Nasrallah Salutes Arab Uprisings

Lebanon NOW: Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Saturday evening saluted uprisings across the Arab world while dismissing the March 14 coalition’s campaign against non-state weapons.

In a televised speech, Nasrallah praised revolutionaries and protesters in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya, and Yemen for their “faith and high spirituality.”

He rejected claims that the uprisings are US-manufactured, saying such talk is an injustice to these peoples and unreasonable because their regimes are US allies.

He also condemned embattled Libyan strongman Moammar Qaddafi for his alleged kidnapping of Amal Movement founder Imam Moussa Sadr in 1978, saying, “we are looking forward to the day when Sadr can be liberated from this dictatorial tyrant.”

Calling events in Bahrain a “special injustice”, Nasrallah asked whether Arab silence about the repression of protests there is due to sectarian prejudice against the Shia-majority opposition.

He also dismissed the March 14 alliance’s recent campaign against non-state weapons as unworthy of serious discussion, saying that the fact that the campaign had not provoked armed clashes meant that “no one has a gun to their head.”

Reassuring his audience that Hezbollah’s weapons are aimed at Israel and that “there is nothing to worry about,” Nasrallah repeated his accusation that some March 14 figures asked that Israel lengthen its war on Lebanon in July 2006 to further their political goals and said that Hezbollah is preparing a lawsuit against some of them.

He also accused March 14 of obstructing cabinet formation by calling for a technocratic government, adding that Hezbollah will continue to work with Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati.

Popular protests have swept the Arab world in recent months, starting with the ouster of presidents in Tunisia and Egypt. The UN has approved international military intervention to protect Libyan rebels against Qaddafi’s regime and protests have been violently repressed in Bahrain, Yemen, and elsewhere.

The March 14 alliance has launched a campaign against non-state weapons following the collapse of Saad Hariri’s unity government in January. March 14 figures have repeatedly said that the threat of Hezbollah’s weapons helped secure the parliamentary majority for Mikati’s nomination to the premiership.

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