace, and personal security for individuals, despite what is taking place here in our country and some details.
So we have to stress on security awareness and alertness. Thus, what was also said in the past weeks to the effect of decreasing security procedures in some regions in the southern suburbs (the Dahieh) and other places is incorrect. No! We must remain alert and precautious. Security measures must still be carried on until further notice. This is not the appropriate time for easing security measures or security alertness.
More on the security issue - as per the Ain al-Helwe Camp, we the consideration of some that perhaps some individuals (in the camp) pose a threat or (security) gap or the like. Indeed we are communicating with the Palestinian factions and addressing the issue in a wise way to avoid heading towards a clash, as some like to think, or to drag the Lebanese Army and the camp into a clash.
As per the Ain al-Helwe Camp and all the Palestinian camps, we are not only with a security approach but also a comprehensive approach - social, political, and developmental. That's because we know that there is a committee which was formed from representatives of the various political forces under the Premiership, and they reached an accord on Lebanese-Palestinian relations. We call for reviving this accord and working to put it into effect. This will boost Lebanese-Palestinian cooperation with the camps and help the Palestinians, because what is required is true aid for the Palestinians as far as the security issue is concerned. This is not achieved only through a security approach but also through communication and cooperation on more than one level.
Also on the security level, allow me to highlight two more points:
The first point is that at times some small incidents may take place in Lebanon. Well, I told you that if we get the statistics in Washington there are such incidents on a daily basis too. Every two or three days, how many shooting incidents take place? What is the number of casualties - whether killed or injured - robberies, rape incidents, and the like? We see this in the media. The same applies to some other American cities. Well, this also happens in our country. However, at times, as a result of political annoyances or media exaggerations, some small security incidents are magnified - a thing that must not take place. The political forces and the media outlets must be very keen to give small security incidents - which are always personal or individual - their normal magnitude. By doing so, they believe they are offending this side or that side or the displaced Syrians, or the Palestinian refugees, or the residents of so and so region. However, in fact, such conduct harms the country and its image, as it presents Lebanon as a country that lacks security and safety, and has no security guarantees - something which poses risks on all domains: the economy, tourism, and psychological tranquillity, even for the residents of the country, whether Lebanese or non-Lebanese.
Now we reached the last point on the security level. I am talking quickly to be able to cover all points so that I won't take much of your time. Now allow me tonight and due to the specialty, dignity, and emotional recalling of this great and crucial historical event (of Ashura), to raise up this issue. It is opening fire in the air. In recent years, we exerted much effort which yielded good results. For your information, I personally charged a group of brothers - such that during every funeral held for a martyr, one of these brothers would attend and provide me with a report: were arms being held? Was fire opened in the air or not? If yes, what was its magnitude? If so, who opened it? Were they members of Hezbollah or from the family or friends of the martyr?
There is precise follow-up of this issue. I have a recommendation in this perspective, as the issue of illegitimate arms was evoked some time ago in the country, especially after fire was opened in the air during the funeral of the army martyrs resulting in several casualties.
Here I will reiterate that from the religious perspective, opening fire in the air is prohibited. This is valid for the Shias, Sunnis, and all authorities - for those who follow senior religious authorities. You can go and ask for yourself. That is because opening fire in the air almost always leads to casualties, martyrs, wounded, and material losses. It also always leads to terrorizing and frightening the residents. People would be in their homes. There would be elderly and children. There might be patients and pregnant women. Why don't you fear Allah?
Unfortunately, despite all the previous appeals, some political forces did not take any action as far as this issue is concerned. This issue is religiously illegitimate, and it is illegal too. A law was legislated in Parliament to this effect - still, the solutions fall far behind.
As far as we are concerned, I know that through the follow up we managed to control this phenomenon to a very high degree. I do not say 100% - I estimate that it has decreased about 80% according to estimates. At least, we could limit this phenomenon. However this phenomenon still prevails, and it is dangerous, and we must all cooperate: officials, presidents, ministers, deputies, managers, the army, the security forces, scholars, religious and political sides, teachers, and professors. In fact, this requires a comprehensive campaign because some people still believe that it is a shame if they did not open fire in a funeral. On the contrary, it is a shame if fire is opened. It is shameful and (religiously) prohibited.
It is shameful if he has a new baby and he does not open fire. It is a shame if he does not open fire should his son pass the official exams. On the contrary, it is illegal and shameful when someone does anything against the religion, the law, moral values, and the feelings of the people.
Tonight, I wanted to mention and highlight this point because it is still a true problem prevailing in the country. See the statistics: with every fire opening there are martyrs, wounded, and casualties. Terror and horror are caused for silly reasons. Indeed, there is no sound reason to open fire. They are all silly reasons. This is as far as the security issue is concerned.
One of the internal affairs is the case of the refugees. We all agree that there's a problem regarding this issue, and this problem is increasing and having new manifestations. A few days ago, a murder was committed in the village of Zgharta and people reacted. The refugees in the region and its surrounding (areas) were forced to pack, get into trucks, and leave to somewhere else. This thing could happen again in any other village.
There is economic, psychological and security pressure. Until when will this situation remain without a solution?
We've already talked before about the voluntary return or safe return. But nobody's even working on the voluntary return. The concerned government files aren't working, nor the concerned ministries, the concerned administrations, and the political forces. Nobody's seeking the voluntary return to even talk about the safe return.
All the Lebanese are responsible for what is agreed upon by unanimity, we disagree on the safe return but we agree that in case Syrian refugees or a big number of them wanted to go back, nobody in Lebanon should tell them that they shouldn't. At least nobody would say that in public. But some of them secretly don't even want their voluntary return for political, security, financial, and economic reasons - that is another concern. But what is clear is that all the Lebanese and political forces declare their support for the voluntary return of the refugees. What did we do for the voluntary return of the refugees? Nobody's doing anything about it. We've made a certain effort related to the battle in the outskirts and the refugee camps in Arsal. It was a limited job, and it is almost reaching its end. We still have one last step to take after a while.
However what did Lebanon do about this issue? That's on one side. On the other side stands the responsibility of the Syrian people.
Tonight, I'd like to address the Syrian refugees, our brothers and beloved people. Of course the refugees aren't all opposition, some Syrian refugees in Lebanon support the regime or aren't against it. They may be neutral, and some may be with the opposition. I'm addressing everyone by saying that their real interest is in returning to their home. Their real homeland, their real country, their real future and their real life is in their country.
Draw the lesson from all the countries which witnessed similar events. Some people wish to go back to their country. The Palestinians still hold on to their right of return. But the fact that some refugees in Lebanon aren't thinking of going back is unacceptable and wrong. Your interest is in returning home and helping defend your country and rebuild it.
Today, countries and big companies all over the world and some companies in Lebanon are formed under certain names with overt and covert intentions while aiming to work in Syria. Of course, it is odd that some political forces demand that Lebanon be an essential platform in helping rebuild Syria but don't want to talk with the Syrian government. How is that possible? Is it by smuggling? Or is it by the means of a parachute? How would that happen? How could Lebanon be an essential platform that helps rebuilding Syria while nobody is allowed to talk to one another? If the Lebanese Minister for Foreign Affairs meets with the Syrian Minister for Foreign Affairs everyone protests. And in case the Minister of Agriculture, Industry, or any other minister meets or visits a Syrian official, a big political problem occurs in the country. This is controversial.
Therefore, the dignity, the life and the right for you - Syrian refugees - is to go back to your country and benefit from all these experiences you're living, and you're still watching how people are suffering similar hardships.
All the required guarantees - if the real problem is about guarantees - can be offered and facilitated, in light of the experiences in Syria.
This file shouldn't remain a file for an election bid. It's honestly an election bid file. If you sit with some people in closed rooms and ask them to talk about the real interest away from (political) bids, they would acknowledge this. But since we're close to the elections some people want to bid in the elections to gain votes and create battles that don't have any prospects or meaning anymore and which don't yield any results. However that would be on the account of the suffering of the refugees and the suffering of the Lebanese and the Syrian alike.
The second last point regarding internal affairs is the official response to "Israeli" violations. Lately and following the decisions of the Supreme Defence Council and the Lebanese government and the speeches of his excellency the President of the Republic in the UN and in France, we are before a new response which needs to be pursued, sustained, and worked on. When the President of the Lebanese Republic returns carrying the Lebanese cause, the Palestinian refugees cause, and the cause of al-Quds and the Islamic and Christian sanctities in Lebanon, this is a privilege in Lebanon during the current stage, at a time when many came to forget Palestine, al-Quds, and the sanctities, and even conspire against Palestine, al-Quds, and the sanctities. This is always something to be praised.
What I want to assert in this perspective is that it is not allowed that the daily "Israeli" violations become something normal, while planting a tree on the borders is something to raise a complaint in at the Security Council. Even if the Security Council neglected the complaints, they must always be raised, and the voice must be heard high in international circles. Media outlets must also shed light on all "Israeli" violations. They must not be forgotten news or mentioned at the end of news bulletins. These violations take place every day.
The booby-trapped espionage devices and cameras which are being discovered are very dangerous. The resistance men or the Army Intelligence may happen to discover them, however, any farmer or citizen may approach such a camera and touch it. It would explode. Here we want to assert that they are not planting surveillance cameras and espionage devices for one to play down the danger of this violation. They are erecting bombs inside the Lebanese territories which explode and kill. This is a very dangerous violation which must not be played down. Suppose that the resistance crossed the borders and planted a camera and booby-trapped it within the Palestinian occupied territories - and this is a natural right because Lebanon is threatened. Then "Israel" or the "Israeli" Army would discover it. What would be the case in the region and the world? What will the response be in America, France, Europe, and the United Nations? What would be the stance of the UN Secretary General? Indeed, they will view that as a serious violation which may drag the region to war. Well, why is this booby-trapped camera planted at the border inside Occupied Palestine dealt with as such, and why are the mines in our fields, hills, and other places at the southern borders treated as an ordinary piece of news? Yet, this is not an ordinary piece of news, and we must not remain silent towards it. Here I am telling you: should "Israeli" violations in Lebanon not be handled in via political means, we will find a solution for these violations on our own. We can't leave our hills, fields, orchids, backyards, and villages subject to explosive devices which may kill farmers and our people. We can't remain silent towards these violations at all. Thus it must be addressed. Let them meet in Naqoura or in the Security Council and discuss this issue. Yet, I want all the people to know that this is a very dangerous issue, and remaining silent towards it is not allowed. So far things went well. Several booby-trapped cameras were discovered using special devices within the Lebanese Army. However, later if things did not go well, if a device explodes and kills and wounds civilians, will it be sound to remain silent towards this "Israeli" violation? Isn't this a violation of Resolution 1701?
I hold the officials responsible for this issue.
I will stop here as far as the internal situation is concerned and make a brief tour of the regional situation. Tomorrow God willing we will continue with the stances pertaining to the situation in the region.
So now I will wrap up the local situation. As I said at the beginning, we call for safeguarding stability and the general positive atmosphere of political forces meeting together, and the continuity of the work of the government, while activating the parliament and addressing the pressuring issues without wasting time until reaching the elections. On the contrary, the various files must be addressed as much as possible. Alertness is required on the security level - it is favourable to prepare officially and popularly for the elections, which must take place without any extension to the current council or postponement. The elections must be held pursuant to the decision taken by the parliament. The issues of the displaced and the camps must be dealt with in a positive, caring spirit from a humane and moral perspective which would lead to security and political results that suit all sides.
As for the situation in the region, we are witnessing the end of a stage which still needs some more time. Daesh is in its final stage, and it is now only a matter of time. In Iraq, it is witnessing its final military end as well as in Lebanon and Syria. What took place in the past couple of days is normal because Daesh was besieged in this last triangle: what remained of Deir az-Zour City and what remained of Deir az-Zour Province (Mayadeen, Bou Kamal, and some villages and towns to the west of the Euphrates River and to the east of the Euphrates River towards the Iraqi border). It is natural that they act as such during this stage. This happened in the past, is happening now, and will be repeated in the future. This is because Daesh has suicide bombers, fanatics, and members looking for death for free. They will try to stage sporadic attacks as they failed to restore territories and battlefields. They are trying to exhaust the Syrian Army and the alliance to postpone the final settlement of the war with Daesh in Syria. However, this is futile because the decision of putting an end to Daesh in Syria is final. The issue is that of time. The means to that is continuing the offensive action. Usually when a region is restored, sometime is needed to settle the defence installations or prepare for new attacks. During this time, Daesh tries to launch such attacks. Still, this will not change anything in the formula. Well, yes there are sacrifices and martyrs in the lines of the Syrian Army, the resistance, and among the allies. However, this is the nature of the battle in that vast desert. The battle is taking place now over an area which is tens of kilometres vast. Still, the battle is moving to its final stages.
Indeed, there remains the security threat posed by Daesh in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. We always talk about this. As for the regions where Daesh still remains - whether in Libya or Sinai or Nigeria or Yemen, what will they do with it? This issue must be settled by these countries. As for our direct area where we assume responsibility or partake in assuming the responsibility, we can say that Daesh is in the last stages of its life and military existence. So Daesh was an element of destruction, demolition, and exhaustion. The worst thing about Daesh is that it committed all of its atrocities in the name of Islam.
There is something that has to do with Daesh which I will save talking about for tomorrow, and I will move to another topic. Now the conspiracy of Daesh is being toppled and is coming to an end. The conspiracy of Daesh was made by America and "Israel" and regional powers. It came in the framework of a project schemed for the region. This is being asserted day after day. Now the region is preparing for something else which is also wicked and dangerous and needs the shouldering of responsibilities, just as responsibility was shouldered to confront Daesh and topple this project. I always like to remind the attendees and the listeners of the following. Suppose that Daesh gained victory in Iraq and Syria took control over Syria and Iraq, what would have been the fate of the region? What would be the fate of Lebanon? What would be the fate of Jordan? What would be the fate of Kuwait? What would be the fate even of Saudi Arabia which supported Daesh - at least until the stage before the last one? What would be the fate of the Gulf states? What would be the fate of North Africa? Would it have stopped at any limits in its black, dim, bloody, savage war?
The peoples of the entire region must know this. Well, indeed I will not ask what will be the fate of "Israel"? "Israel" today is worried because Daesh is defeated. Watch the "Israeli" media. Listen to the statements of the "Israeli" officials. Over the last six or seven days, "Israel" was not worried in Syria. Now it is worried in Syria because Daesh is being defeated and because the Takfiri groups are being defeated. So only "Israel" was not worried. As for the rest of the region, what would its fate have been? Thus all the peoples of the region must know the virtue in this stage of all those who fought in confrontation with Daesh in Iraq, Syria, and in Lebanon, whether they were Iraqis, Syrians, Iranians, Afghanis, Pakistanis, or Lebanese, or of whatever nationality. That's because should Daesh have gained victory, all of these governments which brought along this poison and cooked it would have eaten it. We do not feel sad for the fate of the conspirators - we rather are sad for the fate of the peoples who were to be the victim of the destruction, demolition, and savagery of Daesh.
Well, we are about to overcome this stage. However, now the region is being put before a new and very dangerous stage - it is the stage of fragmentation and returning to the New Middle East scheme which was aborted by the July War 2006, by the steadfastness of Gaza, by the steadfastness of Syria, the steadfastness of Iran, the steadfastness of the resistance movements, and the steadfastness of Lebanon. I will remind you now. What was the scheme of George Bush and Condoleezza Rice's New Middle East? It was to fragment the region on racial, sectarian, and factional lines and to move regional states into conflicts among themselves so that "Israel" would be the strongest state, the crown, and the center. As such "Israel" would be the haven of factions and ethnicities. It will be the haven of Christians from so-called Islamic extremism. The Druze, the Shia, the Sunnis, the Kurds, and the Turkmen would resort to it. This is what was being prepared but failed.
Now after the defeat of Daesh, which was a scheme at the absolute service of America and "Israel" to present the entire region to America and "Israel", now they moved towards a new scheme for which they have been preparing since some time, but which now became due. The scheme is for fragmenting the region. Where is the starting point? The starting point is Iraqi Kurdistan.
Brothers and sisters! We must say this to all our peoples in the region and to the Kurds who are our dear brothers and people. We tell the Kurdish men, women, and youngsters: no one must deceive anyone as far as this issue is concerned. The issue is not that of the right to self-determination or internal rights. It is not that they are a group who want to separate. This is not the course of this issue. The issue is on a totally different track. Its track is that of fragmenting the region on ethnic and factional bases: a Kurdish state, a Turkmen state, a Balochi state, an Azerbaijani state, and a so and so state. Now when the ethnicity is large, we come to the factional division: Sunnis, Shia, Christians, Druze, Alawites, Zaidis, Ismailis...This is what is meant from the issue. Thus this is a very dangerous issue. One night I tackled this. I said that there are political incidents with repercussions that would last for years. However, there are political incidents with repercussions that would last for decades or for hundreds of years, just like the establishment of the state of "Israel" in Occupied Palestine. The repercussion of this event has lasted for 70 years now. What is taking place these days is not considered an internal Iraqi affair. We can't say: what does the Arab and Islamic world have to do with this affair. The Kurds are in a discord with the rest of the Iraqis. What is our business in that affair? No, this does not threaten Iraq alone. It threatens the entire region: Iran, Turkey, Syria, and the entire region and not Iraq only or these four countries alone. That's because it will open the gate for further and further division. Here I would like to say. Simply see who the only overt supporter on Earth of this secession and establishment of an independent Kurdish state in north Iraq is. It is "Israel". Is there any state other than "Israel" which backs this breakaway? It is only "Israel". This is the norm then. When "Israel" is with the secession of Kurdistan, whoever is suspicious must not have any more suspicion. Indeed, there are people with the secession under the table. We are not supposed to trust the American stance. We started seeing the prelude. Yesterday, the head of the democratic minority in the Congress started demanding the US administration to support secession. Tomorrow, we will start hearing similar voices in Britain and in Europe too. As such the snow ball will grow. However, this is the responsibility of the Kurds first and the responsibility of the Iraqi people and the concerned states in the region, as well as the responsibility of the states and peoples in the region. All the Arab and Islamic states must stand in the face of fragmenting the region. They must not deal with it as a secondary, internal, and marginal affair that does not concern them. Fragmentation will reach everyone, and the background and prelude of fragmentation exists all over the region. They are working at fragmenting Yemen.
Well, I want to address some of the states which may covertly support fragmentation. Allow me to be very frank, though openly, there may be a different stance. In the past, all the covert data and even some overt indications hinted that Saudi Arabia supported the independence of Iraqi Kurdistan. Now the overt stance is different. However, suppose that there is a covert stance on this issue. We must then warn against this stance and tell the rulers of Saudi Arabia that the breakaway of Iraqi Kurdistan and the beginning of the fragmentation of the region will reach Saudi Arabia, and Saudi Arabia will be fragmented for sure. It is the state that is most apt for fragmentation. It has a very wide area. There are internal conflicts no matter how much the media tries to hide them. There is oil and wealth which many crave for. So if Iraq was fragmented -God forbid - or fragmentation moved towards Syria, there on top of the list is Saudi Arabia. Let no one be provocative as far as this issue is concerned, that with the intention of annoying Iran or vexing Turkey or weakening the central government of Iraq, let's support fragmenting Iraq. Soon this sword will reach your necks, and this poison you prepared will be put in your cup and dish. So beware regarding the place where you are unsheathing your sword and preparing the poison. Everyone must deal with this dangerous issue with a high degree of responsibility.
Well, why are we talking with such seriousness and high tone? That's because if someone imagines that if the region is fragmented into further states, where the number of states will be larger, no problem will result from that and each people will take their state and their own piece of land and live in peace and security? What security and peace are you talking about? The "Israeli" intelligence and the US intelligence and media outlets will seek to keep these states in a state of war and conflict for decades, if only on the issue of disputed boundaries. Since Sikes-Picot, the delineation of the borders has not been settled yet and may lead to wars among states. Wars on borders were waged in the past decades. However, today, the new fragmented states and the new delineated borders will be set in a way that would cause conflicts and war.
Fragmentation means dragging the region to internal wars which no one knows their scope and danger except Allah Almighty. Thus the door of corruption must be shut close. Fragmentation is the worst door of corruption our region and our nation face. Thus we must forcefully confront that. By forcefully I mean being responsible. Indeed, I am not calling for fighting the Kurds. I must also draw the attention of the activists in the field of social media, media and political speech, that it is not allowed that a battle take place under the name of Arab Kurds or Iranian Kurds or the like. The problem is not with the Kurds. The problem is with the Kurdish politicians who have their own relations, interests, projects, and dreams. As for the people - the Kurds in Syria, in Iraq, in Iran, and in Turkey - they are part of our nation and our people. It is not allowed that speech reaches the extent of talking of an enmity with Kurds because this is what "Israel" seeks.
So here I want to assert that with responsible dealing I do not mean to go towards an armed confrontation. There are means for responsible dealing. Should the involved Kurdish leaderships find that the Arab and Islamic states are final and decisive in preventing secession and fragmentation - despite their discord over other issues - these Kurdish leaderships will not have any choice other than annulling the results of the referendum and going back to negotiations and dialogue with Baghdad to find a certain form of coexistence within a particular constitutional framework as the religious authority in Holy Najaf called for yesterday. So the issue of fragmentation must be handled with a high degree of responsibility and sense of historic and crucial danger towards all the states of the region and all the peoples of the region, and it will reach us in Lebanon too.
On the regional situation, I would like to hint to an important issue which is also being tackled and there are indications, data, and information about it. Some Arab forces are pushing strongly towards achieving a settlement between the Palestinians and the "Israeli" enemy. What is being said now when talking with the Americans is to the effect that if you want to take the region to a comprehensive confrontation with Iran, if you want us to muster all capacities to confront Iran and the resistance axis, and if you want to reach certain results from this struggle, you have to help us resolve the Palestinian cause. They say we can take this pretext away from Iran, which claims that it is supporting and safeguarding the Palestinian cause and the resistance axis and all the resistance movements in Lebanon and Palestine. As such, the whole story will come to an end.
Indeed, this is the background. That's because if the background was that there is an oppressed Palestinian people and there are Palestinian refugees in exodus and inside Palestine, and there are Palestinians in prisons, confiscated territories, settlements which are being erected in the West Bank, and a siege on Gaza while al-Quds is threatened, so let's protect the sanctities and give the Palestinians some of their rights, and the issue would be easy. Then do all of that and return to the Palestinian people whatever rights you can and take the entire resistance axis as a pretext. There is no problem in that. However, the background is sinister. I am not talking about the background. I am talking about the idea. Some still insist on closing files and fronts to open a new front or to focus on a new front - meaning that "Israel" reaches a settlement so that it becomes a friend and an ally with whom there is no conflict.
Now apart from what might be imposed on the Palestinians, the Palestinians will not accept that which harms their rights to be imposed on them, and that the battle in the region be with Iran and the resistance axis. Unfortunately some governments and rulers in the region still think as such though they must benefit from previous lessons.
Tonight, we call on them and those who back them to benefit from the lessons drawn from previous experiences which took place in the region so far. Here we will talk frankly. The spearhead of this scheme are the Saudi rulers. Well, take Syria as an example. Over six to seven years, billions of dollars were spent on sectarian and media provocations and weapons. You brought along militants from all over the world. You facilitated everything. What was the result? True, you destroyed Syria. True, you took revenge from Syria. True, you killed the people in Syria. Still, your political project failed.
Well, what about Iraq? In Iraq, since 2003 - not like Syria where events started in 2011 - you sent suicide bombers and booby-trapped cars to cities, villages, towns, Husseiniyehs, mosques, and churches, and killed Sunnis, Shias, Arabs, Kurds, and Turkmen. The result is a fiasco. Well, this is your war in Yemen. What is the result which you will reach? You will not gain anything. Yemenis are staging daily demonstrations in large numbers whether in Sana'a or Sa'ada or other places. Massive demonstrations are staged despite the bombing which does not fail to hit any target, whether Ansarullah or the general popular conference or others. The people are expressing their determination to stay steadfast and to resist. Look at this people now. They are fighting you on the doors of Najran and the walls of Najran city. What is the horizon of this war except stubbornness and humiliation? Well, isn't this a lesson to be drawn? Where do you want to drag the region to? Do you want to drag it to new wars? This is unfortunate. Well, in whose interests are any new wars in the region? They are in the interests of "Israel" which would become a friend and an ally, and in the interests of America and the arms industry in America, as well as the weapons companies in America, which are to be given hundreds of billions of dollars once again, which the peoples of the region are paying the price for - whether the Saudis, the Yemenis, the Gulf people, the Iranians, the Lebanese, the Syrians, the Palestinians, or the Egyptians...
We call for a moment of contemplation through revising all the past. O' rulers of Saudi Arabia! The road to dialogue is not in heading to more wars or committing more massacres or making coalitions with the enemies of Allah, the enemies of the prophets, and the enemies of peoples - the Zionists.
The road is through dialogue and everyone is opening the door for dialogue. Interests may be safeguarded and settlements may be reached. Guarantees may be reached which safeguard everyone and the dignity of everyone. However, continuing the war, opening up new wars, waging new wars, and creating new wars are hopeless. This means more failure and loss. See your experience with the Iranian nuclear accord. You are saying that you are fighting the Iranian influence in the region. Well let's use these terms. Today with your failures and futile plots, you helped spread Iranian influence. With your failure, you did so. When Iraq is being attacked by Daesh, the Iraqi people and the Iraqi government find themselves in need of an alliance with Iran. When Syria is being attacked, the Syrian government and the Syrian Army and a great section of the Syrian people find themselves in need of a coalition with Iran. When the Yemeni people are being attacked, it is normal that the Yemeni people think of whoever may help them. In fact, Iran was not present in Yemen, but with your aggression against Yemen, you opened the gates for Iran. So it is not war on Iran that will limit the influence of Iran in the region. I am a friend of Iran, and I am giving you a piece of advice: your failing wars are what is increasing the influence of Iran in the region. You must head to dialogue and political solutions. You must head to settlements and reconciliations in a way that observes the interests of all sides. So we are before a new stage in the region which one is frightened of. Perhaps none of these anticipations and indications may come true. A settlement with the government of Netanyahu is not something easy. Well, yesterday the US Ambassador to the Zionist entity said that "Israel" occupies 2% of the West Bank only! Well, what would be the form of the settlement they would reach then?
We do not believe that the "Israelis" with their arrogance, insolence, and tyranny will allow the reaching of a settlement that would at least safe the face of the Palestinian authority or the negotiating Palestinian delegation. Anyway, it is the responsibility of everyone to confront the scheme set for the region. We are also concerned about the new US law seeking sanctions against Hezbollah. We have information about attempts to practice pressure on states with which we have friendships or mutual respect with to take negative stances towards us. This is normal because they want us to pay the price of partaking in defeating their projects. The resistance in Lebanon with all its factions toppled the scheme of Greater "Israel" in 2000. The resistance in Lebanon and the political steadfastness in Lebanon toppled the scheme of Great "Israel" and the New Middle East in 2006. The resistance and all those who fought, partook with them in toppling the scheme of Daesh and the control of the Takfiri expansion on the region. So it is normal that they want us to pay the price.
It is normal that we be threatened by the "Israelis" with more woes, destruction, and intimidations. This is what I want to talk about tomorrow as per the "Israeli" issue. Still, where are we? Brothers and sisters! Where are we? Here we are as on every night preceding the tenth of Muharram every year. We renew our oath and pledge to al-Hussayn ibn Ali ibn Abi Taleb (peace be upon them). It is impossible to quit the squares. It is impossible to quit the battlefields. Last year - as in every year - we stood and al-Husayn addressed us when the night fell as he told his companions: the darkness of the night has enveloped you, thus free yourself from the whirlpool in the waves of darkness. Then each of you may catch hold of the hand of one of my family members and disperse into the villages and cities, until Allah bestows relief upon you. For these people desire me only.
Allow me to fight alone. Allow me to defend the religion of my grandfather alone. Allow me to safeguard the nation of my grandfather alone. Allow me alone to offer my soul, blood, self, and children for the sake of these values, this message, and this future.
However, they refused. He told them to get leave at night. But they only stood and told him: we will never abandon you, O' Husayn! Shall we live after your decease? Life is not sweet without you, O Husayn!
There stood someone who told al-Husayn (peace be upon him): By Allah! O Abu Abdullah! Even if I know that I shall be killed then burnt and my ashes be scattered around, then rise again and be killed then burnt and my ashes be scattered around, then rise again and be killed then burnt and my ashes be scattered around, then rise again and be killed then burnt and my ashes be scattered around, and this were to happen to me one thousand times, I will not abandon you O' Husayn!
Like on this very night last year, we told al-Husayn (peace be upon him): no matter how grave "Israeli" threats and intimidations are, we will not abandon what al-Husayn represents and his values of defending the homeland, dignities, peoples, honour, the future, the generations, and the religious, human, and moral values. And no matter how grave the threats and the terror represented by Daesh and the Takfiri groups are, we told Husayn: we will not abandon the fields and squares. We told him: even if I know that we shall be killed then burnt and our ashes be scattered around, then rise again and be killed then burnt and our ashes be scattered around, then rise again and this shall happen to our men and brave fighters a thousand times, we shall not abandon you O' Husayn!
This is what the fields and squares have proven. Here are the bodies of some of our martyrs beheaded. Some had their limbs cut off. Some are burnt. Some are disjointed like the bodies of the companions of al-Husayn in Karbala. We knew that this would be the case when we chose this path of the resistance in confrontation with the "Israeli" enemy, and when we chose this path in confrontation with Takfiri terror. We knew that liberating the territories, resisting the Zionists, and confronting the Takfiri expansion which serves America and "Israel", cannot be achieved through speeches and slogans and diplomatic, eloquent words, but rather by being present directly in the field of jihad and fighting. Thus we were where we must be, and we will always be where we must be, with the very logic and background we had years ago when we said: we are at your service O' Lady Zeinab, and we went to her shrine.
True the shrine and the tomb of Lady Zeinab are noble; however Zeinab is the title for Islam and for human and moral values. Zeinab is the honour of Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him and his household). Zeinab is the honour of all of our women; Zeinab is the title for honour and dignity for all women of the nation and the peoples of the nation, whether Muslims, Christians, Yazidis, or whoever they may be, as long as they still live here. True, we went to defend the shrine, but the shrine has become the title of the nation.
As Yazid in the past tried to depreciate, distort, and ruin this religion, Daesh was always and is still doing so. Brothers and sisters! To settle the battle with Daesh and the Takfiri groups, we will not feel tired or weary or bored, no matter how large the number of martyrs and wounded are. The presence, courage, zeal, and faith of our young men in this battle and their faith in victory increase with every martyr, with every drop of blood, with every organ of the body being wounded, and with every day and every night. On the night before the tenth of Muharram, as well as tomorrow morning, we will renew the oath and pledge to al-Husayn and our faith in al-Husayn. We will tell him there is a battle in defence of Islam, religions, values, your grandfather, the prophecy of your grandfather, the followers of your grandfather, the deemed-weak, and the oppressed; and we are your devotees, followers, children; and we are proud that we believe in you and belong to you. We are committed to your path. Tonight we - men and women - tell you: we will not quit the squares as long as blood moves in our veins. Until the Day of Judgment we will make strong reverberating calls out of: We are at your service O' Husayn! We will say what we will say tomorrow too, and what we used to say throughout the past years to all those who plot and conspire to humiliate us, weaken us, and crush us. So far we have always emerged stronger, more proud, and steadier, because we have a soul which will never surrender and will never submit. This soul was expressed by Abu Abdullah al-Husayn (peace be upon him) on the tenth day of Muharram when he said: now this illegitimate son of the illegitimate father has stationed me between unsheathing the sword or bearing humiliation. And how impossible is humiliation (for me)!
We shall meet tomorrow with al-Husayn, the children of al-Husayn, the household of al-Husayn, the companions of al-Husayn, al-Abbas, Ali Akbar, Zeinab, and Sukayna. Young and old, we will renew our pledge and oath to al-Husayn and the martyrs of Karbala.
Peace be upon you, my master Abi Abdullah, and upon all the souls that sacrificed themselves on your path. Peace be upon you as long as I remain alive and as long as night follows day. May Allah make it not my last visitation to you. Peace be upon Husayn, and upon Ali the son of Husayn, and upon the children of Husayn, and upon the companions of Husayn. Peace be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings.
Source: Hezbollah Media Relations, Translated by website team