US REWARDS FOR HEZBOLLAH LEADERS’ HEADS: HOW DO THEY AFFECT THE ORGANISATION?

Posted on  by Elijah J Magnier

By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai

The US government offers financial rewards to those who help arrest a Hezbollah leader or who reveal details of their activities that enable the US to disrupt them. These rewards vary from five to ten million dollars. Thus far, no one has been able to obtain a single dollar of these awards from the US administration since 1985, when Hezbollah officially came into existence in Lebanon. How are the organisation and its leaders affected by these tempting millions offered by Washington?

There is no doubt that the “Axis of Resistance” in Lebanon is operating outside the American system. Hezbollah possesses no property outside Lebanon, and no bank accounts in any local bank inside or outside the country, notably not in any western countries. Family members and children of Hezbollah leaders are not present in western countries, therefore they are outside the US’s blackmailing orbit. Hence, the decision to place Hezbollah leaders on the US terrorist list and confiscate their “non-existent” funds is not much more than an ostentatious display by which the US aims to self-advertise itself as the world’s policeman. 

Washington believes that announcing the names of Hezbollah leaders could give impetus to America’s allies in Lebanon. But the US’s allies in Lebanon are too weak – although persistent and holding at least some leverage – to confront Hezbollah in the first place. Most importantly, US sanctions cannot possibly be effective in a country like Lebanon – or in other countries under the “Axis of the Resistance” umbrella because they are sovereign states outside direct US control and the “Axis of the Resistance” is far from being weak.

This takes us to Iraq, an “Axis of the Resistance” stronghold, during the 2018 parliamentary campaign.  Before the elections the US Presidential envoy against ISIS, Ambassador Brett McGurk, visited National Security Minister Faleh Al-Fayyad in his office in Baghdad. McGurk complained that Fayyad had met with Sheikh Muhammad Kawtharani, a Hezbollah official on the US terrorism list.

Al-Fayyad replied:

“It is not permitted to interfere in internal Iraqi affairs, nor with what an Iraqi citizen does. Sheikh Kawtharani is an Iraqi citizen, and America has no authority or jurisdiction over us to dictate who we can or cannot receive.”

Sources in the “Axis of the Resistance” confirm, in fact,  that “Sheikh Muhammad Kawtharani was never a military leader but part of the political bureau. By virtue of his studies and the presence of his father, a scholar and jurist, in Najaf for many years, Sheikh Mohammed was born and raised in the holy city. Sheikh Kawtharani married an Iraqi woman from Baghdad, mastered the language and the Iraqi mentality, which made him very successful in managing the Iraqi file and communicating with Iraqi leaders. He had spent time in Saddam Hussein’s prisons and was a close companion of Sayyed Abbas Al-Mousawi, the Secretary-General of Hezbollah assassinated by Israel in 1992. He was able to forge close relations with Iraqi leaders during their presence in Lebanon in exile as refugees in the days of Saddam Hussein’s authority. He is the Hezbollah official who knows Iraq best, from the Marjaiya in Najaf to every single political member from Erbil to Basra.”

“Sheikh Kawtharani has no enemies among Iraqi leaders because his way of dealing with them is never condescending; he does not impose his agenda or conditions on them. Rather, his objective is to unite Iraqi groups on mutually agreed decisions and to listen to their complaints when they find it difficult to communicate with each other. He is a coordinator and a mediator, one of the most difficult functions to serve – especially among Iraqi Shiite parties”, said the source.

“America knows that Sheikh Kawtharani does not work within the security-military apparatus of Hezbollah, but is the Assistant to Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah for Iraq affairs.

Sayyed Nasrallah is the leader of the” Axis of Resistance “and enjoys excellent relationships with Palestinians, Syrians, Iraqis, Yemenis, and various leaders in different countries. Therefore, the US wanted to obstruct his return to Iraq in order to prevent Iraqi Shiite solidarity, especially following his success in reunifying the Iraqis after the assassination of the Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani”, according to the source.

Shiite parties were not satisfied with the choice of President Barham Saleh of Adnan al-Zurfi as prime minister. Iraq was facing serious domestic unrest between Shiites, Sunnis and the Kurds. By selecting Mr Mustafa Kazemi, the tension was de-fused with the help of Sheikh Kawtharani and the Iranian leadership who mediated to help the Iraqis find the most suitable candidate for all.

The source asserts that “Sheikh Kawtharani has better relations with most Iraqi politicians than any Iraqi or non-Iraqi leader or personality. This is what allowed him to work to support Iraq; US financial rewards of $10 million will not prevent him from travelling to Iraq when he so desires.”

As for the American financial rewards, generally speaking, they create a positive outcome for every Hezbollah official: the higher the amounts offered by the US on one’s head, the more prestige one accrues. This raises the wanted leaders to a privileged social status in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen and Palestine, because threatened US punishment is understood to indicate US fear, proof of a Hezbollah leader’s power to annoy the US and its administration.

These rewards have not harmed Hezbollah at all over the 35 years of their existence. But internally, the higher the amount, the more important the “wanted” Hezbollah leader is in relation to other Hezbollah officials. The wanted leader’s financial compensation increases, and additional budgets, guards and security members are allocated to protect him. Multiple cars are at his disposal, and more than one apartment is offered for his convenience and security. Precaution in selecting an apartment includes the presence of an electric elevator that reaches the underground basement, to cover his arrival, departure, and movements in and out. 

The US rewards incite jealousy among those Hezbollah officials who have not yet attained the distinction of having a US reward on their head. Those with a lower reward wish the US could offer more millions on their heads for them to gain a higher position in society!

Those officials higher on the US list of terrorist rewards become weightier and gain additional powers. Their credibility and influence with foreign political leaders and allies during their contact or meetings increases, so that allies brag about contacts and pictures taken next to them. 

Long ago, the US put Imad Mughniyeh on its list and placed a reward on his head. He then reached the level of Military Commander in Chief of Hezbollah and Deputy Assistant Secretary-General of the Jihad Council. This is but one example of promotion thanks to US targeted opposition.

If the US decides to target leaders placed on its terrorist bounty list, Hezbollah’s response then becomes more significant because they become part of a new equation of deterrence. Thus, what US officials imagine as harsh punishment for Hezbollah leaders actually becomes a source of direct reward within the Hezbollah system and society! It is but one more example of the way in which the US’s desire to punish and eliminate is turned to advantage and even privilege in a system and culture they do not understand.

Proofread by:  C.G.B and Maurice Brasher

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The Transnational Hezbollah Commander: Sayyed Abbas Mousawi

Israa al-Fass and Marwa Haidar

“This resistance is our source of pride. It taught us everything. The resistance taught us that we can make strength out of our weakness,” said Sayyed Abbas Al-Mousawi, former Hezbollah Secretary General who was assassinated by Israeli occupation on February 16, 1992.

Sayyed Abbas was known for his resistance movement that knew no boundaries. Starting by Lebanon and Palestine, and not ending by Syria, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan, Sayyed Abbas considered Palestine as the primary cause of the Muslim nation. He saw the resistance as a transnational movement that can’t only operate in one battlefield.

Palestine Was the Spark

Sayyed Abbas AlMousawi

Inspired by a youth who was the first Lebanese to be martyred in a battle with Israeli occupation in 1968 in Jordan, Sayyed Abbas, who was 15 years old back then, went to Syria’s Zabadani to take part in a training camp established by Fatah Palestinian resistance movement.

The senior commander then decided to apply himself to Hawza studies. He affiliated with leading Lebanese Shia cleric Imam Sayyed Mousa Al-Sadr in the southern town of Tyre. After that, he joined Hawza of Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Mohammad Baqer Al-Sadr in the holy city of Najaf. Sayyed Mohammad Baqer Al-Sadr was an influential Shia cleric, philosopher, political leader, and founder of the Daawa Party of Iraq.

Upon his arrival to Lebanon in 1978, when the Baathist regime expelled all non Iraqi clerics, Sayyed Abbas founded Al-Muntathar Hawza in Baalbeck. He believed that the role of this Hawza was not limited to the Shiite arena in Lebanon. In March 1978, the Israeli enemy launched an aggression on Lebanon in which it managed to occupy areas located to the south of Litani River. At time, Sayyed Abbas played pivotal role in mobilizing the Lebanese people for resistance.

Sayyed Abbas was highly inspired by the victory of the Islamic Revolution led by Imam Sayyed Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979. The revolution in Iran represented for the former Hezbollah S.G. a glimpse of hope in face of the US hegemony and Israeli oppression.

Establishing Hezbollah

Following the Israeli occupation of south Lebanon in June 1982, Sayyed Abbas returned to Lebanon from Tehran along with Sheikh Ragheb Harb, Lebanese cleric who was well-known for his anti-Israel stances and then was a senior Hezbollah commander. The two men worked at the end of that year on establishing the resistance movement, Hezbollah.

“The Islamic Resistance in south Lebanon. We called it Islamic because its ideology ad spirit is Islam. However, it is for all the oppressed people across the world,” Sayyed Abbas said about Hezbollah, the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon.

In that year (1982), Sayyed Abbas headed a delegation representing Hezbollah to Iran, where they met Imam Khomeini who blessed their efforts, telling them that “he sees victory on their foreheads,” according to “Jihad and Martyrdom Leader” documentary which explores the life of Sayyed Abbas.

Sacred Defense in Ahvaz

Later in 1983, Sayyed Abbad headed for Iran’s Ahvaz to take part in the sacred defense during the war launched by the Baathist regime in Iraq.  Imam Khomeini dispatched his personal delegate Sheikh Abbas Al-Kaabi who urged Sayyed Abbas to go back to Lebanon, stressing that the Lebanese battlefield needed him more.

When he returned to Lebanon, Sayyed Abbas tried to strengthen ties with other Muslim clerics from outside the Shiite arena in a bid to boost Islamic unity and unify resistance movements allover Lebanon.

He coordinated resistance efforts with both Sheikh Said Shaaban in the northern city of Tripoli and Sheikh Maher Hammoud in the southern city of Sidon.

Resistance Path of Victory

ormer Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Abbas Al-Mousawi with resistance fighters (photo from archive)

“Sayyed Abbas presented the resistance as a path of victory not only as a path of martyrdom,” Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah described his predecessor in the documentary which was aired on Al-Manar TV.

Sayyed Abbas was the military commander of the Islamic Resistance in south Lebanon. He personally oversaw resistance operations which forced the Israeli enemy to withdraw from Beirut and then from Sidon to the southern villages and towns.

Visits to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kashmir

In March 1990, Sayyed Abbas went to Pakistan, to take part in a pro-Palestine conference. In that visit he toured 17 Pakistani villages, where he tackled Israeli oppression, importance of resistance and US schemes in the region. After that, Sayyed Abbas visited Afghanistan, where he met with fighters against Soviet troops, and then he went to Kashmir.

Hezbollah S.G.

In April 1991, and following years of hard work in ranks of the Islamic Resistance, Sayyed Abbas was elected to be Hezbollah Secretary General. Sayyed Nasrallah narrates in the “Jihad and Martyrdom” documentary how long it took to convince Sayyed Abbas that he has to accept this post.

“After ten days of attempts to convince him, Sayyed Abbas accepted to assume his duties as the Secretary General of Hezbollah,” according to Sayyed Nasrallah.

Upon his election, Sayyed Abbas was maintained strong relation with resistance fighters as well as with Lebanese people whom was keen to serve them. He raised the slogan of “We Are All at Your Service,” referring to securing basic needs of the people in light of the state’s absence in several areas especially in south, Bekaa and Beirut southern suburb.

Martyrdom and Will

Sayyed Abbas was assassinated in February 16 1992, when he was returning from south Lebanon where there was a ceremony marking the martyrdom anniversary of Sheikh Ragheb Harb. Israeli Apache helicopters fired missiles at his motorcade, killing him, his wife, his five-year-old son, and four others.

Following his martyrdom, Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah succeeded Sayyed Abbas, whose primary will was to “preserve the Islamic Resistance.”

Source: Al-Manar Website

Voice Message from Former Hezbollah SG Martyr Sayyed Abbas al-Mousawi to His Family in 1983: Preserve Faith & Education (Video) 

Imam Khamenei’s Defense Advisor Tells Al-Ahed of Martyr Leaders, Fate of the Region

Imam Khamenei’s Defense Advisor Tells Al-Ahed of Martyr Leaders, Fate of the Region

By Mokhtar Haddad

Tehran – Brigadier General Hossein Dehghan was among the first members of groups linked to the Revolutionary Guards to come to Lebanon and the official who supervised the training of Hezbollah mujahideen. He witnessed the founding of the Islamic Resistance and lived with its martyred leaders. He is also Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei’s advisor on defense and Iran’s former minister of defense.

In an exclusive interview with Al-Ahed, Brigadier Hussein Dehghan talks about his memories with the leaders of the martyrs of the Islamic Resistance and Lieutenant General Hajj Qassem Soleimani. He also recalls how he founded the Al-Ahed newspaper – currently Al-Ahed news site – as he discusses recent developments in the region.

Below is the full transcript of the interview:

You have witnessed the establishment of the Al-Ahed newspaper. In marking 35 years since the paper was established, what does our veteran colleague remember about how it all started?

The conditions that Hezbollah faced early on helped in forming the organization. But considering Lebanese culture, if you want to stimulate a political course in Lebanon, you have to appoint a spokesperson and define the media as its own cultural apparatus in order to connect with the people. At the time, anyone could claim that he belonged to Hezbollah and say whatever he wanted. The goal was to create an information outlet.

When this suggestion was presented to His Eminence, Sheikh Mohammad Yazbek, he opened the Quran and found the following verse {And do not approach the property of an orphan, except in the way that is best, until he reaches maturity. And fulfill [every] commitment. Indeed, the commitment is ever [that about which one will be] questioned.} So, the newspaper was called Al-Ahed. The paper’s editorial team was appointed, and it started worked to publish two to three issues per week. The newspaper was widely admired by all Hezbollah members. Within a short period of time, the newspaper grew within the Lebanese media sphere. After that we set up a radio station in Baalbek. The station often broadcast recitation of the Holy Quran and announced to its listeners the station’s frequency. Martyr Hjaiji was appointed as the station’s director and Abu Hisham as its political director. It was necessary for the party to establish ties with the Lebanese society to be able to share its opinions and ideas.

Going back to Al-Ahed, what impressed me was that we had two young Iranian men who wrote in Arabic even though they were literally translating from Farsi. When the late Ayatollah Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlullah read what they wrote, he exclaimed: ‘You are writing in Farsi. You should try to write in Arabic.’ And Sheikh Yazbek helped the editorial team become better in writing and played an important role in Al-Ahed.

How would you define the progress by the resistance in the media sphere?

We did not face a lot of problems because there was a natural need for this outlet and it took a lot of time for our work to be coherent and purposeful. Even with regard to the formation of Hezbollah, it was important that the movement was formed in Lebanon. At the time, there were various groups in Lebanon that needed to be integrated and organized, and most of them joined Hezbollah.

The formation of Hezbollah itself was a historic and temporal necessity. Today, after thirty-five years, media outlets must be able to convey the party’s message to the target audience using artistic and technical means and through appropriate content because in Lebanon, Hezbollah is engaging in a political society that is prone to radical change. What is happening in Lebanon is moving more rapidly towards renewal and change than anywhere else in the world. For this reason, anyone who wants to work in media must familiarize themselves with the environment in order for them to work well and present their message and be able to communicate effectively. We created Al-Ahed newspaper so that it could work as a spokesperson for Hezbollah. Now, thank God, Hezbollah is in a position where any member linked to Hezbollah can have a significant impact inside and outside Lebanon.

How do you evaluate the resistance’s media in facing the cultural and soft war?

This is normal in political affairs and the Lebanese society. This matter started before and has continued until now.  And the active political movements in Lebanon have a form of unlimited support without exception, and they have a form of representation. Today, the only political movement that is completely Lebanese is Hezbollah. Today, the Lebanese people do not view Hezbollah as merely a Shiite political movement, but rather a symbol of Lebanese national resistance in the face of the Zionist aggression and regime.

Today, the Lebanese Hezbollah is defined as the Lebanese people’s public conscience towards dignity, independence and freedom, and these types of causes. We can also say that Hezbollah plays a role in defining everything that matters in Lebanon’s political and social arena. Some say that ‘this is because Hezbollah has strength and weapons’. But this is not the root of the matter. Rather, the principle is that Hezbollah has proven its ability in preserving and developing Lebanon’s national interest, in addition to bearing all necessary costs. However, the sensitivity of Hezbollah’s behavior is also important. It leaves no room for confusion over representation and the private thoughts of the Lebanese people. Thanks to the wise leadership of Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, he managed to preserve Hezbollah and always influence Hezbollah’s dignity and influence in politics as well as the social and cultural aspects in Lebanon.

What is the impact of Al-Ahed or other Hezbollah media outlets on the resistance?

This effect is fundamental and is the essence of the resistance. And that is what it is.

You lived with the master of the martyrs of the resistance, Sayyed Abbas Al-Mousawi. Can you tell us about the martyr and your memories with him?

No one could be like him. We had an office near his house. He possessed special qualities that made him special. The first is that Sayyed’s rule was realistic and unparalleled, not only because he was cultured, but also because his relationship with the leader of the Islamic revolution and his adherence to him was never shaken.

The second quality is that any behavior or decision emanating from him was in accordance with Islam. He was always trying to mirror the teachings of Islam in his words and actions. There is a hadith for the Messenger (PBUH) on the issue of Sharia, the way and the truth. The meaning of the hadith is as follows: What I say is sharia, and my conditions are the way and my actions are the truth. That is why Sayyed Abbas sought, through the introduction of the Sharia and the method, to confirm the truth about the Messenger of God (PBUH) through his behavior. And he had this quality in his promotional and advertising work.

His third trait was his indulgence, and as such he was able to attract a lot people to his side. And for this reason, Sayyed Abbas’s circle of influence was very wide. When he sat with anyone, he directly connected with them and brought them to his side. He had a deep sense of mercy and compassion. The tone of his voice was well heard by others. Humility, sympathy, and compassion were among his many traits. He was extremely humble and compassionate. We have hadith that says you should tell the person you love them. He took this matter into account. His spirit of jihad was distinctive.

Sheikh Saeed Shaaban was in Tripoli. He was accompanied by his son, a doctor who had a great influence on his father. Initially, Sheikh Saeed Shaaban expressed his concern about the emergence of Hezbollah and the fate of the Sunnis! At the time, we told Sayyed Abbas that if we stay here, we will not find a solution to this issue. We have to relieve Sheikh Saeed’s mind. Sheikh Saeed Shaaban was following up with the Islamic Revolution and was a revolutionary himself. We all went to him, and Sayyed Abbas was scheduled to speak to Sheikh Saeed. So, he spoke with his influential words, and the atmosphere changed.

When the issue of supplying the Baalbek clans with weapons was raised, we went to some of the tribal heads and discussed this matter. Then we headed to Beirut, and we went to many places with Sayyed Abbas. In Beirut, there were many roadblocks. In addition to war and conflict, the burden of dialogue was on Sayyed Abbas. Sayyed played an important role in shaping Hezbollah’s early features and unifying the ranks under a common Hezbollah flag until a common vision and language emerged within the party. This took a lot of time, but it was the responsibility of Sayyed Abbas to coordinate all these issues.

How would you describe Hajj Radwan?

I think even those closest to Hajj Radwan are unable to fully explain his personality. One of Hajj Radwan’s characteristic was his constant silence. Hajj was the most silent person in Hezbollah. He did not say anything. But his work on the ground was very extensive. The second trait was his complete reliance on divine victory. When we discussed strategic issues, he would only say one thing: “I rely on God.” And then he’d start his job without any hesitation. Therefore, he had the ability and belief in the divine victory and the strength to lead. And he had control over his language which stemmed from his heart.

In the war of minds, the creative martyr Hajj Hassan Lakkis was one of its pioneers, and you had a close relationship with him. What does Brigadier General Dehghan say about martyr Hassan?

Hassan was Hassan. I will tell you a special trait of most Lebanese youth. They are very creative. They are very brave and take risks. They do not fear the unknown. If I had to sum up Hassan in one sentence, I would have to say that he was a young man who freed his mind from everything that was dominant and invisible. That is why ideas were being constantly produced. It was important that Hassan always tried to be different and did not submit to the harsh conditions of life.

The relationship between Sayyed Nasrallah and Sayyed Abbas was that of a student and his teacher. What worried Sayyed Abbas worried Sayyed Nasrallah. When Hassan entered the field of missile manufacturing, we met him many times in Iran. Our last meeting was when his son was martyred, he came to me and said: ‘Do you know I also became the father of a martyr?’ Then, he was also martyred. Hassan was one of the closest people to me intellectually, spirituality, psychologically and practically. He was my best friend.

The US representative to the Security Council repeated her threats several times that the demonstrations in several countries in the region will continue if Iran does not submit to American demands. Do you fear for the axis of resistance in light of the new changes?

We have to go back to 2006 and the 33-day war. There was a front that was formed in the face of “Israel”. They analyzed where they have to weaken this chain and its weak point. So, they decided to hit Hezbollah in order to destroy this front. And they launched the 33-day war. What happened in this war? Wasn’t the occupation army – ranked fourth in the world and had defeated the Arab states in 1948, 1967, 1973 and throughout the years of the Nakba – defeated by Hezbollah? They believed that Hezbollah was the weakest link in the resistance front that is why they attacked it. But when they attacked Hezbollah and nothing happened, they realized that their calculations were wrong.

Is there any element in the region today that possesses the capabilities of this group? Has this determination? Has a goal and was able to achieve it on the ground? Can challenge the will of the US and “Israel” in the region? That is why they seek to strike such a force. What did they think about Hezbollah? To this day, Hezbollah possesses all the power and prestige to represent the Lebanese nation. It is a Lebanese national resistance force. That is why they want to discredit Hezbollah in the eyes of the people. This prompted them to pressure the Lebanese people in a bid to force them into a confrontation with Hezbollah over its policies and weapons.

You see, some in Lebanon suggested that Hezbollah should be disarmed. They believe that all of Hezbollah’s capabilities are limited to the weapons it possesses. This is not the case. Hezbollah’s strength and prestige lie in the Lebanese people and the resistance, and its weapons are necessary for the defense posture it adopted. The political scene in Lebanon is affected by a variety of events, such as those who claim that the unrest in Iraq is caused by the popular mobilization, and in Lebanon it is caused by the presence of Hezbollah.

Another point is that Iran does not need any military attachment to Hezbollah or others. Iran is strong enough.

In the event that a major war is waged against the resistance front in the region, Hezbollah will carry out its duty on its own. It does not need us to intervene and tell it what it has to do or not do. Hezbollah is also keen on adhering to this formula not causing a problem because the principle was supposed to be fixed for the Lebanese and not for us. Hezbollah is a target because it is a factor of stability and because it is an element that stands in the face of aggressors and authoritarian forces such as “Israel”, who do not want peace and stability in Lebanon. Hezbollah makes every effort to preserve these pillars, and this is why they oppose Hezbollah.

How can they oppose Hezbollah? By pitting the party against the Lebanese people. There will be a confrontation between them. However, Hezbollah never adopts such a policy. This is why they are imposing their plans and moving their agendas in Lebanon to inflame the situation. In the previous parliamentary elections, it was said that Saudi Arabia pumped large sums of money in order to impose its hegemony over the parliament. But its plans failed.

Now, most countries, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the US, “Israel”, and even the Europeans, target Hezbollah’s reputation. Lebanon has been the scene of struggle for influence between foreign powers throughout its history, and Hezbollah came to clean up all these interventionist parties and turn Lebanon into an arena where its people take part and show their presence in the region. Everyone is angry about this, which is best embodied by the words of martyr Beheshti: “Let America be angry with us, and let it die from this frustration.”

Did the Zionist enemy and those supporting it start a new war with the resistance front? Some Western analysts talk about replacing a military offensive with an economic one, and this is what we are witnessing (American economic terrorism). Does the Islamic Republic have the ability to withstand such a challenge?

In any case, we have to accept that these are our enemies in the first place, and ultimately they will enter into a war with us depending on the conditions they choose themselves. The Zionists and the Americans have always threatened us with strikes, ever since the victory of the Islamic Revolution. The person who wants to attack and can strike will not announce his intentions. But when he makes a fuss without doing anything, he wants to use this matter for political gain. On our part, we have never ruled out an attack or a military campaign against us, and there is always a military threat against us. The enemy is the enemy, and it wants to do what its intends to do, but when will it enter this war? When it can guarantee victory. No one enters a war unless he can guarantee two things, the first of which is victory, or that he is able to control it and end it when he wants.

Neither the Americans nor the “Israelis” reached the conclusion that they are able to win the war or prevent it from continuing if they ignited it, and for this reason they did not use any weapon against us or wage a war against us. But in other ways, they are waging economic, propaganda, and legal wars and many other pressures on us. And the economic war is the most violent war against us, and it managed to bring some to the streets and say that living conditions have become difficult and … The answer is that we acknowledge that the sanctions have imposed pressure on our nation.

The sanctions that the US imposed on our country aims to shock the authorities. However, these sanctions targeted the public because the blockade of medicine targets the people directly. It is contrary to the slogans that America is ranting about.

In fact, these people are seeking first to create a rift between the people and the government by increasing pressure and sanctions. Secondly, here they will incite the people against the government due to its inability to meet their demands. Thirdly, they will ignite riots and sabotage across the country against the political regime in Iran.

But the Iranian people love their revolution, their regime and their leader, and they are steadfast in the face of these American plans.

What about martyred Lieutenant General Hajj Qassem Soleimani and his martyred companions?

The martyr, Lieutenant General Hajj Qassem Soleimani, did not only belong to the Iranian people. He belonged to all the free people of the world because he fought injustice and the enemies in the past decades and thwarted all the arrogant plots.

The absence of martyr Soleimani is not the end of the axis of resistance but the beginning of a new rise of the resistance front in the face of arrogance and Zionism as well as the expulsion of the American occupation from this region.

Martyr Soleimani was seeking martyrdom, and he always hoped that he would eventually join his martyred companions. He possessed indulgence. He caused fear and terror in the hearts of the enemies but was kind to the people and the families of the martyrs.

Hajj Qassem Soleimani was raised in the school of Islam, Imam Khomeini and the leader of the Islamic revolution. Now, there is not one Soleimani but there are thousands and thousands of Soleimanis in the world who will continue on the path of this great martyr. His name is engraved in the hearts of the free people in the world, and he was born again. Today, martyr Qassem is stronger and his influence is greater.

Hajjah Saada Badreddine Mughniyeh to Al-Ahed: In God’s Eye, I Saw Nothing but Beauty

Hajjah Saada Badreddine Mughniyeh to Al-Ahed: In God’s Eye, I Saw Nothing but Beauty

By Al-Ahed News Team

Hajjah Saada Badreddine is puzzling. She doesn’t hail from the world of philosophy or the world of knowledge and thinkers. Perhaps she is a combination of all of these worlds.

There is no journalistic flattery in this description, nor is there a lot of creativity. The wife of [Hajj] Imad is similar to him, exceptional. In Hajjah’s house, there is an unmatched tranquility. She conceals her tears as she welcomes people to her living room. Here, the martyrs are present. There is a large picture of the great jjihadi leader Hajj Imad with his son, martyr Jihad. There is another picture that adorns the wall, that of martyr Sayyed Zulfikar. A third picture was recently added – that of martyr Qassem Soleimani, the master of the martyrs of the resistance axis.

She is a woman of many traits. She is often referred to as the mother of the martyr, the sister of the martyr and the wife of the martyr. With composure, she holds a picture of Jihad smiling. She recollects memories with Sayyed Zulfikar, her closest brother. But she is overcome by the lump in her throat when she mentions the name Imad, despite the fact that it’s been twelve years since his martyrdom.

She is a unique woman. Her husband Imad as well as her brother Zulfikar are both martyrs. She proudly proclaims, “We did not wash Jihad.” She had courage to tell us why, but we lacked the courage to write it. We were thinking about her immense degree of patience. Was this a human trait or did it come from God?

Hajjah Saada knew Hajj Imad from his visits to their house. He was a friend of Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine. She saw in the young man a revolutionary who thought, planned and then implemented that plan. When they got married, Hajj Imad did not have any of the requirements expected for present-day marriages. He did not even have the financial capabilities to rent a house. For years, she lived with him in a room in the family house of Hajj Imad. As for the rest of the years, they spent it with their children, moving between work centers (the jihadi work of Hajj Imad), from one center to another.

Hajjah Saada speaks to her guests with a lot of kindness even with those she is meeting for the first time. She spent years detached from a regular social life that most families enjoy. But she still mastered the art of entering people’s hearts without asking permission. She invites us into the room of her martyred son Jihad. Everything is in its place. As if Jihad was just there. Even his prayer rug is still in the corner of that warm room, waiting for his return.

Her longing for Hajj Imad, her life companion, is still unique. She cries more than once when mentioning his name, and repeats, “I do not cry and mourn him because he is a martyr. I cry for him because, praise be to God, he knew the way to reach God.”

“He was not a person who gave advice directly. He did not educate others through the use of words. His manner towards his jihadist work, which I had closely examined throughout his career, was more profound than words and advice. It was a practical will,” she recalls.

As for the bitterness of separation from loved ones, the abundance of longing, and the long march of patience, she sums them up by quoting the school of Sayyida Zainab (PBUH): “In God’s eyes … I saw nothing but beauty.”

Below is the transcript of the first interview conducted by Al-Ahed news with Hajjah Saada Badreddine, the wife of martyr Imad Mughniyeh:

1- Tell us about the beginning of the journey of Hajjah Um Mustafa with Hajj Imad? Where did it begin?

There wasn’t much distance between the homes of the Mughniyeh family and the Badreddine family. It was the same distance that separated the two mosques – the Chiyah mosque and the Imam Zain al-Abidin mosque in Ghobeiry. The two houses were beside the two mosques. The Chayah mosque, whose imam was Sheikh Muhammad Qubaisi, was very close to the house of the Mughniyeh family. Meanwhile, the Ghobeiri mosque, whose imam was Sheikh Awwad, was adjacent to the house of the Badreddines. At that point, the two mosques were frequented by young men who wanted to make a difference, especially since the prevailing tradition at the time was that mosques were only attended by the elderly, and young men had no business there.

The young men met spontaneously over a simple goal, which posed a challenge to the prevailing customs. This goal brought together the pioneers of the two mosques, among which were Imad Mughniyeh and Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine. This acquaintance between the two young men led to mutual visits, and during one of Hajj Imad’s visits to our home in Ghobeiri, I got to know him. I met a young revolutionary man who thought, planned and then implemented that plan. Like my brother Sayyed Mustafa, he saw things from a different perspective than that of their peers. This simple goal that the young men sought to accomplish grew as they were faced with increasing challenges, including the civil war, the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the martyrdom of Sayyed Muhammad Baqir Al-Sadr in 1980 and the invasion of Beirut in 1982. All of these made the young men pioneers in facing these challenges and seizing opportunities.

2- What did Haji Imad own at the beginning of your marriage?

When we were getting to know one another, he had nothing. We got married and moved directly to Iran where I lived with one of the Lebanese families there because Hajj Imad did not even have the financial capacity to rent a house.

When we returned to Beirut, our home was the balcony of his parents’ house in Chiyah. It was fixed in a way to be habitable. That room was my house until after the birth of my daughter Fatima. After the birth of my eldest son, we began moving around with him from one work center to another.

He continued to change his workplace for several years until we finally settled down at his final place of work between 2000-2006. By that time, I already had Jihad. We spent 6 years in our last place of residence, and those were the most stable years, until the July 2006 war broke out. The nature of his work forced us to move with him constantly to maintain his security. We experienced hardship due to the circumstances imposed on us as a family, which included none of our relatives coming to visit us. But we still felt a sense of responsibility towards him not only as a husband and father, but also as a leader.

3- What can you tell us about the beginning of his jihad and the long journey of patience?

We all know that life is a struggle. The philosophy of affliction is to fight life in order to know it and know ourselves. Religious literature and the literature of the Prophet’s Household (PBUT) call on us to be patient with these misfortunes in order to attain a degree of humanity that God has honored us with. I recall the words of my husband, Hajj Imad – the most important component in all jihadi equations is the human being. Each of us must be aware that for man to progress, he must achieve his humanity on this earth. From the first moment I got married, I realized that I was on a difficult and thorny path. After that, I identified my role and mission. I chose to continue because I believed that this was the road to perfecting myself as a human being.

And that was a conviction that was rooted deeper every time we overcame an affliction that befell us as a family, without taking into account the reasons and intensity of this scourge. We grew to know that Hajj’s life was complicated because of his jihadi work. The circumstances required that we live with him in the shadows as he lived. This way of life had its own characteristics: We could not identify ourselves using real names, disclose our relationship with him or reveal his name. We were continuously on the move. Relatives and neighbors were not allowed to visit us. We did not have our own house as I mentioned earlier.

4- How was Hajj Imad’s sincerity reflected in his work? What were his recommendations to his family?

Hajj Imad was known for being quiet from a young age. And this was confirmed by his late mother, Hajjah Um Imad. This is also what I saw during my marriage. He never talked about anything related to his jihad work during our family gatherings. He was kind and funny. And he was always distracted. I knew he was constantly thinking about his work. His entire life, Hajj never separated himself from his work. Every shred of his soul and body was work.

During our family gatherings, when he learned something new or something grabbed his attention, I automatically knew that he was thinking of investing this newly acquired knowledge in his work even if we regarded it as simple and normal. He had love, which was blended with intelligence and foresight. He also had this ability not to attribute any of the resistance’s achievements to himself. This I cannot grasp, but it is a special gift granted to him.

He never had difficulty being discrete. It was part of his nature. He did not acquire it as a skill due to the peculiarity of his security work. Sincerity is the result of a daily behavior and persistence in repeating Dhikr [short phrases or prayers]. He asked me to search for prayers to help him perform his work, and I searched and inquired. I even suggested he recite prayers when I saw him fatigued, and he recited them.

He was not a person who gave advice directly. He did not educate others through the use of words. His manner towards his jihadist work, which I closely examined throughout his career, was more profound than words and advice. It was a practical will. His priority was ‘to give’ in order to preserve this resistance and for it to continue to thrive. And this was the distinguishing quality of the resistance’s martyred leaders. Sayyed Abbas Al-Mousawi clearly expressed the conviction of Hezbollah in his final speech before his martyrdom – “the main will is to preserve the resistance”.

5- Could you please reveal some of his traits as a husband, a father and a leader?

He was a servant not only in worship, but also toward his nation and all the oppressed. He harnessed himself, his soul, mental abilities and physical skills for his nation and for the establishment of the truth. He was not a traditional husband and father. He did not have specific time with the family that was calculated. But when he attended our family gatherings, he was friendly and often laughing. He shared our spontaneous moments, interacted with us on general or personal topics. While we spent time with him, we never felt the burden of the responsibilities he carried.

6- How do you prefer to be addressed – the wife of martyr Imad, the sister of martyr Zulfikar or the mother of martyr Jihad?

Labels are nothing compared to martyrdom. I am a ‘good servant’. God has granted me the blessing of life to accompany these martyrs: my husband, my brother and my son, in different stages of their lives for them to obtain martyrdom.

7- What are the most difficult and most beautiful experiences you had on your journey of jihad with Hajj Imad?

In God’s eyes, I saw nothing but beauty. I even thought that the most difficult experience was beautiful. I think the most difficult experience we had as a family during those years was waiting for him to come back home every time. The best experience was when he came home every single time.

8- How did His Excellency the Secretary-General express his condolences to you for the martyrdom of Hajj Imad, martyr Jihad and Sayyed Zulfikar?

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah made no exception when he expressed his condolences to us. He offered us consolation the way he would with all the families of the martyrs. When it came to the martyrdom of my son Jihad, I asked him a direct question about how he was martyred. He replied to me, “I envy him on this martyrdom.”

9- Can Hajjah Saada tell us about the food episode and her first encounter with Hajj Qassem Soleimani during the July 2006 war?

During the July 2006 war, I used to meet Hajj Imad and get him his Iftar meal because he was fasting during the entirety of the war. Before the year 2006, I did not know Hajj Qassem Soleimani. But one day during the war, I had agreed to meet up with Hajj to give him food. Hajj arrived on a motorbike with another person. When he took the food from me, he asked me to greet the person accompanying him. So, I greeted him, and that was the first time I saw Hajj Qassem. Our relationship with Hajj Qassem was strengthened later after the martyrdom of Hajj Imad. But before that, there was no personal acquaintance.

10- Is it true that Hajj Soleimani asked Hajjah Saada to pray for his martyrdom?

Two months before his martyrdom, Hajj Soleimani asked me to pray for him to attain martyrdom similar to that of Jihad. And I prayed for him repeatedly.

11- What message does Hajjah Saada have for the youth of Hezbollah and their leader?

Thank you for the sacrifices. I thank them for giving us the opportunity to be part of their jihad and stand beside them. I thank them for the experience, knowledge, strength and the pride they gave us. The human experience that we shared with them is unique and exceptional. This experience, according to our religious and ideological understanding of this universe, has its rewards in the afterlife.

I tell them that the presence of His Eminence, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, as a scholarly figure among us at this time, is a great opportunity that we should invest in, be keen on, know and always be thankful for. Hajj Imad’s most prominent trait was creating opportunities and turning threats into opportunities. This was confirmed by the enemy and the martyrdom of a friend. And Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah is an opportunity for us as a nation to establish the truth and reject any injustice.

On the personal level, I am ready for any task Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah asks of me on this jihadi path.

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