Iran-Lebanese Hezbollah Relationship Tracker
This series tracks Hezbollah’s relationship with Iran. Between 2008-2012, CTP tracked Hezbollah’s interactions with Iranian officials, information regarding the organization’s funding transfers of arms and material, militant operations, meetings and relations with groups and countries, and Hezbollah’s official statements.
July 31: The Special Tribunal for Lebanon is expected to announce five new indictments in the investigation into the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. It is anticipated that the additional indictments will target Hezbollah.
July 30: The Special Tribunal for Lebanon rejected a motion from the four defendants arguing that the court has no jurisdiction over Lebanese citizens.
July 30: The head of Tunisia’s Ennahda movement Rashid al-Ghannushi issued an apology to the Syrian people for inviting members of Hezbollah to the ninth conference of the Ennahda movement.
July 27: Lebanese Shias who have been held in Syria for more than two months denied that they are members of Hezbollah. “Not all Shiites in Lebanon are members of Hezbollah, you know,” said Awad Ibrahim, one of the hostages.
July 26: Lebanese Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) member Alain Aoun denied comments made by Progressive Socialist Party Leader Walid Jumblatt asserting that Aoun traveled to Syria, and added that the FPM does not take orders from Hezbollah. “Since I have never had the chance to visit Damascus, I promise Jumblatt to visit Syria for the first time with him, given his accurate knowledge of its streets, castles, intelligence offices and officials,” said Aoun.
July 25: Lebanese Progressive Socialist Party Leader Walid Jumblatt claimed that Free Patriotic Movement member Alain Aoun traveled to Syria where he was instructed by Syrian security officials to mend rifts between the FPM and Hezbollah.
July 25: Lebanese March 14 Alliance argued that Hezbollah’s weapons offer a pretext for Israeli aggression against Lebanon.
July 25: Lebanese daily An-Nahar reported that Hezbollah has detained two party members on suspicion of spying. Hezbollah would not comment on the story.
July 24: The European Union rejected Israel’s call to place Hezbollah on the organization’s terrorist list. “[There is] no consensus among the EU member states for putting Hezbollah on the terrorist list of the organization,” said Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman.
July 23: Lebanese Progressive Socialist Party Leader Walid Jumblatt criticized Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah’s remarks concerning the assassination of senior Syrian official Asef Shawkat in Damascus. “It would have been better had he [Nasrallah] not turned one of the symbols of killing, oppression and maltreatment of the Syrian people [into] a comrade in arms,” said Jumblatt.
July 22: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed concern that Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons may come under the control of Hezbollah. "We certainly don't want to be exposed to chemical weapons falling into the hands of Hezbollah or some other terror groups. ... It's a great threat," said Netanyahu.
July 20: Lebanese March 14 MP Boutros Harb accused Hezbollah of protecting his would-be assassin who planted an explosive charge in an elevator used by Harb. “We are asking Hezbollah to lift its cover from this person who is a high-ranking party member,” said Harb.
July 18: Hezbollah MP Nawwaf Moussawi accused the Lebanese March 14 Alliance of leading Lebanon to the brink of civil war.
July 17: The Lebanese Future Bloc slammed the statements made by Hezbollah MP Mohammad Raad concerning Hezbollah’s arsenal. “Hezbollah has decided in this case to bring down the efforts made by President Michel Suleiman and a number of other parties participating in National Dialogue sessions discussing the remaining differences,” said a Future Bloc statement.
July 16: Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc Leader Mohammad Raad stated that it is too early for Lebanese parties to discuss a united national defense strategy while the resistance to Israeli occupation is ongoing. “We don’t want a national defense strategy at the present time,” said Raad.
July 16: Sunni Sheikh Ahmad Assir once again called on Hezbollah to disarm. “Integrate your arms, which are dominating the state, in a defense strategy in which we all take part,” said Assir. The prominent Sunni leader has led a Sidon based sit-in against Hezbollah’s weapons since June 28.
July 12: Lebanese Kataeb Party Leader Amine Gemayel denounced Hezbollah: “Hezbollah does not recognize the extent of the damage which is has caused to Lebanese authorities and institutions…. Perhaps they are not causing the unrest and chaos and road blockages now, but under the pretext of resistance, it causes the fragmentation of the authority of the state.”
July 12: The head of Hezbollah’s International Relations Department Ammar Musawi criticized various Lebanese political factions, which he alleges are attempting to import unrest from Syria into Lebanon.
July 12: Israeli Minister for Strategic Affairs Moshe Ya’alon warned that if Hezbollah attacked Israel in retaliation for an Israeli strike against Iran, the group would pay “such a heavy price that they will ask for a cease fire.”
July 11: Hezbollah’s press office announced that a Hezbollah delegation visited Cuba and Venezuela last week. The delegation, which included Hezbollah MP Nawwar Sahili and head of Hezbollah’s International Relations Department Ammar Musawi, visited the tomb of “Che” Ernesto Guevara in Cuba. The Hezbollah officials also participated in a summit for leftist parties in Caracas, Venezuela and met with Venezuelan Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs David Velasquez.
July 9: Closed meetings were held between representatives of Hezbollah, the Free Patriotic Movement and Amal to resolve an ongoing dispute between the three parties. “[T]he solid alliance between Hezbollah, the Amal Movement and the Free Patriotic Movement is stronger than the details of internal politics,” said Hezbollah Executive Council Member Nabil Qaouk.
July 5: Lebanese Free Patriotic Movement Leader and Hezbollah parliamentary ally Michel Aoun warned Hezbollah of the consequences of corruption while Aoun’s nephew and Change and Reform Bloc MP Alain Aoun stated that, “We need today a reassessment of the relationship with Hezbollah regarding our reform project.”
July 5: New York-based advocacy group United Against Nuclear Iran accused Lebanon’s central bank of being complicit in laundering illicit funds on behalf of Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran. “Lebanon has become a sovereign money laundering jurisdiction that receives massive inflows of illicit deposits,” read a statement from the group.
July 5: Israeli Brigadier General Herzi Halevy warned that in the next war between Israel and Hezbollah "the destruction will be greater in Lebanon than in Israel and the amount of explosives which will fall there will be far more than what will fall here.... We will need to be strong and aggressive."
June 30: Lebanese Progressive Socialist Party Leader Walid Jumblatt stressed that Hezbollah’s arms can only be dealt with through national dialogue and not through sectarian provocations. “This issue [Hezbollah’s arms] cannot be resolved by blocking roads and disrupting people's lives in Sidon, the south and other areas,” said Jumblatt, likely referring to the Sidon based sit-in led by Sheikh Ahmed Assir.
June 28: Al-Jadeed TV, following the attack on its headquarters, issued a statement accusing Hezbollah of “protecting” those who carried out the assault. “[Hezbollah] should not mediate talks for the purpose of releasing a detainee who [aimed] to set [Al-Jadeed] and its staff on fire,” said the statement.
June 28: Lebanese Salafi cleric Sheikh Ahmed Assir led a sit-in in the city of Sidon in protest of Hezbollah’s arms. "These weapons are the most important crisis in Lebanon," said Assir.
June 27: Iraqi cleric and politicianMuqtada al-Sadr called for the release of jailed Hezbollah member Ali Musa Daqduq, who was convicted of murdering five American soldiers in Iraq. "He must be released immediately, and the government should do this immediately," said al-Sadr.
June 25: Lebanese Kataeb Party demanded Hezbollah “propose its vision on the fate of its weapons and grant that the only legitimate weapons are the state’s weapons.”
June 25: During the second round of National Dialogue talks in Lebanon, the Speaker of Lebanon’s Parliament Nabih Berri reportedly argued that Hezbollah’s weapons should remain in order to protect Lebanon’s oil resources. The parties in attendance agreed to convene further talks on the status of Hezbollah’s weapons on July 24.
June 22: Hezbollah MP Nawwar Sahili commended the government’s release of nine Islamist detainees as a “positive but small step.” Sahili also urged the authorities to speed up the release of 98 other prisoners still in custody as result of clashes between the Lebanese Army and members of Fatah al-Islam in 2007. “We renew our demand today ... to put an end to this case by releasing those who have been there for a long time, especially as some have been detained for longer than the sentence they would have received had their case gone to trial and they had been convicted,” said Sahili.
June 21: Two American rabbis belonging to the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta movement visited the Deputy Chairman of the Hezbollah’s Executive Council Nabil Qaouk in South Lebanon. “Today, Israel has become a burden on humanity,” said Qaouk.
June 21: Lebanese Forces Party Leader Samir Geagea called for the resignation of the current Hezbollah-led government and blamed Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati and his allies for the economic and security crises in Lebanon. “We are living in a state of disintegration because of the presence of this government. A solution lies with the government’s resignation as soon as possible,” said Geagea.
June 21: Hezbollah MP Nawwaf al-Mousawwi stated that Iran would provide Lebanon with reliable electricity if not for American interference. “If Iran wanted to present this gift to Lebanon, the U.S. would threaten, starting tomorrow, the Bank of Lebanon with punitive measures, and this is the dilemma that disrupts the real advancement of the electricity sector with the help of Iran,” said al-Moussawi.
June 20: Lebanese Future Bloc leader Fouad Siniora accused Hezbollah’s arms of spurring violence in Tripoli and called on all Lebanese factions to give up non-state arms. “Hezbollah’s weapons are breeding [other] weapons in Tripoli. Hezbollah is working on [creating] and financing weapons to make it look as if there are non-state arms with other parties,” said Siniora.
June 19: Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem stressed Hezbollah’s solidarity with the Palestinian people and warned that, “Palestine is for the Palestinians and it is upon those who came from different countries to leave peacefully, or [through] war.
June 18: Head of Hezbollah’s Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc Mohammad Raad stated that both National Dialogue and Hezbollah’s weapons are essential to the stability of Lebanon. Raad also warned of the possibility of Lebanon descending into civil war. “Chaos at the security level in any Lebanese area threatens [sliding] the country back to a civil war,” said Raad.
June 13: At a hearing of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, lawyers for the four Hezbollah defendants charged in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri argued that the court “has no right to exist.”
June 12: Lebanese Future Movement slammed comments made by Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati in which he referred to Hezbollah’s arsenal as “sacred” and crucial to the security of the Lebanese state. “[We] are surprised by this statement [at a time] when these arms... contribute to spreading chaos and shaking stability, especially in Tripoli where the source of arms is coming from Hezbollah,” said a statement released by the bloc.
June 12: Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Naim Qassem stated that the number one danger the region faces is Israeli occupation and urged his supporters to maintain a state of constant readiness against Israeli aggression. “The most important thing is to gather all energies to strengthen steadfastness, care for our people economically, socially and to stay committed to the prevention of sectarian strife,” said Qassem.
June 12: Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati stated that Hezbollah’s arms are “sacred” in defending Lebanon against Israeli aggression. Mikati also assure Lebanese citizens that Hezbollah’s arms will not be used against them.
June 11: Hezbollah, represented by Mohammad Raad, participated in the first Lebanese National Dialogue session since November 2010. The parties involved in the dialogue agreed to continue the policy of disassociation regarding regional conflicts and affirmed the role of the Lebanese national army in the prevention of a “buffer zone” along the Lebanon-Syria border. The group also discussed ways in which Hezbollah’s arsenal may be integrated into the “national defense strategy.”
June 11: Head of Hezbollah’s Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc Mohammad Raad warned during a National Dialogue session that, “If a civil war breaks out, you will see it as a picnic compared to the previous civil war.”
June 11: Hezbollah MP Nawwar Salehi stressed that Hezbollah believes that the solution to the ongoing crisis in Lebanon will only be reached through dialogue.
June 11: Lebanese Forces Leader Samir Geagea called on Hezbollah to “join the state” and criticized the group for not abiding by the Lebanese constitution. Geagea also slammed Hezbollah’s refusal to put the status of their arms up for negotiation. “The statements of the leaders of Hezbollah are clear in that they do not want to discuss non-state weapons… this is not what can be considered national dialogue since the Syrian regime and Hezbollah are not ready to sit at the dialogue table,” said Geagea.
June 10: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran and Hezbollah of assisting in Bashar al-Assad’s violent suppression of anti-regime elements. “This massacre is not executed by the Syrian government alone; it is assisted by Iran and Hezbollah, and the world should realize this is a concentrated axis of evil: Iran, Syria and Hezbollah,” said Netanyahu.
June 8: Hezbollah MP Walid Succariyeh asserted that the fall of the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria would hurt Hezbollah. “The fall of the Syrian regime would constrict the role of the Resistance,” said Succariyeh.
June 6: Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Naim Qassem criticized the March 14 Alliance for refusing to participate in a national dialogue before specific pre-conditions are met. “If you [March 14] have demands then join the national dialogue [session] to discuss them along with our demands,” said Qassem.
June 6: Lebanese Future Bloc rejected Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah’s call for the formation of a constituent assembly. “[Nasrallah’s] call for the [establishment] of a constituent assembly is aimed at amending the Constitution and changing the [ruling] system backed by the threat of its arms with a view to fully controlling the Lebanese Republic and diverting attention from the real problem posed by [its] tutelage over the state and its decision-making as a result of the armed coup whose effects have continued since May 2008,” said a statement released by the bloc
June 6: Following a meeting between Hezbollah and Al-Jama’a Al-Islamiya, the two groups released a joint statement promising to, “confront American attempts to re-impose its hegemony and control over the region.”
June 3: Lebanese Future Bloc MP Fouad Siniora condemned Hezbollah’s support for the Syrian regime. “We hoped Hezbollah would stand against injustice committed by the Syrian regime against its people and against the Lebanese people. We think Hezbollah’s position supporting the Syrian regime is wrong,” said Siniora.
June 1: The United States requested that Hezbollah member Ali Mussa Daqduq be extradited from Iraq to the United States. Daqduq’s attorney Abdulalmehdi al-Mutiri said, "The Americans have no right to get him; whatever they claim that he did, it would have happened on Iraqi soil and that means he is under Iraqi jurisdiction.”
June 1: Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah called on the Syrian group responsible for kidnapping a number of Lebanese Shia to release their hostages. "If you have a problem with me, there are many ways we can solve it and on many levels. If you want war we can solve it with war, if you want peace then we can solve it in peace," said Nasrallah.
May 31: The Syrian rebels holding Lebanese Shia pilgrims demanded that before they release their hostages, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah must apologize for his statement saying that the hostage taking would not change Hezbollah’s stance on the situation in Syria.
May 31: Syrian National Council Executive Branch President Georges Sabra stated that the Syrian people will not accept Hezbollah after the group’s continuing support for the Assad regime.
May 29: Head of Hezbollah’s Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc Mohammad Raad met with Turkey’s Ambassador to Lebanon Inan Auzildise. The two discussed the issue of the kidnapped Lebanese Shia currently being held in Syria. Following the meeting Auzildise asserted that Turkey continues to work to free the kidnapped Lebanese citizens.
May 29: Senior Hezbollah official Sheikh Atallah Hamoud welcomed a delegation of Palestinian Liberation Front officials to Beirut. The two sides discussed the importance of uniting Palestinian efforts to develop a cohesive strategy to address the “suffering of the Palestinian people, who have been exposed to killing, encirclement, displacement, and the Judiazation of Jerusalem.”
May 27: Deputy Head of Hezbollah’s Executive Council Nabil Qaouk denied that Hezbollah fighters have been or will ever be present in Syria. Qaouk added that Hezbollah’s mission is to defend Lebanon. "Hezbollah is here to protect Lebanon from descending into the Syrian quagmire,” said Qaouk.
May 25: Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah called for a Lebanese national dialogue without preconditions. “As for those who want the Cabinet to resign first, they seek power and not dialogue,” said Nasrallah.
May 25: Lebanese Forces Leader Samir Geagea expressed doubt that a national dialogue will be held in Lebanon due to Hezbollah’s reluctance to negotiate on the status of its weapons. “The components for dialogue are not available at the moment,” said Geagea.
May 24: Lebanese Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt stated that Hezbollah must “integrate” its arms into the state in order to avoid armed conflict. “We have to ask [Hezbollah] if they would be willing to discuss the issue of their weapons and [decide] weather they would have them fall under the command of the state,” said Jumblatt.
May 24: Deputy Head of Hezbollah’s Executive Council Nabil Qaouk called on the March 14 coalition to turn its weapons on Israel and support the resistance effort. “[I] urge March 14 to recognize that the  liberation was an achievement by all Lebanese and that Israel is our enemy and that the resistance's strategy is a national need to continue liberating and protecting our sovereignty,” said Qaouk.
May 24: Hezbollah’s head of International Relations Ammar Moussawi asserted that the state of Hezbollah’s arms in not up for negotiation. "The weapon that gave Lebanon achievements, especially in May 2000, and the July 2006 confrontations, and guarantees a balance of deterrence with the Zionist entity, will not become a matter of compromise, because it is owned by this nation and the Lebanese people," said Moussawi.
May 23: Hezbollah MP Ali Ammar announced that Hezbollah has brokered a deal to release the 13 hostages currently being held in Syria. Ammar also stated that Hezbollah enlisted the help of several Gulf countries and Turkey in the negotiations. “We’ve been promised they will be released,” said Ammar.
May 22: Following the outbreak of violence in Beirut, Hezbollah MP Nawar Sahili accused the Lebanese Future Movement of constituting a militia. “The tragic events which resulted in the death of several Lebanese [in Beirut] confirm that the Future Movement is a militia in every sense of the word,” said Sahili.
May 22: Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Naim Qassem called the Grand Mufti of Lebanon to offer Hezbollah’s condolences over the deaths of Sheikh Ahmad Abdel Wahed and Wahed’s bodyguard Mohammad Hussein Merheb.
May 22: Lebanese Future Bloc MP Atef Majdalani blamed Hezbollah and groups aligned with the Syrian government for the outburst of violence following the death of Sheikh Ahmad Abdel Wahed. “Our [people] cleansed their area of these groups, and this is a victory for the residents of Tariq al-Jedided [who can now] live peacefully without being provoked,” said Majdalani.
May 19: Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri argued that weapons are Hezbollah’s weakness and reiterated that the Assad regime in Syria will collapse.
May 17: Hezbollah member and political advisor to Hassan Nasrallah, Hussein al-Khalil, blamed the recent violence in Tripoli on sectarian tensions. Khalil also stated that Hezbollah does not have information sounding the arrest of Sunni religious leader Shadi al-Mawlawi. “[What happened in Tripoli] was the outcome of sectarian tension – stirred by some factions whether [intentionally or not],” said Khalil.
May 16: Commenting on the proposed proportional representation law, Hezbollah Deputy Secretary Naim Qassem argued that talks on the law would be “meaningless” unless all parties participate. Qassem also rejected the demand from March 14th that Hezbollah must disarm before dialogue can begin. “All we heard were [arguments] linking this law to issues irrelevant to the law [itself],” said Qassem
May 15: Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah welcomed a delegation headed by Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command Ahmad Jibril. The two sides reportedly discussed regional developments, specifically the situation in Syria and also “the depth and firmness of their relations in front of the [latest] developments,” according to a statement released by Hezbollah following the meeting.
May 15: Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Naim Qassem called on former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to endorse the proposed proportional representation law. “The world will then know Hariri’s popularity and those who support his policies, and the popularity of others. With this path, the elections will be fair, the challenge will be positive, competition will be honest and victory will be a source of pride,” said Qassem.
May 11: Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah denied allegations that Hezbollah is behind violent protests in Bahrain and is participating in military operations on Bahraini soil. Nasrallah characterized these allegations as lies and falsehoods.
May 9: A meeting was held between representatives of the Progressive Socialist Party and Hezbollah to discuss the recently proposed proportional representation election law as well as the Syrian crisis. “Consensuses” were reportedly reached on both issues.
May 9: Future Bloc MP Khodor Habib criticized Michel Aoun’s attack on the Lebanese President Michel Suleiman. Aoun previously alleged that Suleiman had been elected unconstitutionally. “I think Aoun’s attack against the presidency is on behalf of Hezbollah. Aoun would not have dared to launch this attack if he had not been supported,” said Habib.
May 9: Lawyers for Salim Ayyash, one of the Hezbollah defendants accused of participating in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, petitioned the Special Trial for Lebanon (STL) to dismiss charges against Ayyash. “Having been established in an illegitimate and unconstitutional (manner)… the STL cannot give the accused a fair trial,” said the written argument put forth by Ayyash’s lawyers.
May 8: A senior Israeli military officer warned that if Hezbollah were to attack Israel in response to an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities, "The situation in Lebanon after this war [would] be horrible.”
May 8: The Lebanese Future Bloc released a statement saying that, “Hezbollah is still using its weapons… to intimidate the Lebanese people and impose its political, social and economic domination.”
May 8: Iraqi Deputy Minister of Justice Busho Ibrahim stated that he did not know the circumstances of Ali Mussa Daqduq’s arrest and subsequent transfer to Iraqi custody. “I don’t know the reason why the Americans handed Daqduq over to the ministry of interior instead of the justice ministry, although they could have taken him to Guantanamo and tried him there,” said Busho
May 7: An Iraqi court ruled that Ali Mussa Daqduq, a Lebanese Hezbollah militant responsible for the deaths of several American soldiers, be released for lack of evidence. Daqduq has been held in U.S. and then Iraqi custody since his capture in 2007.
May 5: Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt blamed the Free Patriotic Movement and Hezbollah for the deadlock in the Lebanese government. "[It is regrettable] that there is an absurd party led by Aoun that paralyzes everything and, also with regret, Hezbollah goes along with this," said Jumblatt.
May 3: Michel Aoun led Free Patriotic Movement denied that it played a role in the assassination attempt on Samir Geagea. “The history of the [Free Patriotic Movement] and Hezbollah is not blood-stained unlike Geagea’s, who knows his history [very well],” said Free Patriotic Movement MP Gaby Layoun.
May 3: Hezbollah MP Hussein Musawi accused United States Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman of attempting to spread discord in Lebanon. “We cannot consider Jeffrey Feltman's visit to Lebanon as anything other than an attempt to sow strife between the Lebanese and deliver a blow to the foundations of coexistence,” said Musawi.
May 2: Head of Lebanese Forces Samir Geagea announced after a meeting with the United States Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, that Hezbollah and forces associated with Michel Aoun were responsible for the attempt on his life.
May 1: Hezbollah’s head of International Relations Ammar Moussawi warned that the participation of some Lebanese in the unrest in Syria reflects poorly on Lebanon. “What is happening in Syria is not a reform process but a project to strike and punish the Syrian people who stand in support of the regime,” said Moussawi.
April 30: Future Movement MP Amar Houry accused Hezbollah of blocking aid to Syrian refugees in the Bekaa Valley.
April 28: Secretary General of the Lebanese Future Movement Ahmad Hariri criticized Hezbollah’s silence over the Syrian government’s crackdown on anti-regime demonstrators. “We have not heard even one condemnation from the resistance movements and no bullet has been fired in the Golan Heights for 40 years ... but the shelling of Syrian cities and Syrians continues past its 13th month,” said Hariri.
April 26: Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) head Walid Jumblatt met with representatives from Amal and Hezbollah in Beirut. Jumblatt claimed that the meeting was held to discuss administrative appointments, cabinet dialogue, and, “an understanding on a defense strategy that will lead to the integration of [Hezbollah’s] weapons into the state.” The PSP leader also reiterated his support for government of Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati.
April 26: March 14 MP Marwan Hamadeh told Lebanese television that, “[The] Syrian army withdrew only militarily from Lebanon in 2005 because it had prepared an alternative army to replace it and that is Hezbollah… while preserving its entire intelligence system.”
April 25: During a meeting with UN Secretary General Special Coordinator for Lebanon Derek Plumbly, Hezbollah’s chief officer for international relations Ammar Moussawiexpressed resentment over Ban Ki-Moon’s remarks concerning Hezbollah’s arms.
April 21: United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon called on Hezbollah to disarm, citing the fragile peace prevailing in Lebanon. “The existence and activities of Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias continue to pose a threat to the stability of the country; the armed component of Hezbollah is the most significant and most heavily armed Lebanese militia in the country, reaching almost the capacities of a regular army,” said Moon.
April 21: Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Naim Qassem said that a political solution is ongoing in Syria under the auspices of the Annan plan. “[The plan] directly expresses the failure of the Arab and Western polices that were adopted previously, since [the plan leans toward] a political solution, something which Western countries and some Arab states had downplayed,” said Qassem
April 19: Future Bloc MP Khaled al-Daher called on Hezbollah to apologize to Sunnis for the organizations actions during the 2008 May Conflict. “[You] are the enemies of democracy and freedom. Your policies [aim] to isolate and exclude [others] with the power of arms,” said Daher
April 18: Lebanese Future Movement MP Hadi Hobeish criticized the March 8th Alliance as unproductive and an all around failure. Hobeish also claimed that the government remains in power because of support from Syria and Hezbollah.
April 16: A three man Iraqi delegation from the Sadr Movement visited the imprisoned Lebanese Hezbollah member Ali Musa Daqduq at a prison in Baghdad. The movement, led by Moqtada al-Sadr, is petitioning for the release of Daqduq. "Let him know that Moqtada al-Sadr is praying for his release, and to inform him the Sadr bloc [with 40 MPs in parliament] is working for him to be freed,” said an official within the Sadr Movement
April 14: The head of Hezbollah’s Foreign Affairs Department Ali Daamoush downplayed reports that Israel considers Lebanese state institutions legitimate targets in any future conflict with Hezbollah. "The resistance is ready for any confrontation Israel may impose…” said Daamoush.
April 13: Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Ghazanfar Roknabadi denied the possibility of an attack against Syria because “a confrontation with Syria would mean a confrontation with the entire entity of the resistance.” Roknabadi said Hezbollah’s power had not been damaged by the uprisings in Syria.
April 12: In an interview with Al-Arabiya, Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea worried that inquiries into the attempt on his life would be impeded by the interference of “Hezbollah and its allies and the allies of Syria, which control political decision-making, and what they can of the security bodies.” Geagea blamed the failed assassination on the March 8 coalition, which includes Hezbollah.
April 10: Hezbollah called on the Lebanese government to investigate the shooting death of “Al-Jadeed” cameraman Ali Shaaban. "We call on the Lebanese government to launch a probe into the incident and punish the culprits who targeted the media and its men," said Hezbollah MP Hasan Fadlallah.
April 8: Officers in the Israeli military announced that they are planning for a large ground offensive into Lebanon if armed conflicts with Hezbollah begin again. Officials said that an air force attack would not be sufficient because Hezbollah controls underground command posts and camouflaged launching pads. (“Israel says ready for Hezbollah attack,” United Press International, April 8, 2012. Available on LexisNexis)
April 6: U.S. State Department Spokesman Mark Toner asserted that the assassination attempt on Lebanese Forces commander Samir Geagea may be connected with the Lebanese politician’s criticism of the Syrian regime and Hezbollah :“While we do not know who was behind the attack at this time, we are deeply concerned that Mr. Geagea may have been targeted because of his outspoken criticism of the Assad regime’s murderous repression and [Hezbollah]’s destabilizing actions in Lebanon.”
April 5: Israeli President Simon Peres argued that the fall of the Assad regime in Syria would be a “death blow” to Hezbollah.
April 4: Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Naim Qassem accused the Arab world of neglecting the Palestinian situation. However, Qassem stated that the United States and Israel are to blame. “The issue of Israel is a central one and…the compass of these [Arab] countries is being manipulated by America and Israel so that they turn away from the heinous crimes committed by this entity,” said Qassem.
April 4: Hezbollah International Relations official Ammar Moussawi met with Belgian Ambassador to Lebanon Colette Taquet to discuss national and regional developments.
April 3: Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) President David Baragwanath called on the Lebanese government to cooperate in handing over Hezbollah suspects to the STL. “The STL president has only one request of Lebanon: the need to cooperate. The principle of cooperation stipulates the need to hand over the suspects to the STL,” said one unnamed judicial source.
April 2: Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) leader Walid Jumblatt asserted that he believes Hezbollah will eventually join the fight against the Assad regime and compared the ongoing situation in Syria to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "The resistance in Lebanon [Hezbollah] will one day join the Syrian people's resistance, " said Jumblatt.
March 30: Lebanese Future Movement MP Nuhad Mashnouq commented on national reconciliation dialogue in Lebanon: “There are two main conditions for dialogue with Hezbollah, the first is for its SecretaryGeneral Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah to ... apologize to Beirut residents for using his arms during the May 7, 2008, incidents and the second is to stop protecting those accused in the assassination of Rafik Hariri.”
March 26: The head of Hezbollah’s Juristic Council Sheikh Mohammad Yazbek condemned the United States. Yazbek cited U.S. Ambassador Maura Connelly’s interference in internal Lebanese affairs specifically. Yazbek also criticized U.S. probes into the Lebanese banking sector, decrying such measures as “an act of colonialism.”
March 23: Hezbollah MP Hussein Musawi strongly criticized UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s assertion that Hezbollah’s weapons threaten Lebanese sovereignty: “Your unjust reading of this resolution is in line with a course drawn by the U.S. administration for you; it orders that you and your staff serve its interests and the designs of the Zionist entity.”
March 20: Speaking to a reception hosted by the Lebanese American Associations, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman called on the Lebanese people to tell Hezbollah that the affairs of their nation will no longer be dictated by an Iranian-Syrian-led agenda. The event was held to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the Cedar Revolution, but U.S. Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East Steve Chabot stated that, “Tonight’s celebration is bitter sweet. Seven years since the [Cedar] revolution Syria and Iran have armed Hezbollah and continue to meddle in Lebanon.”
March 20: Hezbollah military commander Sheikh Nabil Qaouk confirmed that he sent a letter to leaders of the Arab countries participating in the Arab League Summit hosed in Baghdad. Qaouk also called for an “end to the killing and repression in Bahrain.”
March 19: A delegation headed by senior Hezbollah official Mohammad Raad visited the Russian Ambassador at the Russian embassy in Beirut. The delegation delivered a message of congratulations for Vladimir Putin’s presidential victory. The two sides also discussed the ongoing crisis in Syria with Raad stating, "Russia's stance stems from the root that achieving stability in Syria should be based on a political solution [that is gained] through dialogue between the regime and opposition."
March 15: Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah called for a political solution to the crisis in Syria and for an end to bloodshed. “I call on Syrians to lay down arms and start a political process," said Nasrallah.
March 12: Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah welcomed a top level Hamas delegation led by Mousa Abu Marzouk. During the meeting, the two sides reportedly discussed the recent escalation of violence in Gaza, the conflict in Syria, and agreed on a plan put forth by Nasrallah which seeks to improve Iran’s relations with Arab nations.
March 11: During a ceremony in the town of Babliyeh, Hezbollah military commander Sheikh Nabil Qaouk accused the United States of arming opposition groups in Syria and directing a smuggling operation out the American embassy in Beirut. “The American embassy in Lebanon acts a spy network [sic] and a military operations room against Syria,” said Qaouk.
March 10: Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Naim Qassem rejected the possibility of Lebanon establishing camps for Syrian refugees. “We cannot accept the establishment of Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon because such camps will turn into a military island against Syria first and then Lebanon,” said Qassem. an refugees. blishing refugee camps foraid on the Gaza Strip Friday. ations out the American embassy in Beirut
March 2: The Special Tribunal for Lebanon issued a new indictment in the investigation of the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The indictment charges an unnamed fifth member of Hezbollah.
March 1: Hezbollah deputy Sheikh Naim Qassem claimed that an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities would ignite a region wide conflict and would “drag in” the U.S. Qassem also warned that Hezbollah’s fighters are at a higher state of preparedness than during the 2006 conflict with Israel. "Israel could start a war ... but it does not know the scale of the consequences and it is incapable of controlling them," said Qassem.
February 24: The Obama administration announced military commission charges against a Hezbollah operative currently being held in Iraq. The detainee, Ali Musa Daqduq, was originally captured by American forces but was transferred to Iraqi custody following the withdrawal of U.S forces from Iraq. Daqduq faces charges of murder, terrorism, and espionage for his role in attacks on U.S. forces and is alleged to have worked in coordination with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force in training Shia militias.
February 16: Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano testified to congress that the Department of Homeland Security is “constantly monitoring” Hezbollah. ”We are constantly monitoring their activities around the world. We're working very closely with the FBI and the [intelligence] community in this regard. And in addition we are reaching out to particularly the Jewish community across the country who have been the intended targets in the past,” said Napolitano.
February 15: Former Amal Party MP Mohammed Abdul Hamid Beydoun criticized a recent speech given by Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah. Beydoun condemned the lack of attention paid in the speech to the situation in Lebanon, instead of focusing on Syrian and Iranian affairs. The former Amal MP also accused Hezbollah of undertaking a coup in order to preserve the Syria-Iran-Hezbollah axis.
February 14: Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri called on Hezbollah to disarmand change its antagonistic stance towards the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Hariri’s remarks came on the 7th anniversary of his father’s assassination. Hariri stressed that the failure of Hezbollah to turn over its four members accused in the assassination “implicates” the entire Hezbollah organization. “Frankly, we say that the state, to be a state, must have the monopoly on weapons because this means it has the monopoly on power, on preserving individual and national security, on adopting laws and applying them, on implementing justice. Distributing the monopoly of state power to groups condemns Lebanon to a life of violence, and the state to withering,” said Hariri.
February 9: Lebanese Future Bloc MP Khaled Zahraman accused Lebanese Hezbollah of being subservient to the will of Iran. Zahraman also criticized the Lebanese government for not condemning Syria over its violent response to popular protests. “Hezbollah’s political and jurisprudential decisions are not made by Hezbollah but by the Wilayat al-Faqih in Iran,” said Zahraman.
February 3: The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) assigned defense attorneys for the four Hezbollah members accused of participating in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The appointments come a day after the court’s decision to try the four Hezbollah defendants in absentia. STL spokesman Marten Youseff expressed that he is “hopeful that we will still be able to start the trial in 2012.”
February 2: Alaa al Sheikh, a leader of Bin Waleed Free Syrian Army Brigade in Rastan, claimed that Hezbollah has launched 21 rockets from Lebanon into Free Syrian Army positions in response to the kidnapping of 7 Iranian nationals in Syria. The Bin Waleed Brigade in retaliation attacked Lebanese infrastructure targets such as water mains and power lines commented al Sheikh.
January 31: Free Syrian Army spokesman Colonel Ammar al Wawi voiced his dissatisfaction with Hezbollah’s role in the Syrian unrest. Al Wawi called on Nasrallah to “stop the killing of the Syrian people who previously embraced the Lebanese people during the 2006 war…opening their homes to them.” He also warned that Nasrallah will be held responsible “in the revolutionary courts following the victory of the [Syrian] revolution.”
January 24: According to Iranian state owned Press TV, head of the Hezbollah information bureau Hussein Rahal denied Hezbollah’s involvement in the recent Syrian unrest. Rahal said that the allegations are “fabrications that seek political and sectarian incitement against Hezbollah as part of a plot to create sedition in the region.”
January 22: According to Iran’s Press TV, Lebanese Hezbollah MP Ali Fayyad called on the Lebanese government to stop arms smuggling into Syria from Lebanese territory. “It is no longer enough for the government to steer clear of the developments and complications in Syria… it is now necessary to take measures that would prevent Lebanon's northern borders from becoming a main passage for arming the Syrian street,” said Fayyad.
January 21: Lebanese politicians from the March 14th Coalition slammed comments made by Iranian Quds Force Commander Qassem Suleimani which suggested that Lebanon is influenced by Iran. March 14th officials say that Suleimani’s statements are proof that Lebanese Hezbollah is subservient to Tehran. “The remarks by the commander of Al-Quds force have unmasked Hezbollah…while the party is seeking through its political activity to convince the Lebanese and the world that it is a Lebanese party that is working to achieve Lebanese goals,” March 14 General Secretariat Fares Soueid said.