Sayyed Nasrallah Delivers Speech on 6th Night of Muharram Discusses STL Funding
On the sixth night of the month of Muharram, Hizbullah Secretary General His Eminence
Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah appeared via video-link to deliver a "political" speech, unlike the usual, and that is due to the latest political developments on the Lebanese arena, particularly the funding of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon that was declared by Lebanese Prime Minister on Wednesday.
Before the tens of thousands of Imam Hussein mourners in the Sayyed Al Shuhada complex in the Beirut Southern Suburb, Hizbullah Secretary General said that the two major topics he will discuss are the political rhetoric taking place in Lebanon and the funding of the STL.
"I will tackle two topics and the first will be an introduction to the second: the political rhetoric in the country and the issue of the STL," he said.
Sayyed Nasrallah pointed out that a certain party in the country has been instigating strife and disaccord among the Lebanese, which is very dangerous.
Tackling the issue, Sayyed Nasrallah called on all the Lebanese to agree on the fact that the disagreements taking place are only political and related to political matters, and have nothing to do with religion or creed, but are completely related to the political projects and have no religious or sectarian backgrounds, and so is the case of any criticism taking place.
Hence, Sayyed Nasrallah emphasized that "criticizing the [Lebanese] President is no criticism to the Maronites, and criticizing the Parliament Speaker does not target the Shiite sect, and so is the case when it comes to the Prime Minister, where criticizing him is no targeting to the Sunni sect." He further elaborated that any divergence between the political parties does not imply that such should generate a sectarian conflict, as personal offense against any man is forbidden in law and morals.
"First, let us agree, brothers, that there is a fundamental political dispute, which is not related to any religious [motives]. Second, let us agree that criticizing certain religious figures or a person from a certain [sect] does not mean that [we are] criticizing the whole sect, whether they are Maronite, Shia, or Sunni," Sayyed Nasrallah noted.
On the part of the resistance, Sayyed Nasrallah said "this is why when we disagree with a certain political party, it does not mean that the dispute should turn into a religious conflict. We are committed to certain [respectful] political rhetoric that does not [provoke sectarianism], and you can notice from our rhetoric that we have [never] dealt with any party on the basis of sectarianism."
Sayyed Nasrallah then addressed the Future party saying "Therefore, I would like to address the Future Movement and tell [its leadership, deputies, and its media] to stop using this rhetoric and stop exploiting certain events in order to incite sectarianism. One example is enough: a while ago a Lebanese army patrol entered recently the town of Aarsal [in the Bekaa], I do not want to go into the details. Yet, the Future Movement's media started saying that the Lebanese army intelligence and Hizbullah operatives stormed the Aarsal, implying that Hizbullah has attacked the Sunni sons of this town. Despite the elaboration of the army [in a communiqué], the Future media remained to mobilize its efforts to spread the rumors.
What is the purpose of saying such lies? Do the Future bloc MPs want the people of the Bekaa to suffer from a conflict between each other? [Who] benefits from this? I hope the Future MPs would give me an answer.
Tackling the same issue, Sayyed Nasrallah continued "In the same context, when political rhetoric takes place, they [Future party] resort to insulting and cursing."
He said that in Tripoli and in North Lebanon, the Hizbullah allies come from families and parties that have struggled and that have existed even before Hizbullah did and even before the Future Movement. He pointed out that as they [the Future party] claim the resistance's allies as agents, he assured "Our allies in Tripoli and the North have popular support, despite the fact that [the Future Movement] paid billions of US dollars in past elections in 2005 and 2009 to beat them." His Eminence also assured that the Hizbullah's allies in Tripoli have proved to be very keen on their region, and called on the Future party to learn the lesson.
He reiterated that they should evaluate and assess the size of the rally that was held in Tripoli [last Sunday] of which they brag while totally ignoring the political families in Tripoli. He also highlighted that the relations between Hizbullah and its allies in Tripoli are honest, sincere and is an honor to both, the resistance that defeated "Israel" and to the Tripoli parties.
Moreover, Sayyed Nasrallah said that the same applies to Syria, where some media outlets tries to show that there is sectarian conflict in Syria, which in fact does not exist. "Why are some insisting on sectarian provocation?" His Eminence wondered.
He further explained the false facts used, saying "some insist that there are 3000 fighters [Hizbullah fighters] and that thousands of fighters from the Mahdi army have come to Syria to take part in the clashes, and we denied these allegations once, twice, but the insistence on sowing sectarian strife remained." Sayyed Nasrallah said all this implies intentional sectarian provocations, questioning where do these want to go?
The Hizbullah leader pointed out that if these think that such attitude would generate sectarianism, "I tell them that you are going to fail and we are not scared or affected by this kind of provocation.
During the past, Sayyed Nasrallah said that the resistance suffered from the ugliest situations but did not collapse. "Let these not forget the psychological war the resistance was subject to, and yet did not yield or give up. So I tell [our rivals] to not bother with their provocations," His Eminence stressed.
He explained that if there is anyone who thinks that they can grow stronger to eliminate another party, adding "I tell them: you are also gambling [on a failing bet]. Where do these people want to reach? Civil war? Destroying the country like some Lebanese did in the past? I want to say that this behavior will not yield results."
Hizbullah Secretary General reiterated that Hizbullah does not want to battle anyone in Lebanon, but noted that if anyone is planning to reach that point [of battle], they can only imagine what the outcome of this fight will be. Reminding of the 7th of May  Sayyed Nasrallah said that issue had its own circumstances, reminding that the [March 14] began the conflict.
"So I call for self-restraint and for avoiding sectarian rhetoric," Sayyed Nasrallah called on the Lebanese saying.
Sayyed Nasrallah then moved to the issue of the STL fundin. He said "In the past cabinet of Saad Hariri, we were very honest and collaborative. At the time, the cabinet [of Hariri] was said to be working to ensure the people's needs." However, Sayyed Nasrallah added that the [Hariri] government took a different path, and [the court] came close to the issuance of the STL indictment at the time.
"We were at the doors of an indictment that was published by the press in 2006 and then unsealed years later. And so the governmental conflict began over [the STL], and there was Saudi-Syrian [S-S] attempting to resolve the dispute," Sayyed Nasrallah said.
Hizbullah leader reiterated that "Everyone knows who worked day and night to bring down the Saudi-Syrian efforts; it was Saad Hariri and the March 14 parties. Syria was then informed that the talks failed and, thus, we moved toward the next phase, in which our ministers resigned from the Hariri cabinet and it collapsed."
"After this collapse, there were reports that intended to nominate a respectful Sunni Muslim figure to assume the premiership instead of Saad Hariri," Sayyed Nasrallah added.
His Eminence noted that "after the collapse of the cabinet, Turkish, French, Qatari and Saudi officials planned on holding a conference in Paris, where they would offer Hizbullah a deal. The deal was that Hizbullah [will no longer have to face] the STL in exchange for certain conditions. First, the deal stated that the STL funding would stop; second, that Lebanon would withdraw its judges in the court; and third, abolish the protocol signed between Lebanon and the court."
"Article 6 of the deal stated: In order to preserve security in Lebanon, Saad Hariri would sign an agreement stating that he will review the status of the STL and add this issue as the first item on the next cabinet session in order to take legal measures regarding the withdrawal of the Lebanese judges, the halting of funding and the cutting of ties with the tribunal," Sayyed Nasrallah quoted the article of the protocol.
He then explained that the resistance were told that, in return, it should again nominate Hariri for premiership and protect the political, judicial and security parties that belong to [Hariri], preventing any cabinet collapse.
Upon insistence that Sayyed Nasrallah give his personal opinion, he recalled "My personal opinion was that I do not approve of this deal, and this was also the same view of the command of Hizbullah. I felt that had I accepted this deal, I would have betrayed my principles."
Hizbullah Secretary General said he had told these foreign ministers who proposed this deal that the country is more important; let the tribunal stay and whatever happens, happens.
Furthermore, Sayyed Nasrallah said that it was unfair to accuse Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of obstructing Turkish-Qatari efforts to reach a solution on the crisis in Lebanon.
He pointed out that the brothers in Syria said that if this deal was going to end the problem, then why not? It benefits Syria. But Hizbullah did not go along with that bargain.
Also, concerning the nomination of Najib Mikati for premiership, from the first day, [March 14] started accusing him of treason and announced that they will boycott the government.
Concerning the STL funding, Sayyed Nasrallah said that the entire recent uproar only intended to exert pressure on Lebanon. He noted that the March 14 knows that their Saad Hariri not only accepted to let go of the issue of STL funding, but also renounced the tribunal as a whole to stay in power.
Then, Sayyed Nasrallah pointed out that the Mikati "rivals" started saying that any person who becomes premier and does not honor the STL commitment would be a traitor, wondering what kind of logic is this?
Sayyed Nasrallah then iterated that the resistance proved the STL to be politicized and unjust, as well as a US-"Israeli" scheme. He added that the March 14 bet was to wait for the moment in which the STL funds need to be transferred to the court. March 14 members thought that the cabinet would either collapse and they would return to power or that the funding would not go through, after which they can label Mikati a traitor.
Moreover, the Hizbullah leader explained that from the very beginning of the cabinet formation, Hizbullah did not put conditions on Mikati.
Second, Sayyed Nasrallah said "we agreed to collaborate in order to resolve the funding issue, and third, we believed that Mikati embarrassed himself when he through the media repeatedly voiced commitment to the STL without consulting with ministers.
Sayyed Nasrallah reiterated that Hizbullah sees that the STL is unconstitutional, "Israeli" and US-made, oppressive and it will stay like that. Second, he said that Hizbullah is still against it and against its funding. Third, His Eminence noted that if the cabinet or parliament convened on the STL funding, Hizbullah would have voted against financing it.
Sayyed Nasrallah went on to say "We reaffirmed our commitment to maintain this government and fix the gaps. Mikati took a decision to finance the tribunal out of the Higher Relief Commission's budget; whether he used the funds out of donations or the HRC's budget... the days will show how this process happened."
He also wondered whether the financing happened in a legal way. But Hizbullah Secretary General pointed out that the weird thing is that the US, France, Turkey, Qatar and even Syria, wanted to make a deal in order to abolish the STL, but later, when Hizbullah rejected the deal, they started warning us that we should fund the tribunal, which means that their move is politicized.
"We are with maintaining the current government, reject all means of funding or cooperation with the STL, but we will make the country's interests a priority," Sayyed Nasrallah further elaborated.
Expressing gratitude, Sayyed Nasrallah said "It is my duty to thank the political parties who supported us on rejecting the STL's funding. I also thank all parliamentary blocs and ministers who voiced solidarity with us. Had the cabinet put the funding issue up for a vote, it would have definitely not passed."
As for Mikati's recent behavior, Sayyed Nasrallah referred to Mikati's words who said that it was for the sake of achieving justice, and because of his position as premier and as a Sunni, he cannot but to commit to the STL.
"However, I call on Mikati to be just to the oppressed, particularly the four generals [unjustly held for four years under allegations of involvement in Rafik Hariri's assassination]. I call on Mikati to open the issue of witnesses who gave false testimonies to the international commission investigating the murder, he should include the false witnesses issue on the cabinet's agenda," Sayyed Nasrallah explained.
He also said that Mikati did not bring up the STL funding issue in cabinet because he knew that it would have not passed, and he knew that the government would have collapsed. This is why he sought to fund the tribunal the way he did.
Finally, Sayyed Nasrallah said that the national interests of Lebanon have always been and will always be above everything.