General Suleimani, Imad Mughniyeh… Sayyed Nasrallah’s Devoted Comrades in Arms

February 18, 2021

Sayyed Suleimani Mughniyeh

Al-Manar Website Editor

In one of the stories told by General Qassem Suleimani on the 2006 July War in Lebanon, the iconic Iranian commander was about to face death along with Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah and prominent military commander in the Lebanese Resistance’s group Hajj Imad Mughniyeh.

“Once during the war, I was with Sayyed Nasrallah and Hajj Imad. We were about to face death,” Suleimani said in an interview in October 2019, referring to Mughniyeh, who was assassinated by Israeli Mossad in Damascus in February 12, 2008.

One of the places where the three were residing in during the war, in Beirut’s southern suburb (Dahiyeh), was no longer safe, as narrated by Suleimani.

After leaving the site, the three men reached a place where they sat under a tree to take rest. Mughniyeh asked Suleimani to protect Sayyed Nasrallah, the Iranian general told the office for preservation and dissemination of the works of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei during the 2019 interview.

“Minutes later, Hajj Imad returned, driving a car. Just few moments after Sayyed Nasrallah and I rode the car, Israeli missiles hit the site,” General Suleimani said.

“Hajj Imad drove the car fast and just in few minutes we reached a remote area. As we realized that we were safe we had one reaction: we started to laugh,” General Suleimani added.

Smiling while narrating the story, General Suleimani concluded it by saying: “Till now, I can’t stop thinking about something that I couldn’t ask Hajj Imad about: Where did the car come from?!”

The interview with General Suleimani was just few months before his martyrdom in January 3, 2020, in a US strike near Baghdad airport. He was martyred along with Deputy Commander of Iraq’s Hashd Shaabi Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Sayyed Nasrallah to the ‘Israelis’: Stop Playing with Fire, It Is the Era of the ‘Axis of Resistance’

Sayyed Nasrallah to the ‘Israelis’: Stop Playing with Fire, It Is the Era of the ‘Axis of Resistance’

By Zeinab Abdallah

Beirut – Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah warned the ‘Israeli’ enemy that the Lebanese resistance movement will strike sensitive Zionist military targets in case the enemy used a similar pretext to bomb Lebanese cities.

In a televised speech on Tuesday marking Hezbollah’s Martyr Leaders Day, Sayyed Nasrallah said that the occasion follows the 42nd anniversary of the Islamic revolution in Iran, which is an example on maintaining sovereignty and independence.

The resistance leader’s speech commemorated the martyrdom anniversaries of Sheikh Ragheb Harb, Sayyed Abbas al-Mousawi and Hajj Imad Mughniyeh.

“Forty-two years have passed on the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran; The Isalmic Republic resisted and developed on every level until it became a great and considerable regional power,” His Eminence stated.

Regarding the Bahraini revolution’s February 14th anniversary, Sayyed Nasrallah further hailed the Bahraini people who sacrificed a lot to obtain their freedom, atop of them is Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim, adding that “the Bahraini people are struggling to return their country to its normal situation after its rulers have turned it into a base for normalization with ‘Israel’.”

Praising the common characteristics of martyr leaders enjoyed, Sayyed Nasrallah said that they were dedicated to resistance and tolerated all hard circumstances to develop the project of resistance.

“The resistance of our martyr leaders developed and became followed by the enemy before the friend because it threatens its existence,” His Eminence underscored, noting that in our time, “We need stances similar to those of Sheikh Ragheb Harb to confront normalization with ‘Israel’.”

We preserve the will of Sayyed Abbas al-Moussawi by preserving the resistance and serving the people, Sayyed Nasrallah added, stressing that “The most important service we offer to the people is to preserve their existence and defend their lands, dignity and country.”

“We carry on the will of Sayyed Abbas al-Moussawi and work within it in all fields, and when an ‘Israeli’ or a terrorist threat endangers our people we won’t hesitate in defending our honorable people.”

In the same context, the Hezbollah leader stressed that “We need the spirit of martyr Imad Mughniyeh to develop the project of resistance, and the brothers of Hajj Imad are doing this nowadays.”

Internationalizing Lebanese Affairs

Elsewhere in his remarks, His Eminence slammed any talks about an international resolution under the United Nations Charter VII regarding the formation of the Lebanese government, which he referred to as a call to war towards which we mustn’t remain silent.

“Calling for internationalization to resolve domestic issues is unacceptable regardless of who said so, and it can pave the way for undesirable consequences,” His eminence added.

“Internationalizing the Lebanese issue contradicts the country’s sovereignty and could be a cover to a new occupation. It would open the door wide to settling Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. We reject any form of internationalizing the Lebanese issue, which we find a danger that threatens Lebanon,” Sayyed Nasrallah outlined.

The anti-Hezbollah Chorus

Commenting on the electronic armies and the media outlets that grab any incident to point the blame on Hezbollah, Sayyed Nasrallah described those sides as saying “There is a chorus in Lebanon whose goal is to insult Hezbollah without any pretext. This only represents them, and all of their acts won’t affect us.”

In this respect, the resistance leader called on its audience not to be dragged to this chorus’ behavior as all the blamed accusations contradict all norms, laws and traditions.

“There is a systematic, managed and paid targeting of Hezbollah. This campaign has failed to distort the image of resistance within its people. Some reactions by some of the resistance’s audience as a result of this campaign shouldn’t be considered as an act of the entire audience, although they should be dealt with,” Sayyed Nasrallah made clear.

The Beirut Port Mystery?

In reference to the yet unannounced results of investigations regarding the Beirut Port blast which have already ended, Sayyed Nasrallah noted that he had previously called on the Lebanese Army, the Internal Security, and the Judiciary to announce the result.

“It is the duty of the concerned parties in the Lebanese Judiciary to announce the results of the investigations regarding the Beirut Port blast, and we have been told that the due amounts of insurances for the families of the martyrs and the owners of damaged properties is estimated at $1.2 billion,” His Eminence said while renewing calls for announcing the results of the investigations.

Lebanese Government Formation

“Nobody doesn’t want the formation of a Lebanese government,” the Hezbollah leader emphasized, adding that “It is in everybody’s interest to form a government, and talking about waiting the Iranian nuclear issue is baseless.”

“Waiting foreign powers is futile and pressures may push some sides to adhere to their stances. It is unjust to hold the president responsible for not forming the government.”

Pointing that Hezbollah understands other parties’ demands to hold certain portfolios, Sayyed Nasrallah noted that “We don’t understand insisting on forming an 18-minister government while some sides believe that the aim behind this is to eliminate their participation.”

The Hezbollah-FPM Understanding

On the 15th anniversary of the understanding that was made between Hezbollah and the Free Patriotic Movement, Sayyed Nasrallah pointed to that the resistance movement wanted it to be a base for wider understandings with other powers.

“The understanding has made a group of achievements that served Lebanon, Hezbollah, and the FPM. We don’t agree on some negative remarks that were made by the FPM as they serve as a material for those who are waiting such things.”

Meanwhile, Sayyed Nasrallah affirmed the solid relationship with the FPM and expressed keenness to develop it.

Lebanon As Seen Via Social Media

Sayyed Nasrallah made clear that Tel Aviv, Washington, and their allies announce that they form electronic armies to cause strife and disputes.

“There are sides that want to cause an explosion in Lebanon via what is happening on social media platforms,” Sayyed Nasrallah said before calling for strong presence on social media platforms while adhering to awareness, politeness and not harming anybody.

The post-Trump Region

Pointing to the major developments that took place in the region and the world after Trump’s departure, Sayyed Nasrallah insisted that Lebanon is a key part in the region which is affected by all the developments that take place in it.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has shown endurance and braveness regarding its nuclear issue, and there are clear ‘Israeli’ and Saudi concerns regarding it.”

As for the revival of Daesh [the Arabic acronym for terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL’ group], Sayyed Nasrallah said that “The Americans’ talking that their mission doesn’t include protecting the oil in Syria anymore came along with reviving Daesh,” making clear that the Americans want to remain in Syria and Iraq.

“They might mobilize Daesh in both countries, and the new US administration is using this pretext to remain there,” His Eminence noted, stressing however that “those who defeated Daesh in the past will defeat it again, and working to defeat the terrorist organization should be crushing so that it won’t be able to be revived.”

The Steadfast Yemen

In reference to the new US administration of Joe Biden, Sayyed Nasrallah said that Washington’s announcement of ending its support for the war on Yemen is a positive step that is a result of the Yemenis’ steadfastness, noting that any call for ending the war on Yemen is positive, and the brothers in Yemen are aware of the situation, which is normal and required.

“The Yemenis steadfastness and tolerance of the siege, the pain, and the bombing pushed the silent world to issue daily reports to defend the aggressive Saudi Arabia, and the Yemeni Army today is in an advanced place, and the other side is screaming in Marib due to the progress the Yemenis are making,” Sayyed Nasrallah explained.

“The honest and steadfast Yemenis will bear the fruits of their steadfastness, and the concerns are growing among Saudi Arabia and the enemy’s entity.”

The Declining ‘Deal of the Century’

Mentioning that the ‘Deal of the Century’ has majorly decreased, Sayyed Nasrallah found it as a clear explanation that it either ended or is declining. “This is a source of concern for the ‘Israelis’ and the Saudis.”

The persistence of the Palestinians and the Axis of Resistance in the face of Trump resulted in the decline of the ‘Deal of the Century’, His Eminence noted, criticizing the Zionists exaggeration regarding the Arab acceptance of normalization: “We’ve seen the stances of the Bahraini people, and before them the Egyptian and Jordanian people against the normalization.”

He then urged boycotting the ‘Israeli’ enemy and rejecting normalization as an important step that represents the religious and national sense of belonging.

“Rulers in Sudan will realize that normalization won’t solve their economic problems, which already happened with countries that normalized ties years earlier,” Sayyed Nasrallah said, noting that some people’s visits to the enemy’s entity or the actions of some electronic armies don’t express the Arab and Muslim popular mood.

It Is the Era of the ‘Axis of Resistance’

In response to hollow remarks made by ‘Israeli’ military chief Aviv Kochavi, Sayyed Nasrallah concluded with a clear and precise message.

His Eminence warned that the game of combat days is a dangerous one for the ‘Israelis’ as nobody can guarantee that such a game won’t lead to an inclusive and major war.

Kochavi claimed that the Zionist military will not hesitate to launch an attack in full force against any civilian neighborhoods, installations or even residences where unmanned missiles, rockets and aircraft are being stored or launched from.

“We will take part in any confrontation imposed on us, and I say it clearly: bombing cities for bombing cities, and bombing settlements for bombing villages.”

Using pretexts of striking military targets inside cities will be responded to by bombing military targets inside the enemy’s cities, the resistance leader insisted.

“In a case a war broke out, the ‘Israelis’ shouldn’t brag about their strength as the enemy’s internal front will face incidents that it didn’t witness since the establishment of this entity in 1948.”

“This is why I tell you to stop playing with fire,” Sayyed Nasrallah emphasized, telling the enemy that it should be aware of its limits.

“The time when the enemy threatens people and they remain silent has gone! There is a resistance from Gaza to Lebanon to the entire regional countries.”

This matter cannot be run the same way they used to in old mentalities, Sayyed Nasrallah said. “It is a different time; it is the era of the Axis of Resistance which is following all developments quietly and precisely.

“Don’t think for a moment that all the ongoing developments would affect the will of the resistance to confront or change the equations,” Sayyed Nasrallah conluded.

السيد نصر الله: ستواجه الجبهة الداخلية الإسرائيلية في الحرب المقبلة ما لم تعرفه منذ قيام “إسرائيل”

المصدر: الميادين نت


الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصر الله يؤكد أن أي كلام عن قرار دولي تحت البند السابع بشأن الحكومة هو دعوة إلى الحرب، ويشدد على أن الجبهة الداخلية الإسرائيلية ستواجه في أي حرب مقبلة ما لم تعرفه منذ قيام “إسرائيل”.

  • كلمة الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصر الله بمناسبة الذكرى السنوية للقادة الشهداء

قال الأمين العام لحزب الله، السيد حسن نصر الله، بمناسبة الذكرى السنوية للقادة الشهداء: “من الصفات المشتركة للقادة الشهداء هي التمحض في المقاومة، وهم تحملوا كل الظروف الصعبة من أجل تطوير مشروع المقاومة”.

وأضاف السيد نصر الله: “نحن بحاجة إلى مواقف الشيخ راغب حرب لمواجهة التطبيع، وروح الشهيد عماد مغنية من أجل تطوير مشروع المقاومة، ونحن نحفظ وصية السيد عباس الموسوي بحفظها وخدمة الناس، والخدمة الأهم للناس هي الحفاظ على وجودهم وأرضهم وكرامتهم وبلدهم”.

وبمناسبة الذكرى العاشرة للثورة البحرينية، قال: “الشعب البحريني يناضل لإعادة بلاده إلى مكانتها الطبيعية بعدما حولها حكامها إلى قاعدة للتطبيع. نحيّي شعب البحرين الذي دفع الكثير من التضحيات للحصول على حريته، وفي مقدمة قادته سماحة آية الله الشيخ عيسى قاسم”.

وحول مرور 42 سنة على انتصار الثورة الإسلامية في إيران، قال إن الأخيرة “صمدت وتطورت على كل الصعد، وباتت قوة إقليمية كبرى يحسب لها ألف حساب”.

نصر الله: تدويل ملف الحكومة اللبنانية قد يكون غطاء لاحتلال جديد

وفي الملف الداخلي اللبناني، أكد السيد نصر الله أن “أي كلام عن قرار دولي تحت البند السابع بشأن الحكومة هو دعوة إلى الحرب، والتدويل يتنافى مع السيادة، وقد يكون غطاء لاحتلال جديد، وقد يفتح الباب على مصراعيه، وقد يفرض توطين الفلسطينيين”.

وأكد رفض أي شكل من أشكال التدويل، مضيفاً: “إننا نراه خطراً على لبنان، ونشعر بأن فرض فكرة التدويل هو لاستقواء بعض اللبنانيين على بعضهم الآخر”.

وعن تشكيل الحكومة اللبنانية، قال السيد نصر الله: “لا أحد لا يريد تأليف حكومة جديدة في لبنان، في وقت من مصلحة الجميع أن تتألف حكومة، والكلام عن انتظار الملف النووي الإيراني ممجوج ولا مكان له. سابقاً، كان الكلام عن انتظار الانتحابات الأميركية وغيرها.. انتظار الخارج لن يؤدي إلى أي نتيجة، والضغوط قد تدفع البعض إلى التمسك بمواقفه”.

واعتبر أن “من غير المنصف تحميل مسؤولية عدم تأليف حكومة لرئيس الجمهورية. نحن نتفهم مطالبات بعض الجهات بحقائب معينة ووجود قلق من حصول حزب واحد على ثلث معطل”.

وتابع: “لا نتفهم الإصرار على حكومة من 18 وزيراً. هناك شرائح تعتقد أن إلغاءها هو الهدف من ذلك”.

وعن التفاهم بين التيار الوطني الحر وحزب الله في 2006، قال السيد نصر الله: “15 عاماً مرت على تفاهم مار مخايل. كنا نريده أساساً لتفاهمات أوسع مع قوى أخرى”، لافتاً إلى أن “التفاهم حقق مجموعة من المصالح للبنان ولحزب الله وللتيار”، وقال: “لا نوافق على خروج بعض الملاحظات السلبية حول التفاهم في بيان للتيار، فهي تعطي مادة للمتربصين”، مؤكداً “متانة العلاقة مع الوطني الحر والحرص على تطويرها”.

نصر الله: هناك استهداف ممنهج ومدفوع الثمن ضد حزب الله

وفي سياق آخر، قال السيد نصر الله إن “هناك جوقة هدفها السباب والشتائم لحزب الله من دون أي حجة، وهذا يعبر عن أصحابها. كل أفعال هذه الجوقة لا تؤثر فينا. أدعو جمهور المقاومة إلى عدم الانجرار لسلوكهم”. 

وتابع: “هناك استهداف ممنهج ومدبر ومدفوع الثمن ضد حزب الله، وما يجري معنا من اتهامات خارج كل الأعراف والتقاليد والشرائع، وما يجري أن هناك من يتعامل مع حزب الله على أنه متهم وقاتل ومسؤول حتى تثبت براءته”. 

كلام السيد نصر الله يأتي في سياق الاتهام الذي وُجّه إليه من قبل أطراف سياسية وإعلامية باغتيال الناشط السياسي لقمان سليم. وقد أكد في هذا السياق أن “إسرائيل تقتل مواطنيها من أجل خدمة مشروعها، والمجازر الصهيونية لم تقتصر على المسلمين والمسيحيين فقط، بل شملت يهوداً رفضوا الهجرة إليها”.

وشدد على أن “هناك استهدافاً ممنهجاً ومدبراً ومدفوع الثمن ضد حزب الله. وقد فشل في تشويه صورة المقاومة لدى بيئتها وجمهورها”، مشيراً إلى أن “انفعال بعض جمهور المقاومة نتيجة الحملة يجب ألا يحسب على كل الجمهور، وإن كان يجب أن يعالج”.

وفي سياق الحديث عن الحملات الممنهجة في مواقع التواصل، شدد السيد نصر الله على أن “تل أبيب وواشنطن وحلفاءهما يعلنون أنهم يشكلون جيوشاً إلكترونية لإثارة الفتن والخلافات، وهناك من يريد أن يأخذ البلد إلى الانفجار من خلال ما يجري في وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي”، داعياً إلى “الحضور القوي في وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي مع الالتزام بالوعي والأدب وعدم الإساءة”.

وفي ملف انفجار مرفأ بيروت، قال السيد نصر الله إن “التحقيق في التفجير انتهى. طالبت سابقاً الجيش والأمن الداخلي والقضاء بإعلان نتيجته، ومن واجب الجهة المعنية الإعلان عن نتائج التحقيق”.

نصر الله: هناك قلق إسرائيلي وسعودي واضح حيال الملف النووي واليمن

إقليمياً، قال أمين عام حزب الله إن “تطورات كبيرة تحصل في المنطقة والعالم بعد رحيل الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب غير مأسوف عليه، ووصول إدارة أميركية جديدة، ولبنان جزء أساسي في المنطقة، وهو يتأثر بكل ما يجري فيها”.

وأضاف أن هناك “قلقاً إسرائيلياً وسعودياً واضحاً حيال الملف النووي الإيراني”.

وعن إعلان واشنطن وقف دعمها للحرب على اليمن، اعتبر السيد نصر الله أنها “خطوة إيجابية. وقد جاءت نتيجة صمود اليمنيين. الجيش اليمني واللجان الشعبية في موقع متقدم في كل الجبهات. أيضاً، نجد أن القلِق هو السعودي والإسرائيلي”.

وعن الملف السوري، قال: “حديث الأميركيين عن أن مهمتهم لم تعد تشمل حماية النفط في سوريا ترافق مع إعادة إحياء داعش”، مؤكداً أن “من هزم داعش سابقاً سيلحق الهزيمة به مجدداً، وأي عمل بمواجهته يجب أن يكون هجومياً لا دفاعياً”.

وحيال “صفقة القرن”، قال السيد نصر الله: “لا أحد يتحدث اليوم عن الصفقة التي يبدو أنها انتهت أو باتت في حالة تراجع وتلفظ أنفاسها، نتيجة صمود الشعب الفلسطيني والقيادات الفلسطينية ومحور المقاومة”.

وحول تطبيع الدول العربية مع الاحتلال الإسرائيلي، أكد أن “موقف الشعبين المصري والأردني نموذج واضح لرفض التطبيع، وهو ينسحب إلى باقي الشعوب. ثمة دول عربية وإسلامية، كالجزائر وتونس وباكستان وغيرها، ما زالت صامدة ومتمسكة برفضها للتطبيع”.

وأكد أن “أصحاب الأوهام، كحكام السودان، سيكتشفون أن التطبيع مع إسرائيل لن يحل مشاكلهم الاقتصادية”، لافتاً إلى أن “الإسرائيليين يعطون موضوع التطبيع أكثر من حجمه، والجيوش الإلكترونية لا تعبر عن مزاج الأمة والشعوب”. 

ولفت السيد نصر الله إلى أن “إسرائيل لم تلتزم يوماً بالقانون الدولي، ودمرت مدناً، وقتلت المدنيين في كل حروبها”، وأضاف: “أقول لرئيس الأركان الإسرائيلي إننا لا نبحث عن مواجهة وعن حرب، ولكن إن فرضتم حرباً فسنخوضها. وإذا ضربتم مدننا، فسنرد بالمثل. وإذا استهدفتم قرانا، فسنقصف مستعمراتكم. وفي أي حرب مقبلة، ستواجه الجبهة الداخلية الإسرائيلية ما لم تعرفه منذ قيام إسرائيل”، مشيراً إلى أن “لا أحد يضمن ألا تتدحرج “الأيام القتالية” إلى حرب واسعة”.

فيديوات ذات صلة

فيديوات ذات صلة

O’ Redwan! Unveil Your Image As the Capital of Freedom

O’ Redwan! Unveil Your Image As the Capital of Freedom

Translated by Staff

In tribute to martyr leader Hajj Imad Mughniyeh, a song subtitled by al-Ahed News, displaying Hajj Imad Mughniyeh driving a bus with passengers as resistance fighters who are heading towards occupied al-Quds.


 

Anis al Naqqash: how Soleimani and Mugniyeh helped Palestine

فارس إيران وجمال العراق بطلان أمميّان.. شهداء بلا حدود

محمد صادق الحسيني

كلّ ما يجري ويدور حولنا في هذه الساعة يا حاج قاسم يشي بقرب النصر والظفر في فلسطين وغير فلسطين…

أنت كتبتَهُ بدمك…

مرة كتبته بمسيرة عماد لبنان ومرة كتبته بمسيرة مهندس العراق ومرة كتبته بمسيرة صماد اليمن وفي كلّ مرة كتبته بمسيرة رموز العزة في غزة وبوابات الشام وعند سفوح وهضاب أفغانستان الفاطميّة وشبه القارة الهنديّة الزينبيّة، وبوصلتهم جميعاً إلى القدس من دون مواربة ولا التواء أو درجة انحراف..!

دمك كان يتدفق في أجسام متفاوتة روحها واحدة..!

اليوم وأنت ترقد في كرمان قرير العين صار بإمكانك أن ترى وتشاهد بعين اليقين من رافقوك من القادة كما من ربّيتهم من الكوادر على امتداد البصر أقرب وأشبه ما يكونون بجيش العشرين مليون لتحرير بيت المقدس، كما كان يتمنّى ويخطط إمامك وإمامهم الخميني العظيم..

كلّ هذه الملايين التي شيّعتك والمهندس قبل عام وتحيي ذكراك وذكراه اليوم إنما تنهل من نبع واحد… الإسلام وفلسطين.

دمهم واحد طريقهم واحد هدفهم واحد ولسان حالهم جميعاً… كما سرّك وسرّهم هو القدس فإنّ دربك ودربهم هو دربُ الحسين…

لم يدرس أحد منكم في الأكاديميات العسكرية العليا لكنكم بزّيتم كلّ جنرالات الأرض في القيادة والسيطرة والتخطيط…

لم تتعلّموا في الحوزات الدينيّة التقليديّة ولا الكليّات المدنيّة المشهورة في العالم لكنكم كنتم الأرقى في الأخلاق وفي إتقان العلوم..

لم تسعوا لتسنّم المراكز العليا في السلطات السياسيّة، لكن مواقعكم العمليّة كانت الأعلى والأكثر نفوذاً في مراكز صنع القرار في بلادهم…

لم تفتحوا شهيتكم لمغانم الدنيا وأموالها لكنكم كنتم الأغنى في البذل والعطاء وهم الأفقر إلى الله…

لم تفكّروا في ملذات الدنيا مطلقاً، لكنها أتت إليكم طواعيّة وما أسرَتْكم …

لم تلينوا لحظة واحدة مع العدو لكنكم كنتم الأكثر ودّاً وليناً مع عيال الله بكلّ صنوفهم…

الإيمان كان يغمرك ويغمرهم الى حدّ الذوبان في الله

والعزم والشجاعة كانا يتحزمانك ويتحزمانهم الى درجة صلابة الجبال…

كنتَ وهم الآن أول من يتقدّم الميدان ويخوض الميدان ثم يطلب من رجال الله اللحاق به الى الصفوف الأماميّة…

لا أنت ولا زملاؤك من القادة الذين ربّيت ولا كوادرك كانوا يوماً من المقاتلين الورقيّين او الافتراضيّين في غرف العمليات النظرية…

بل في الطليعة من الجيوش تتقدّمون الصفوف الأماميّة…

خالصين لله كنتم ومن أصفياء الله كنتم وثقتكم به تفوق الوصف، جاهدتم في الله حق جهاده حتى أتاكم اليقين.

من هنا كانت القيادة تليق بكم وأنتم السادة ورمز الانتصار والشهادة بلا حدود..

عابرون للجغرافيا والمكان والزمان والطوائف والمذاهب، وركنكم الشديد مقاومة حتى النصر أو الشهادة

لقد دخلتم التاريخ أبطالاً قوميين لبلدانكم وأقطاركم

وأبطالاً أمميّين لكلّ البشرية والإنسانية جمعاء…

لذلك كله نقول لكم وأنتم الأعلون… تأكدوا يا اسطورة جغرافيا وتاريخ آخر الزمان واطمئنّوا أنكم ستبقون ذخراً لنا وفخراً نعتز به…

في كلّ حركاتنا وسكناتنا أنتم حاضرون، وبيننا أحياء عند ربكم ترزقون أكثر مما تتصوّرون.

بعدنا طيّبين قولوا الله…

مقالات ذات صلة

Soleimani The Leader and The Role Model

Source

Soleimani The Leader and The Role Model

In the name of Allah the Merciful the Most Gracious

Images of his face were circulated all over the world, his name filled the horizons of the globe, and his star cast a shade over the Mujahideen. He was dedicated to obeying the guardian, the Imam and the Leader Khamenei. He journeyed the squares as a Mujahid, carrying his blood in his hand. Every moment of his life was counted as Jihad, for everything in it and everything he owned was for the sake of Allah. He was Lieutenant General Hajj Qassem Soleimani (may God Almighty be pleased with him), the martyr of the Ummah and Palestine and the leader of the martyrs of the axis of resistance.

All that is in him and what he has is for God and for the sake of God. He is Lieutenant General Hajj Qassem Soleimani (may God Almighty be pleased with him), the martyr of the Ummah and Palestine, and the leader of the martyrs of the axis of resistance.

Martyr Soleimani: A leader and role model

He was the expert leader in the fields of jihad and battle. He mastered his plans, succeeded in his operations against the enemies, he was well-versed in politics, understood international, regional, and local equations, and approached matters using his clear and insightful vision. He was loyal and devoted to the love of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his pure family (PBUT). He knew exactly the limits of Sharia law and the history of Muslims. He realized what was most important for the path of Islam and Muslims. It was he who set his sights on the liberation of Al-Quds and Palestine, heeding the call of Imam Khomeini, the Imam of the Ummah, the revolution, and the path – “‘Israel’ is a cancerous gland that must be eradicated from existence.” He was aware of the path of salvation by following the orders and approach of the nation’s leadership represented by the wali al-faqih Imam Khamenei. He was the leader who knew the features of the road with inclusiveness, awareness, and jihad. He is the leader of the martyrs of the axis of resistance.

He was the role model who lived with the Mujahideen in the heart of the battles and guided them through what he was doing. He was the security link between them and the leadership.

In 2013, the New Yorker wrote: “Soleimani indeed believes in Islam, and he is more polite compared to others. Perhaps the naming of Lieutenant General Soleimani as Haji or Hajj Qassem instead of his military titles in Iraq, Syria, and the Gulf states in general, is an indication of the predominance of his religious character in his behavior and dealings.”

Martyr Soleimani was distinguished by the charisma of the popular leadership, and he was the one who led the mujahideen in prayer before setting off to battle. He received blessings from the martyrs and delivered enthusiastic words full of faith and divine adoration before and after the military operations. [These words] were mixed with weeping and supplication, asking for forgiveness from the martyrs because he did not die like them. Before each attack, he embraced all of his fighters, one by one, tearfully bidding them farewell.

His life was modest, and he rarely met with his family because he spent most of his time on the battlefields of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Afghanistan. From there, he looked over Palestine and Yemen and visited other countries for political and practical purposes.

With Hezbollah

Since martyr Soleimani assumed the leadership of the Quds Force in 1998, we in Hezbollah noticed an exceptional interest in our movement, in terms of equipment, armaments, training, and overall capabilities. He was part of setting up the main plans that developed the party’s work. He was part of the liberation in 2000, and was in the operation room crafting plans to repel the “Israeli” aggression in July 2006. He was the field commander who enabled the collapse of ISIS, from Iraq to Syria and until their project was uprooted in Lebanon that resulted in the second liberation – this time against the Takfiris in 2017 in the Battle of Jaroud.

The martyr would meet with the leaders of the Hezbollah Mujahideen from time to time and inform them of his view regarding developments and battlefield plans to confront “Israel” and the enemies. We were eager to hear his analyses, vision, and information and the data he possessed at the regional level.

During presentations, he was a lover of the party. He had a special relationship with His Eminence the Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah (may God preserve him). They had many meetings, and absolute trust in one another. The martyr also had a special relationship with the great jihadist leader Hajj Imad Mughniyeh (may God be pleased with him) with respect to minute details that translated into successful confrontations and achieving victories. The same goes for his relationship with jihadist leader Sayyed Mustafa Badr al-Din (may God be pleased with him) when he assumed his duties, especially in Syria.

Martyr Soleimani was a direct field commander in Hezbollah, and he was never far away, neither geographically, nor in terms of politics. Rather, he was at the center of Hezbollah’s march, successes, jihad, developments, and prestige.

America is defeated

Had martyr Soleimani not caused the most pain to America and its aggressive, arrogant project in this world, Trump would not have decided to assassinate him in such a clear and deliberate manner. And if he had not achieved successes and many victories for the resistance axis, he would not have held such a special place in the hearts of the people.

The modern-day world has never before seen the million-man funeral procession in Iran and several other countries that they saw with Imam Khomeini and after him martyr Soleimani. The masses that gathered spontaneously and passionately in squares only validate the role, status, and importance of this commander in the eyes of the Ummah – {Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; and those with him are forceful against the disbelievers, merciful among themselves. You see them bowing and prostrating [in prayer].}

He faced America and “Israel” in his life and achieved victories in Iraq, Syria, Gaza, Lebanon, Yemen and Afghanistan, and in all the known and unknown battlefields where he operated. He also confronted the US in his martyrdom: the response at the Ain al-Assad base, the decision of the Iraqi parliament to expel the American forces that was achieved through his martyrdom and the that of dear and beloved brother Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, in addition to the decision to expel America from the entire region and the rallying of the supporters of the resistance axis, especially in beloved Palestine, around the cause of liberation and determination to prioritize Al-Quds And Palestine.

We lost him in our lives, but he won the martyrdom that he wished for. {And those who have believed in Allah and His messengers – those are [in the ranks of] the supporters of truth and the martyrs, with their Lord. For them is their reward and their light.}

We benefited from the achievements of his work and what he planted during his jihad career. America has accumulated many defeats in our region despite the aggression it sponsored through “Israel” against Palestine and Lebanon, through Saudi Arabia and the Emirates against Yemen, through the Takfiris and Daesh against Iraq and Syria, directly attacking Afghanistan and Iraq, and through sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran and the axis of resistance. America today did not achieve its goals, and its stepdaughter, “Israel”, did not attain the assertion of its borders.

Even though the results of the U.S. elections do not concern us, we consider the fall of the tyrant, Trump, a lesson for the oppressors. As for Biden’s presidency, he follows his policies. Let him know that we adhere to our land and independence, and we will carry on as a resistance movement regardless of the sacrifices. Those who stood firm and defeated “Israel”, faced sanctions, and did not change their positions under the most difficult circumstances will never squander their achievements and the blood of the martyrs. Hezbollah will be strong and ready in terms of its jihadist position, preparing all its deterrence capabilities in defense against “Israel” and the annexes of its occupation.

The presence of the axis of resistance, its steadfastness, and the balance of deterrence that it created are strong. Through a quick and comprehensive reading of what the axis of resistance is, and despite the aggression, pressures, and threats, we will find that it owes a lot of its strength that enables more victories to the leader of the Quds Force, martyr Soleimani. The people and Mujahideen of this region are determined to continue the march of martyr Soleimani and confront America and “Israel” to achieve liberation and independence from subordination. {And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose.}

                                                                                                                                             12/21/2020

                                                                                                                      Deputy Secretary General of Hezbollah

                                                                                                                                     Sheikh Naim Qassem

«تيكون عولام» تكشف قائد وحدة «شلداغ» الصهيونيّة

يجب أن يخضع الجيش «الإسرائيليّ» للمحكمة الجنائيّة الدوليّة لارتكابه جرائم حرب

كشفت مدوّنة «تيكون عولام» اسم قائد وحدة «شلداغ»، وهي «وحدة كوماندو النخبة في سلاح الجو». ويدعى قائد الوحدة أيوب كيوف.

وأضافت المدوّنة أن «قائد وحدة شلداغ أيوب كيوف «عربي درزي» من بلدة عسفية»، مشيرة إلى أن «الكشف عن اسم قائد وحدة شلداغ هو ثاني انتهاك للرقابة العسكرية في الجيش الصهيوني».

وقالت «تيكون عولام»، إنها «المرة الأولى التي يتم فيها تعيين ضابط «درزي» في منصب قائد وحدة شلداغ»، لافتةً إلى أن «التكتم على هويات كبار ضباط الجيش يهدف إلى حمايتهم من مهاجمتهم أثناء الخدمة العسكرية وبعدها.. كما أنه يهدف أيضاً إلى حمايتهم من المحاكمة من قبل المحكمة الجنائية الدولية».

وتحدثت «تيكون عولام» عن أن «يكون الجيش الصهيوني ارتكب جرائم حرب، ويجب أن يخضع للمحكمة الجنائية الدولية»، مؤكدة أن «ارتكاب الجيش الصهيوني جرائم حرب هو أحد الأسباب التي تجعلها تفضح أفراده».

كما أشارت المدونة إلى أن «من ممارسات الجيش العنصرية أنه ترك وراءه خلال عملية في غزة أخيراً المقدم محمود خير الدين لأنه درزي».

وأضافت: «بينما كان خير الدين على قيد الحياة، تقدّم بطلب دون جدوى للحصول على تصريح لبناء منزل لعائلته»، مشدّدة على أن «نظام الفصل العنصري في «إسرائيل» يرفض بشكل روتيني طلبات لغير اليهود».

أيوب كيوف سبق أن ورد اسمه في «موقع آي 24 الصهيوني في 20 تشرين الأول/أكتوبر 2019، حين نشر الموقع تقريراً حول مواجهات بين قوات الاحتلال الصهيوني ومستوطنين في مستوطنة «يتسهار» قرب نابلس، أسفرت عن جرح جندي، وقال إن «الجيش أجرى تدريباً في المنطقة، وكان يفترض أن يمر قائد كتيبة المشاة في لواء النخبة «غولاني»، أيوب كيوف، بسيارته عبر المستوطنة، إلا أن سيارتين للمستوطنين اعترضتا طريقه، وتجمّع حوله العديد منهم، وبدأوا بشتمه واعتدوا عليه».

و»تيكون عولام»، وتعني «إصلاح العالم»، هي مدونة سياسية يقع مقرها في سياتل في الولايات المتحدة، وعادةً ما تكتب عن قضايا أمنية صهيونية. وقد أنشأها في العام 2003 ريتشارد سيلفرستاين، وهي تغطي كل ما يتعلق بـ»الأمن القومي الصهيوني».

وكان الموقع كشف، أول أمس، عن اسم قاتل القائد العسكري في المقاومة الشهيد عماد مغنية الذي اغتيل في العام 2008.

Their Horror is A Reflection of Our Safety

Their Horror is A Reflection of Our Safety

By Laila Amasha

The balconies of the houses in South Lebanon were crowded until Tuesday’s night. The night was disturbed by the sound of “Israeli” artillery coupled with the voices of locals on the roads overlooking the borders of occupied Palestine.

The people of the resistance joked about the horrified “Israelis”. The jokes advanced the portrayal of the enemy’s humiliation and terror. And then, eyes slept filled with pride and hearts were able to witness an overflow of tranquility between each beat. The scene seemed magical, especially when looking at the state the Zionists were in – the settlers were forced to stay in their homes, in safe rooms close to shelters, while their defeated soldiers were flopping in a funny, hysterical act of terror, throwing all their flares accompanied by screams of panic.

Without delving into the course of events that transpired on Tuesday night, we pause at the people’s reaction to what happened. It takes us back to the days of the occupation. A comparison forces itself on us. The deeper meaning of the phrase “the time of victory is here” is translated on the ground.

During those days, the enemy’s army and its tools, the Lahad Army, mastered the art of spreading terror and anxiety among the steadfast residents of the border villages and towns on a daily basis. The setting of the sun was a sign for people to go home and not go out at night except when absolutely necessary.

At some point, lights in houses were turned off early so as not to arouse the curiosity of a patrol of Lahad militias or Zionists. The voices of people during evening gatherings were so low they were not heard in nearby homes. The oppression and the feeling of insecurity were like daily bread and a lifestyle that people were forced to adopt to. It was enough for the Zionist to throw a single flare bomb in order to plant anxiety in the hearts of the people. The scene was full of sadness. Even the moments of joy after operations by the resistance against the occupation positions and its agents were shrouded in silence in order not to provoke the anger of the occupier and the resentment of the traitors.

Quickly, the heart moves from this scene and the one we saw on Tuesday. There was joy accompanied by security and the eagerness of people to watch the Zionists’ panic attacks, especially with the news that the Zionists hid in their homes. Through their fear of moving around and their horror, people saw the fragility of the spider’s web and its inability to have a single moment of safety.

A common denominator in these two scenes is an army of passionate resistance fighters who created freedom through the qualitative accumulation of resistance and organized military action and are certain of the inevitable victory.

This sacred crowd of the men of the sun, the martyrs and those awaiting martyrdom, was there on Tuesday night in the sky of the south and in the hearts. All the pure hearts were praising God for their chance to be living in a time when the eye broke the spear and horrified it. Others were thanking every resistance fighter.

The people of Jabal Amel [Mountain] and the supporters of the resistance stayed up all night adorned with their pure instinct. This instinct shows only dignity and honor. The resistance excelled in fortifying this instinct in a way that prevents it from falling into the swamps of “neutrality.”

What happened last night was clear evidence of the resistance’s role in enhancing the security of the people; they are no longer frightened by the army that considers itself and is regarded by those who are delusional and traitors as one of the strongest and most equipped armies on earth.

It also forms an evidence that people support those that got them dignity and freedom, liberated their land from the abomination of occupation, and freed their souls from the chains of anxiety.

Here, the square embroidered with the emeralds of resistance becomes a small part of the change that it has made. The most prominent field was carrying people’s souls from the darkness of fear to the dawn of victories, from the daily tension over what the enemy has committed or might commit to comfortably watching what the terrified enemy is doing.

In short, the resistance that liberated the land, preserved homes, and protected livelihoods, fortified the instinct of people and crowned their souls with an abundance of glory and freedom. Is there free action that resembles this – possessing this strength and love?

On Tuesday night, we witnessed a panic attack during which the Zionists floundered. We exchanged developments with overwhelming joy while repeating the phrase of the resistance’s secretary general: “The ‘Israelis’ are standing on a leg and a half!”

With our eyes, armed with certainty and safety, we saw Mughniyeh’s specter that came with an army of men of God repeating with one roaring voice: The time of defeat is over.

Hajj Qassem Soleimani Repeatedly Risked His Life to Protect Sayyed Nasrallah; Precision Missiles Some of His Touches

Hajj Qassem Soleimani Repeatedly Risked His Life to Protect Sayyed Nasrallah; Precision Missiles Some of His Touches

By Staff, Agencies

This is the first time that the July 2006 war is being commemorated in the absence of the martyred commander who knew its every detail and lived through its perils. He was there alongside Hajj Imad Mughniyeh and Sayyed as well as the leaders overseeing the course of the war. But today, the commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force, Hajj Qassem Soleimani, is strongly present in spirit.

Member of Hezbollah Central Council His Eminence Sheikh Nabil Qaouk recalls the role Hajj Qassem played during the war. In an exclusive with Al-Ahed News, he makes some interesting revelations.

“The precision missiles that established new equations in the conflict with the enemy, exposed the entity’s depth for the first time since 1948, and encircled this usurper entity is a strategic achievement recorded by Hajj Qassem Soleimani,” he said.

According to Sheikh Qaouk, “Hajj Qassem Soleimani insisted on staying in the heart of the battle, along with Hajj Imad Mughniyeh, Sayyed, and the rest of the brothers. He was one of the leaders on the battlefield. Hajj Qassem Soleimani put his life on the line. He was ready to be martyred at any moment. He employed the entirety of his jihadist experience in the service of the resistance, and he harnessed all his capabilities to defend Lebanon and defeat the enemy.”

Sheikh Qaouk also touched upon the spiritual relationship between the Secretary General of Hezbollah and the commander of the Quds Force.

“Hajj Qassem Soleimani was concerned with preserving the safety of the Secretary General, His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, and for that he faced death several times.”

While talking about Commander Soleimani and the Divine Victory in July 2006, the capabilities of the resistance automatically come to mind.

“Today [the resistance is] at the peak of its strength, ability, and readiness, and the enemy can never underestimate or ignore the resistance’s strength, and its surprises,” Sheikh Qaouk warned.

He promises that “there are surprises that will take place on the battlefield that are not included in the enemy’s calculations, and, God willing, the greatest victory will be ours.”

“The period after 2006 is not the same as the period before it.” This is according to the resistance, and the most important lessons revolved around the realization that “[we needed] to be strong in a world ravaged by wolves and ruled by monsters.”

“We realized that we should not abandon our weapons and surrendering them is a betrayal of the homeland and the nation, and that we must protect these weapons with our bare hands. We realized that permanent readiness to confront the enemy must be achieved.”

On the anniversary of the 2006 war, Sheikh Qaouk congratulated the wounded, whose scars bear witness to their heroism and the barbarism of the enemy. He congratulated the resistance fighters, who are the Men of God who continue to protect this nation – away from the limelight – and pose as the homeland’s dignity and pride. He also commended our loyal and faithful people – the most honorable and purest people on their steadfastness and their glorious victory. Moreover, he asked God to have mercy on the souls of the martyrs, who achieved this great victory.

Below is the full text of the interview:

* For the first time, you mark the anniversary of the July 2006 aggression in the absence of Hajj Qassem Soleimani. What do you remember about his role alongside Hajj Imad Mughniyeh in that war? Did you meet him during the 33 days of war?

The name of Hajj Qassem is resounding. It exudes dignity and pride. The name has an impact on friend and foe. To the enemy, his name is frightening – a nightmare for which every account is calculated. To the friend, it is a symbol of confrontation, will, challenge, and resistance.

When Hajj Qassem is mentioned, victories throughout the region and the world are remembered. I recall beautiful memories, most of which were on the battlefields, in confrontations, and on the front lines.

In fact, Hajj Qassem’s personality is ever-present in us because it is a unique model that possessed all the characteristics of a distinguished Islamic leader.

Hajj Qassem is party to all major accomplishments. He strengthened and developed the capabilities of the resistance. He led it to victories that changed the face of the region.

The precision missiles that established new equations in the conflict with the enemy, exposed the entity’s depth for the first time since 1948, and encircled this usurper entity is a strategic achievement recorded by Hajj Qassem Soleimani.

* When martyr Soleimani’s name is mentioned, what is the first thing that you remember?

As a reminder, Hajj Qassem refused to leave Lebanon during the July 2006 aggression, despite the brothers’ insistence that he leave for his own safety.

Hajj Qassem Soleimani insisted on staying in the heart of the battle, along with Hajj Imad Mughniyeh, Sayyed, and the rest of the brothers. He was one of the leaders on the battlefield. Hajj Qassem Soleimani put his life on the line. He was ready to be martyred at any moment. He employed the entirety of his jihadist experience in the service of the resistance, and he harnessed all his capabilities to defend Lebanon and defeat the enemy.

He was a partner in the 2006 victory, just as he was a partner in the 2000 victory. One of his main concerns during the aggression was preserving the safety of the Secretary General, His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, and for that he faced death several times.

* 14 years after the July 2006 aggression, the resistance misses senior leaders such as Hajj Qassem, Hajj Imad, and Sayyed Zulfiqar. Did this loss cause a decline in the military capabilities that might be reflected in the readiness of the resistance in any future war?

The martyrdom of senior leaders along this jihadist path has always strengthened the resistance’s momentum, made it tougher, strengthened its resolve, and sharpened its will.

In the beginning, many leaders were martyred, including the sheikh of the martyrs, Sheikh Ragheb Harb, and the master of the martyrs of the resistance, Sayyed Abbas Al-Musawi and others. But the resistance march was not broken or weakened. It did not lose. Rather it grew and expanded. It deepened and became a choice and took root in the people’s consciousness, awareness, and conscience.

Today, years after the martyrdom of Hajj Radwan and Sayyed Zulfikar, we ask: Was the resistance in 2008 stronger, greater, and more capable or is it so today after their martyrdom? It is evident that today it is stronger, more powerful, and more capable!

What can we conclude from that? We conclude that the march, which is linked to God, is capable, with divine intervention, of overcoming all the difficulties and all its wounds. And with the martyrdom of its leaders, it does not retreat, but rather progresses and becomes more capable than before.

The same thing is true of the martyrdom of Hajj Qassem. We are not worried about the path of Hajj Qassem despite his absence because the source is present. The authentic Mohammedan Islam that made Hajj Qassem, Hajj Imad, Sayyed Zulfiqar, and their brothers is capable of making many Qassem Soleimanis, Imad Mughniyahs, and Mustafa Badreddines.

On this basis, the martyrdom of the leaders did not constitute any regression in terms of the capabilities, readiness, and spirit of the resistance. That spirit, which the enemy admitted that it had defeated in July, is still present and is today more driven.

The resistance today is at the peak of its strength, ability, and readiness, and the enemy can never underestimate or ignore the resistance’s strength, ability, and surprises.”

*During the aggression, you were in the south. What do you remember most about that war?

There is no doubt that wars burry themselves deep in the human conscience. There are two images that remain deep inside everyone who witnessed the war. The first is the image of blood spilled unjustly and the massacres. No one can forget the blood of his family and people. The image of the destruction the enemy caused is unforgettable, even if – thank God – our homes are better than they were.

The other is the image of the amazing resilience of our people. The victory trumpeted by dignity. It is the first victory of the nation in a direct confrontation with the enemy. The July victory officially documented to history and to the whole world that “Israel” was defeated, and that it was weaker than a spider’s web.

What does it mean when the resistance that has limited capabilities triumphs in the face of a global war waged by the fiercest usurping country in the region?

What does it mean when the enemy’s army that defeated the Arab armies within days was crushed near Aita al-Sha`b and Maroun al-Ras? What does it mean when it couldn’t reach Bint Jbeil, which is hundreds of meters away from its entity?

It is the historic divine victory that we should be proud of forever, and we thank God Almighty day and night for the great victory.

* After the July 2006 aggression, the Islamic resistance faced more than one internal and external challenge. It fought battles and lost martyrs on more than one front. How did the resistance benefit from these experiences to raise the level of its readiness? What do you promise the enemy in any future war?

Certainly, the experiences, capabilities, and techniques of the resistance after its defensive battles against the takfiri terrorists, whether in Lebanon or Syria, cannot be compared to what it had before these confrontations.

We must not forget that the capabilities and methods of the terrorists are a summary of the capabilities, ideas, and methods of major international intelligence services that were harnessed in these confrontations to support the terrorists.

In its battles, the resistance reaped the outcome of all these capabilities, methods, and experiences, and this in itself is a tremendous achievement. Therefore, we constantly hear and sense the “Israeli” concern about the tremendous quality and quantity of achievements gained by the resistance in those confrontations.

It is possible today to confirm with full confidence that all this is strongly present in the readiness of the resistance. The resistance employs all these experiences to amplify its high degree of readiness, which is the largest and only obstacle to the enemy and its ambitions. And because the enemies of Lebanon and the resistance cannot overcome the resistance and its equation, they have resorted today to other methods of confrontation. Hence, the economic aggression. As the truthful promise was achieved by the military resistance, the truthful promise will also be achieved by the economic resistance.

* How will the next war look like? Will it be between Lebanon and the Zionist entity, or do you see it as greater?

It is true that brutality and aggression are the enemy’s inherent features since its inception, but we cannot approach reality on the basis of this trait alone. Therefore, we do not see that an “Israeli” war on Lebanon is an absolutely imperative issue.

The period after 2006 is not the same as the period before it!

14 years ago, the resistance achieved victories, and its capabilities accumulated in full view of the enemy, but it could not do anything.

The cost of the aggression that prevented the enemy from waging a war during the past stage is higher and more severe today. If the enemy before was unable to bear the costs of the war, today it is even more incapable of doing so.

Talk by the enemy’s leaders about waging a war in recent years is an attempt to restore cohesion, to reestablish some of the prestige they lost, and to dispel the inability that is eating them. The enemy knows best that any mistake it makes will be a great and destructive sin. The calculations of any confrontation – if it happens – will be unusual and unpredictable, not at the level of its image, its geography, nor at the level of the elements of this confrontation.

Today, the “Israeli” enemy trembles from the equation of the destructive missiles that will fall on the entire usurper entity. It also trembles from the Galilee equation – an equation it has never witnessed since its inception. This is in addition to the great surprises that will trample the enemy and its position.

The strategy of the resistance has proven to be a powerful dam against the enemy’s ambitions and goals, and it is the strong shield that protects and maintains its existence.

* What about the divine intervention in July 2006?

The divine intervention was present in every detail of the July war as well as previous operations – from Operation Truthful Promise to the first moments of the aggression until the moment of victory.

There was divine kindness and intervention in the timing of the aggression. The enemy was forced to launch its aggression at the wrong time in which it did not complete its preparations, while the resistance was on high alert. Thus, the enemy lost the most important element of the war, the element of surprise.

The missile hit the Sa’ar ship at sea when the enemy turned off its radar and its protective equipment. Who told the captain to turn off the devices at that moment?

The enemy’s helicopter crashed in Yater at the time when the enemy was preparing to expand and change the pattern of the aggression. That crash caused frustration.

The Katyusha rockets rained down on paratroopers who were gathered at the

Kfar Giladi colony, killing and wounding dozens of officers and Zionist soldiers.

The feeling of tranquility among the resistance fighters along the front lines was divine. God Almighty planted love for the resistance and its secretary general in the hearts of the people in the most difficult, darkest, and bloodiest days.

The loyal people who sacrificed everything remained steadfast. They saw their life’s work burned and destroyed. However, the only word you hear from them is loyalty. This steadfastness and loyalty were divine intervention and kindness.

The entire course of the war was a intervention to the extent that even Shimon Peres had to declare that “God was with Hezbollah during the war.”

* What are the conclusions of the July 2006 war?

The main lessons of this war lie in the demise of the era of “Israeli” triumphs. The July victory is still continuing, and the enemy is still writhing at defeat.

During the war, we realized that we needed to be strong in a world ravaged by wolves and ruled by monsters.

We realized that we should not abandon our weapons and surrendering them is a betrayal of the homeland and the nation, and that we must protect these weapons with our bare hands. We realized that permanent readiness to confront the enemy must be achieved.

The essence of this war is that the enemy used everything and exhausted everything until it was threatened with a resounding fall. Meanwhile, the resistance proved that it is able to change the path of the region and turn dreams into reality by relying on God.

The Humiliation of ’Israel’ in the Eyes of Imad Mughniyeh

The Humiliation of ’Israel’ in the Eyes of Imad Mughniyeh

By Latifa Al-Husseiny

Beirut – You never run out of stories about the time of liberation. It is like a spring of fresh water on a high mountain pouring on the ground. Twenty full years of Imad Mughniyeh and his comrades in jihad. There was planning, implementation, and then achieving an Arab victory that was only difficult in the dictionary of the weak.

It is May 18, 2000. The beginning of the “Israeli” withdrawal from southern Lebanon begins to unfold. The resistance and its mujahideen are prepared and aware of what is going on. Its military leadership and its cadres are meeting in a village.

The goal is to continuously assess the situation to develop hypothetical scenarios in the event of any major retreat by the enemy. Hajj Imad is heading the meeting. He, along with his cohorts of resistance officers, are providing estimates while examining hypotheticals and sny potential plans the Zionists might adopt. Before those in attendance, he repeats one chorus: the “Israeli” enemy must leave humiliated and under fire.

For this purpose, numerous meetings with the command of military operations and mobilization forces were held. Various sources of fire including the artillery and launchers were stationed in the south. Reconnaissance of the enemy’s movements and soldiers was carried out a week before the liberation of the south, especially in light of the evacuations that were taking place along some of the posts. All this was overseen by Hajj Imad personally.

The enemy’s retreat rolled on. Qantara, Al-Qoussair, Deir Siriane, and Tayibe were liberated from the occupation under the strikes of the Mujahideen, while the locals headed to the occupied gate and removed it.

The resistance leadership drew up alternative plans on how to pounce the Lahad army at the time. It also deployed military police to the southern border villages to prevent any disturbances during the “Israeli” escape.

Indeed, some Lahad forces surrendered in Adaisseh, while others fled under fire from the resistance. Bint Jbeil and the towns in that district were liberated. The liberation rumbled from Tayibe to Hula to Beit Yahoun until the miniature security belt drawn up by the then “Israeli” War Minister Ehud Barak to protect the northern settlements collapsed.

A leader in the Islamic Resistance tells al-Ahed about those days.

“We stayed in the south, watching closely how the “Israelis” fled. Hajj Imad managed the military missions and distributed tasks. When the operations began, he was at the helm of those checking the situation. He went to the Palestinian border without escort.”

On May 23 and May 24, “Israeli” soldiers continued their withdrawal. From Ainatha to Kfar Tibnit to the Khiam detention center, the Zionists withdrew defeated. Hajj Imad was waiting, while the resistance men spread around and targeted them.

On the final day of throwing out the occupiers, the battle ended at the Fatima Gate at the border. Through it, the last “Israeli” soldier fled. That moment was historic.

While Benny Gantz, the commander of the so-called Lebanon Liaison Unit in the “Israeli” army, closed the gate and put the key under one of the rocks, Hajj Imad was a few meters away looking at how the “Israelis” were humiliated.

He stood in front of the Fatima Gate, while the resistance apparatus deployed and secured all the villages. Inhaling the breath of freedom and the fragrance of Palestine, he did not care about the people who had been trailing him for years. Those people were fleeing broken, looking for a refuge to hide their failures and surrender. On the other hand, Hajj Imad was defying everything to take a look at the Galilee and beyond. He had accomplished the first step of the inevitable liberation.

Six years after the 2000 liberation of the south, the July War came. Hajj Imad led 33 days of confrontations with the enemy. He thwarted the Zionists’ promise. It was another divine victory on the road to Palestine. Angered by the defeat, “Israel” decided to take revenge. For this purpose, it utilized its tools and agents. The meeting was in Syria.

Away from the commotion of the world, a group of leaders of the resistance axis gathered in one of the party’s centers in the Kafr Souseh area in Damascus.

On the evening of February 12, 2008, a group of leaders of the Revolutionary Guards headed by the commander of the Quds Force, Hajj Qassem Soleimani, met leaders of the Islamic Resistance, headed by Hajj Imad Mughniyeh.

It was a military summit that lasted for about an hour. One of the leaders who attended the meeting explained that the main reason for the meeting was to conduct an evaluation of the general situation at the level of the resistance factions. However, the special relationship between Hajj Imad and Hajj Qassem set the tone of the meeting.

There was laughter and smiles as if they felt that this would be a farewell. Hajj Qassem told our interlocutor, “What Hajj Imad says, I implement. I am a soldier of Hajj Imad Mughniyeh.” When the latter heard that sentence, he quickly said, “No, we are brothers.”

The evaluation session was over, and it was time to depart. Hajj Qassem Soleimani stood at the elevator and embraced Hajj Imad with great affection. That moment was engraved in the memory of the people present. It was proof that the relationship between the two men surpassed the cause. It was a relationship of spirit and sacrifice similar to the relationship between al-Hussayn and al-Abbas (PBUT). They shared redemption, responsibility, and a high jihadist spirit.

Five minutes later, Hajj Imad left to carry out an important mission. When he got to his car, he was martyred.

Hajj Qassem never knew Hajj Imad’s destination. He heard a loud explosion and was informed of the news. He went back to find his companion dead.

What was the nature of the meeting they agreed on minutes earlier? It was a painful separation. However, 12 years later that conclusion was repeated with Hajj Qassem’s spirit rising to the supreme kingdom. Both men’s blood was spilt on the road to Palestine for the sake of Al-Quds.

Deputy Head of Hezbollah Executive Council Tells Al-Ahed the Untold Stories of Lebanon Liberation on 20th Anniversary

Deputy Head of Hezbollah Executive Council Tells Al-Ahed the Untold Stories of Lebanon Liberation on 20th Anniversary

By Al-Ahed News Website

The resistance from Taklif until the glory of May

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the glory of May – the Resistance and Liberation Day, Al-Ahd journeys back to the early days of the resistance and how Imam Khomeini (may God sanctify his secret) was the first to embrace it.

The deputy head of Hezbollah’s Executive Council Hajj Abdallah Kassir, a key witness from that period, recalls some of his expreeinces.

In 1982, Hajj Abdallah Kassir was with a group of al-Shabab al-Mu’min [Believing Youth]on a visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran to attend the Shaaban 15 Conference – The Day of the Vulnerable. The visit coincided with the “Israeli” invasion of Lebanon.

“At the time, the Imam sent a delegate to us after failing to secure an urgent appointment since we had decided to return to Lebanon after the invasion,” Hajj Kassir said.

He then quotes what the delegate conveyed to them from Imam Khomeini, “Your taklif [religious obligation] is to fight ‘Israel’, and ‘Israel’ fell into the trap as a mouse falls into a trap. You will definitely be victorious, and you must fight it with the capabilities available to you.”

According to Kassir, it was a religious position. “Therefore, everything that was built after our return – we returned to Beirut the day after the battle of Khaldeh – was built by the al-Shabab al-Mu’min based on this fatwa and Imam’s directions regarding the issue of fighting ‘Israel’.”

This impulse and sincerity – and thanks to the blood of the martyrs as well as the blessing of the leadership of Imam Khomeini and Imam Khamenei after him – led to the glory of May and the victories during that month.

Those victories were distinctive historical events in the Arab-“Israeli” conflict because the “Israelis” were forced to withdraw unconditionally for the first time. The May victory was called the clean victory since the enemy withdrew under fire from the resistance without any pledges or agreements.

The glory of May in Taybeh: One of God’s days

The second part of our overview of the history of the resistance with the deputy head Hezbollah’s Executive Council Hajj Abdallah Kassir, focuses on the liberation of Lebanon’s southern town of Taybeh. Hajj Kassir participated in that liberation and left his mark.

In May 2000, Kassir was a deputy for the south. He received a call from the resistance leadership telling him to head to the south.

“I arrived in Taybeh. In the town square, there was a popular celebration. Young men from the resistance asked us to wait until they cleaned the area. We went up with the men and women to Kamel Al-Assad’s old house, which was a headquarters for the Lahad forces. That house was overlooking the entire area. There we met a lot of our brothers that we knew, but we were separated by barriers that the occupiers had set up,” he said.

According to Hajj Kassir, the joy was “indescribable”.

“It was the happiness of a lifetime and one of God’s days … because it was a day of victory where people felt that the blood of the martyrs bore and yielded this beautiful, kind, and clean victory. No one can deny that this victory was the fruit of the Mujahideen’s jihad for 18 years – from 1982 until 2000.”

Hajj Kassir concludes by praising the role of the people who paved the way to liberation.

“We have people worthy of these sacrifices because they are the ones who supported and embraced the resistance. Therefore, this jihad and support for the resistance is what produced the glory of May.”

The untold story about Hajj Imad in his role in the media and arts

When speaking about liberation, the memory of the person who had a hand in it automatically comes to mind – the great jihadi leader Hajj Imad Mughniyeh whose spirit hovered over all the victories of the resistance.

The deputy head of Hezbollah’s Executive Council Hajj Abdallah Kassir has memories with Hajj Imad that must be written down.

“Hajj Imad was not only a military or security leader, he was also a strategic leader, meaning he looked at matters concerning the media, culture, spirituality, psychology and propaganda from a military and security point of view,” Hajj Kassir said. “Hajj Imad came up with the idea to employ media production in coordination with the military. He directly funded some artistic works that we, as a media department, did not have enough of a budget for.”

Hajj Kassir recalls the song “Your Victory Shook the World” during the July 2006 war. It was one of the artistic productions that had Hajj Imad’s fingerprints.

“The idea of the clip as well as the idea of Arab artists participating in and shooting it using a drone all came from Hajj Imad.”

In another clip, Hajj Imad gathered 40 launchers in the Bayt Lif valley. The move was forbidden within the rules of the military establishment.

“But Hajj did it because his priority was to portray a terrifying scene to the enemy and send it a message,” according to Hajj Kassir.

One of the first security documentaries produced was also the brainchild of Hajj Imad. He supported and funded it.

“Hajj Imad was the one who was following up with the directors, and he also produced the movie ‘Al-Mersad’ which documents the war between the resistance and the ‘Israelis’,” Kassir says.

Hajj Kassir goes back to 1984-1985 during the days of the Technical Committee for the Islamic Media.

“The first artistic work and the first camera that filmed the resistance at the time, was supported by Hajj Imad. He sponsored the volunteers in this committee and created the conditions for them to work. In some very special events, he asked for their presence,” Hajj Kassir adds.

O’ Redwan! Unveil Your Image As the Capital of Freedom

O’ Redwan! Unveil Your Image As the Capital of Freedom

Translated by Staff

In tribute to martyr leader Hajj Imad Mughniyeh, a song subtitled by al-Ahed News, displaying Hajj Imad Mughniyeh driving a bus with passengers as resistance fighters who are heading towards occupied al-Quds.

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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.

Sayyed Nasrallah: Influence of Suleimani, Muhandis Today Stronger than Ever

Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah

Sara Taha Moughnieh

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah spoke affectionately about Hajj Qassem Suleimani in an interview to an Iranian TV channel that was broadcast Thursday evening.

His eminence first spoke about the beginning of the relation with the Islamic Republic of Iran on the military level.

“It was in 1982 when the Israelis invaded Lebanon, occupying many areas and reaching Beirut. Imam Khomeini sent Iranian forces to Lebanon and their duty was to help the Lebanese establish a local resistance that could confront the Israeli occupation… This is how our ongoing relation with the Iranians emerged. Back then, Al-Quds brigade wasn’t established yet, but when the imposed war on Iran was over, Imam Khomeini ordered the formation of Al-Quds Force in the Revolutionary Guards Corps.

His eminence went back to the first days he met with leader of Al-Quds Brigade Hajj Qassem Suleimani. It was 22 years ago when he was appointed in this position.

“We had never met before that, even in our visits to Iran and our meetings with leaders there, Hajj Qassem was never present. He was either in the battlefields in Iran or fulfilling his duties in Karman, Sistan and Baluchestan.”

“When he was appointed he came to Beirut and met with us, Hajj Imad and Hajj Mustapha Badreddine were among the attendees, and since the first moments we met, there was harmony and we felt that we knew each other since many years.”

His eminence considered that “Martyr Qassem Suleimani was a comprehensive figure, not just a military leader. We never felt that we are in front of a military specialist, instead he had wide knowledge on the political, economic, cultural, military, and security aspects… In addition to that, he built a strong relationship with Hajj Imad Mughnieh and other leaders in the resistance that was based on trust, love, friendship and loyalty. All this put us in front of a promising and powerful phase.

When asked about the background of the term “School of Qassem Suleimani or Office of Qassem Suleimani”, his eminence clarified that this is a reference to his unique approach in work that relies on constant visits and presence in the battlefields.

“It is true that he is the leader of Al-Quds Force but he barely stayed in Tehran. He personally joined the battlefields in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and other places and visited the groups he worked with, he didn’t wait for reports or for anyone to visit him in his office.”

“He had strong relations on different levels and this is the secret behind his success, his constant presence in the battlefield, building friendly and personal relations… his relation with Hajj Imad was the strongest, they were friends and more like family. His relation with Haj Imad was very similar to his relation to Martyr Ahmad Kazemi.”

““School or Office of Qassem Suleimani” is a reference to his path which requires observation. For instance, since we started working together we only visited Iran a couple of times, he was the one visiting us constantly, meeting with the leaders, joining the battlefields, expressing respect and showing high morals, listening to other points of view, listening to the sufferings and struggles in the battlefields… he never relied on reports, he joined the battlefields and witnessed everything himself. Despite all that, he never got tired, I have never met anyone who tolerated pain as much as Hajj Qassem did… He didn’t get bored or tired… He was consistent and perseverant… He was very humble despite his high position… This is something very rare and important.”

His eminence pointed out that Hajj Qassem was always on the front lines and under threat.

“He insisted on being with us in July war 2006. He arrived through Damascus and contacted us to send a car to pick him up. We told him it was impossible under this situation, he replied that he would come by himself if we didn’t send a car. When he came he stayed with us throughout all the war days… and if you listen to the resistance fighters in Iraq they would tell you that Hajj Qassem was always present in the most critical places in the battlefields there.”

“The School of Qassem Suleimani is taken from the school of Imam Khomeini, from the directions of leader Khamenei, and from the Iran war, which was a great experience on the intellectual, cultural, spiritual, and military levels. Hajj Qassem was the embodiment of this great experience…” Sayyed Nasrallah concluded this part saying.

Hezbollah SG referred to the great role of Hajj Qassem in supporting and developing the resistance capacities in Lebanon.

“He used to visit us every couple of weeks, not every couple of months. He used to visit the Southern Suburb mostly and he sometimes visited the South and met with the resistance fighters there.”

On another hand, Sayyed Nasrallah noted that “in the past we didn’t believe that the Israelis would pull out from the South under military pressure, because this would be a blunt and strategic defeat for them. When we met with Sayyed Ali Khamenei in the end of 1999 and revealed our doubts, his response to the political leaders was to keep it a supposition, but his response in front of the military leaders, was that you will witness liberation yourself.”

“… and there was the victory in 2000, and all those 50 leaders whom Sayyed Khamenei addressed that day witnessed the victory, no one got martyred before that day.”

In 2006, Sayyed Nasrallah said, “the Arab world, European countries, even Russia and China took a negative stance against us. Even internally, stances divided with and against the resistance. This put us under huge pressure, but the presence of Hajj Qassem among the fighters had a great influence on their morale… In July war, Hajj Qassem, Hajj Imad, and I where at the same place, but we worried that we would all be killed together, of course our worries were not out of fear from death but out of fear on our role and duties. So we separated, but Hajj Imad and Hajj Qassem stayed together all the time.”

“All 33 days, Hajj Qassem shared with us our happiness, sadness, affection… When the letter of the mujahedeen, then my response to them were recited on TV we were all crying out of affection. Hajj Qassem was with us.”

Hezbollah SG further referred to a letter he received from Sayyed Ali Khamenei through Hajj Qassem in which he expressed confidence that Hezbollah will triumph in the war and will become a regional power after that, at a time when everyone was wagering on our defeat.

“The letter revealed that the US and Israel were preparing for a surprise war on Lebanon in the end of summer 2006, but the captivity of those Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah removed the element of surprise and the resistance was prepared for any confrontation.”

As his eminence indicated that “Hajj Qassem Suleimani had a political and strategic mind, not just a military one. One of the ideas he introduced to Hezbollah was putting long term plans, he helped us put plans for years ahead,” asserting that “Hajj Qassem never focused on internal Lebanese details, all his concern was to preserve and strengthen the resistance.”

In response to a question about the day of Haj Imad Mughnieh’s martyrdom, Sayyed Nasrallah said that “Hajj Imad was with Hajj Qassem. They were together in a house in Damascus, then Hajj Imad took Hajj Qassem to the airport and on his way home he was assassinated. Haj Qassem instantly returned to the location, then he came and met me in Lebanon… it hurt him so much.”

Sayyed Nasrallah recalled the day of the formation of the Popular Mobilization Units in Iraq (Hashd Sha’abi).

“When ISIL emerged Hajj Qassem saw Iraq as his ultimate duty… On the day that Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Sistani issued the fatwa calling for jihad against ISIL, Hajj Qassem came to me at 12 am and told me that by sunrise 120 military leaders must be available to travel with me to Iraq. He said he had no other choice in order to be able to defend the Iraqi people. By morning 60 leaders were ready and he did not leave before I assured him that the rest will follow him the next day.”

“He never asked for fighters. There are many fighters in Iraq, he only wanted leaders. I have said earlier that throughout 22 years this was the only request Hajj Qassem had asked from us.”

Sayyed Nasrallah and Martyr Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis

“My first meeting with Hajj Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandes was in the early 90s in Iran. He was the leader of Badr Movement. He had a strong relation with Haj Imad and Haj Mustapha Badreddine, but the relation became stronger in the recent years due to regional developments and the war against ISIL,” Sayyed Nasrallah stated.

“In my last meeting with Hajj Abu Mahdi, we were discussing the Iraqi developments and analyzing military and security issues, then he told me that “the war with ISIL is almost over and I haven’t been martyred yet! Look at the white hair covering my head and beard… After all those years is it possible that I die in bed! He then asked me to pray for his martyrdom. Of course I haven’t prayed for a near martyrdom, but I prayed that when his life ends, it would be only through martyrdom.”

“Martyr Abu Mahdi was a faithful, devoted, religious, responsible person, and he had many common traits with Hajj Qassem, this is what build the significant relation between them.”

In conclusion, Sayyed Nasrallah referred to the last time he saw Hajj Qassem in.

“It was Wednesday and he was martyred early Friday. We sat for hours then prayed together… We did not have work to accomplish, he said he only wanted to see me… During his last visit he was very comfortable and relaxed, despite all the trouble around him. He even asked the photographers to take all those pictures for us. We don’t usually take this much pictures. I was worried about him.”

On the martyrdom, his eminence said: “The martyrdom of Hajj Qassem was historic. His funeral was unique in its size and level of affection! All the participants cried him as if they lost their dearest one. This level of affection only happens towards those who are very close to God.”

He reassured that “the US Administration had crossed the red-lines and people are now prepared for a confrontation with it. When a nation becomes aware of its real enemy it will fight it,” adding that “they wagered that Iran and the resistance axis will weaken after the assassination, but in contrast Iran showed great courage, and the axis of resistance advanced on several fields like Yemen and Iraq… I even received requests of individuals applying for self-sacrifice operations. The virtuous blood of Hajj Qassem and Hajj Abu Mahdi revived the spirit of revolution… their influence now is even stronger than before.”

“We are not worried; we are certain of our perseverance on this path. If we ever get tired or bored, the influence of Hajj Qassem and Hajj Abu Mahdi will urge us to continue even stronger.”

On the “Deal of the Century” his eminence stressed that “Hajj Qassem was a constant obstacle for the Americans, as he was present on various fields, so getting rid of him was important for the US to issue this deal.”

In a final word that he stated while trying to hold back his tears. Sayyed Nasrallah talked about a thought that came to him one day before the martyrdom of Hajj Qassem. It is that the angel of death gave him the privilege to choose between taking the soul of Qassem Suleimani or taking away his soul. His eminence asked him to leave Hajj Qassem and take his soul instead.

“I don’t say that just out of love and friendship, but also out of believe in the important role of Hajj Qassem in the Islamic Nation.”

Sayyed Nasrallah said “I thank Allah for knowing Hajj Qassem. I used to enjoy his company and trust him. I was always ready to sacrifice my life for his sake,” yet he reassured that “what happened was Hajj Qassem’s ultimate desire.”

Source: Al-Manar

Related

كشف حساب في يوم العماد وأربعين القاسم

ناصر قنديل

خلال أربعين عاماً هي أعوام ما بعد انتصار الثورة الإسلامية في إيران، وهي الأعوام التي أمضى الشهيد القائد عماد مغنية ما تيسّر له من العمر منها منذ البدايات الأولى حتى يوم الرحيل قبل اثنتي عشرة سنة، كان العنوان الذي أعلنه الإمام الخميني وتعاهد عليه مع رفاقه في قيادة الثورة، بناء نموذج ثوريّ جديد يستند إلى الإسلام لا يصيبه التكلّس والفساد من الداخل، ولا يساوم على الاستقلال والتنمية مع الخارج، ويبقي جذوة المواجهة مع المشروع الأميركيّ الإسرائيليّ مشتعلة، وفي ذكرى انتصار الثورة، الحادية والأربعين، ومع مرور أربعين يوماً على استشهاد القائد قاسم سليماني، تحلّ الذكرى الثانية عشرة لرحيل العماد، ويستحق كشف حساب.

خلافاً لما يظنه الكثيرون من دعاة استنساخ ثنائية الدولة والثورة، ولما يظنه المتحدثون عن نفوذ إيراني في المنطقة، أو عن هلال شيعي، أو عن تصدير الثورة، كان المشروع الذي آمن به عماد مغنية ووهبه عمره، هو بناء مقاومة عالمية للهيمنة الأميركية، ومقاومة عربية إسلامية للمشروع الصهيوني، والإيمان بأن هذين المشروعين يلبّيان حاجات إنسانية وأخلاقية ويعبّران عن النظرة التي انطلقت منها القيادة الإيرانية في فهم الإسلام وجعله مرجعاً لها، وثلاثية هذا المشروع، ربط شرعية ومشروعية الجمهورية الإسلامية، أي الدولة، بالقدرة على بناء قاعدة متينة اقتصادياً وعسكرياً وسياسياً لحماية المشروع وتوفير المقدّرات لتقدّمه ونموّه، وجعل المقاومة من اجل فلسطين مشروعاً عابراً للعقائد والقوميات والديانات، والسعي لجبهة عالمية تناهض الأحادية الأميركية في مشروعها للهيمنة الاقتصادية والعسكرية والسياسية على العالم.

كان العماد هو عماد مشروع بناء المقاومة العربية لأجل فلسطين، وكان الحاج قاسم سليماني القاسم المشترك بين خطوط تلاقي المقاومتين العربية والعالمية، وجاء الاجتياح الصهيوني للبنان، كما كل إجراء عدوانيّ مشابهاً تبعته في فلسطين، فرصٌ ينتظرها مشروع المقاومة، لينمو ويكبر ويقدم وصفته ويستقطب المزيد من النخب والشباب ويبني المزيد من الاقتدار، ويخوض المزيد من المواجهات. ونجح عماد نجاحاً منقطع النظير في لبنان وفلسطين، وأسس في سورية، وفي العراق وفي اليمن، وكانت تجارب المواجهة أعوام 1996 و2000 و2006، تظهر النجاح وتؤسس لما بعده. فكانت فلسطين حاضرة في انتفاضتها وتحرير غزة مع عماد مغنية، كما كانت سورية شريكاً في أعوام 1996 و2000 و2006 في لبنان، وكان تأسيس المقاومة في العراق وتحضير اليمن ساحة مقاومة من الإنجازات العظيمة، بينما أسس القائد قاسم سليماني في باكستان وأفغانستان، مستنداً إلى ما كان يبنيه ويرعاه في إيران، وامتدّ نحو تأسيس مشابه للعلاقة بسورية بعلاقة مع روسيا، والصين وفنزويلا وسواها.

منذ رحيل العماد تحمل القائد قاسم سليماني بعضاً من أعباء مهمته، وتحمّل قائد المقاومتين العربية والعالمية السيد حسن نصرالله البعض الآخر، ومع رحيل القائد سليماني صار العبء كله على قائد المقاومتين، لكن أين نحن الآن من المشروع الأصلي؟ والجواب بالانتقال من مرحلة المقاومات المتفرقة إلى جبهة المقاومة الواحدة، تحت شعار واحد يترجم هتاف الموت لأميركا والموت لـ”إسرائيل”، ببرنامج عمل عنوانه، لا بديل عن المقاومة في فلسطين ولأجل فلسطين، بعدما صارت مشاريع التسوية بعضاً من الذكريات، وليس خافياً أن ربط أمن كيان الاحتلال بقبضات المقاومين وليس بتواقيع المهزومين، هو الذي أدّى لليأس الأميركي الإسرائيلي من رهان التسوية للخروج بالتمسك بالجغرافيا طريقاً للأمن بدلاً من مقايضتها بالأمن، الذي لم يعُد يملك منحه للكيان أياً من دعاة التطبيع وجماعات التفاوض والاعتراف. وجاءت صفقة القرن تعبيراً عن هذا التحول، الذي حشد الأمة بمفهومها الواسع والمركّب وراء خيار المقاومة كخيار وحيد. وتلعثم النظام الرسمي وارتبك وفقد الخطاب، واللغة، والدور، وصارت المقاومة سيدة الساحات، وفي المقاومة العالمية صار شعار إخراج الأميركي من المنطقة برنامج عمل للدولة الإيرانية وللمقاومات الموحّدة في محور، وقد أنجزت إيران ما توجب على دولة الاستقلال والتنمية من مقدرات. ومثلما كان رحيل العماد نقطة الانطلاق لتأسيس محور المقاومة وفاء لدوره وقيادته وما أشعل رحيله من مشاعر، جاء تعبيراً عن حاجة موضوعية لتلبية مقتضيات المواجهة، وتوزّع خرائط استثمار المقدرات العسكرية في المواجهات المقبلة، ومثل ذلك شكل رحيل القائد قاسم سليماني نقطة الانطلاق لمشروع عملي بدأ تنفيذه عنوانه تحرير المنطقة من الاحتلال الأميركي، بما هو أبعد من مجرد الوفاء للدماء، إلى طلب جواب يليق بحجم الانتقام عبر جعله الفقرة الرئيسية من برنامج الأهداف التي كانت حياة مغنية وسليماني مرصودة لتحقيقها، وعنوانها طرد المحتل الأميركي من المنطقة، وإنهاء كيان الاحتلال في فلسطين.

خلال أربعين عاماً بلغت إيران ساحة الاشتباك الكبرى بعدما أكملت عدتها، ولم تعد إيران التي كانت قبل الأربعين، كما لم تعُد أميركا كما كانت وقد شاخت وهرمت وهزمت مراراً، ولا عادت “إسرائيل” كما كانت وقد تضعضت أركانها، واهتزّ كيانها، وفي يوم العماد وأربعين سليماني تبدو الأهداف أقرب مما يتخيّل الكثيرون، وبدلاً من أن يكون الاحتلال أشدّ شعوراً بأمنه برحيل القادة هو في حال ذعر من الآتي. والمقاومون والثوار يشعرون العدو بحضورهم في الغياب أشدّ مما يعيش حضورهم في الحياة، اسألوا قادة الكيان وقادة البنتاغون، هل هم أشدّ أمناً بعد اغتيال العماد والقاسم، أم أشد ذعراً وخوفاً ورعباً؟

فيديوات متعلقة

أخبار متعلقة

“Imad Mughniyeh, Qassem Suleimani Masterminded Gaza Tunnels”

January 9, 2020

Representative of Hamas resistance movement in Lebanon Ahmad Abdu Hadi revealed that Hezbollah top commander Hajj Imad Mughniyeh and Commander of IRGC’s Quds Force General Qassem Suleimani had visited Gaza repeatedly and contributed to resistance actions against the Zionist entity in the coastal enclave.

“There are 360-kilometer underground tunnels in Gaza. The idea of these tunnels was introduced by two men: the first was Imad Mughniyeh, while the second was Qassem Suleimani,” Abdul Hadi said in a meeting with journalists on Wednesday.

Martyrs Suleimani and Mughniyeh went repeatedly to Gaza and contributed to the defensive plans by the resistance factions in the besieged strip, Abdul Hadi added.

“Thanks to Suelimani and Mughniyeh the resistance managed to have and produce Kornet rockets and anti-aircraft rockets as well as missiles equipped by three warheads that are capable to reach Tel Aviv.”

Mughniyeh was martyred in a Mossad car bomb attack in the Syrian capital, Damascus, in February 2008. Suleimani was

Source: Al-Manar

Hassan Al-Laqqis: The Man Who Flew Over Palestine

Hassan Al-Laqqis: The Man Who Flew Over Palestine

By Khadija Shokor

It has been five years since the martyrdom of Hajj Hassan al-Laqqis. One of the advantages of having him as a leader was that he was a dreamer, but he also sought “with all his heart” to make his dream come true. He did it. He is a happy martyr, in the immediate sense, having achieved his dream, himself. Along with a group of dreamers, they had to fly away.

The following text will shed light on some of this man’s accomplishments. He, like all the martyrs of the resistance, had (some) of his achievements revealed after his departure. It was his departure that revealed his identity. One of his close friends retells memories of his life. We, the living who have been blessed with the pride the resistance created, owe it to him to honor his memory.

12 men from the “Israeli” Mossad made up the group assigned to a mission in the southern suburbs of Beirut on December 4, 2013. The objective was the assassination of Hezbollah leader Hassan al-Laqqis, who had become an extraordinary threat to the enemy.

Two members of the group were tasked with the actual killing, while the remaining 10 were assigned the roles of implementation, transport and surveillance. The degree of danger that the man’s work posed to the enemy was illustrated by the great deal of risk it undertook by sending this type of group.

“I arrived home and they told me that Hajj Hassan had called me minutes earlier. When I was about to get back to him, his personal bodyguard called me to tell me that Hajj’s concierge informed him that someone had shot Hajj Hassan,” a friend of the martyr recalled with anguish.

Five years have passed but the scenes from that night are still enshrined in this friend’s mind.

“I arrived to find him leaning on the door of the car, smiling as blood flowed from his head. I approached and found the pistol in his other hand,” he said.

The 50-year-old man gets on memory lane and goes back to the beginning of his relationship with Hajj Hassan.

“He returned from Africa in 1978, and since then we have been friends,” he recalls.

This friend insists that excellence was Hajj Hassan’s quality from a young age.

“He was exceptional on all levels. He excelled in his studies. He was refined in his manners. He was constantly ambitious. I remember when we finished high school, Hassan learned that there was an institute offering computer courses in Gefinor.  He was quick to register although this field was not known at the time. Ever since he was little, he liked to know everything new in technology and development. So much so that he preferred to buy new technological magazines and equipment rather than the basics,” the friend explains.

Anyone you ask about Hajj Hassan’s qualities would tell you, and Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah confirmed as much in his speech that he was “a hard and diligent worker, well mannered, loving and creative. He was one of the brilliant and distinctive minds of this resistance.”

Sayyed Nasrallah knew Hajj Hassan very well, describing him as “a beloved brother, companion and a close friend since we were young men in the city of Baalbek.”

Baalbek was the city where Sayyed settled after returning from Iraq in late 1979 to complete his studies at a seminary founded by Sayyed Abbas al-Musawi. At the time, the relationship between the two young men was centered around the mosque. Later, when Sayyed became the cultural leader of the Amal movement in Baalbek, Hajj Hassan joined him. That was in 1980. He stayed close to him during that period. When Sayyed’s life was threatened because of his positions and speeches he delivered on the platforms in Baalbek, Hajj Hassan insisted on accompanying him to those events. He also insisted on staying with him during that time in case of any security risks that Sayyed faced. Since then, their friendship grew, developed and never ceased.

One of Hajj Hassan’s friends recalls how they and a group of young men accompanied Sayyed on the day of the “Israeli” invasion, trying to mobilize people against the enemy. They passed through the city of Baalbek and chanted: Death to America ??and Death to “Israel”.

Not only were they friends, they were also partners when the resistance movement was born. Even when Sayyed moved to Beirut, the two kept in touch both professionally and socially.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard came to Lebanon. It organized military training courses for young people to resist the occupation. Hajj Hassan rushed to join the first of these courses. Later, he worked at the Revolutionary Guards’ Staff Office. He was in direct contact with most Iranian officials as a result of his work. And because he had a quick-wit by nature, he quickly became fluent in Farsi. He saw most of Sayyed’s meetings with the leaders of the Revolutionary Guard. This gave him extensive experience and broader relationships.

With the “Israeli” occupation being limited to the South and western Bekaa and the jihadist operations concentrated there, Hajj Hassan made several field visits in those areas. He participated in qualitative operations, most notably the storming of “Israeli” positions, such as the one against the “Tomat Niha” site in 1988.

His fight against the enemy allowed him to notice some of the obstacles and problems the Mujahideen faced on the battlefield. He sought solutions to overcome these issues. He began working on the Signal Weapon, exerting a lot of effort to develop it through the introduction of modifications. The effects of these modifications emerged in the communication system – both wireless and wired.  He also paid attention to the latest technological developments in security and military spheres.

He did not spare any opportunity to take advantage of everything new that can benefit the resistance. For this purpose he always sought to bring as much of the advanced technology as possible and make use of it for the resistance. He became the primary reference for technology to the entire resistance leadership. He was a diligent and hard worker. He participated in choosing the resistance’s missile arsenal and developed it. He expanded his research in this field until he became the first advisor to the military leadership every time it was presented with new weapons.

Later, the challenges grew, especially after the resistance grew stronger and the enemy’s precautionary methods intensified. He continued to propose ideas and solutions to face the challenges on land and the difficulties of land barriers, until he began to think about how to use the sky to face the difficulties on land.

“I used to make fun of him,” says Hajj Hassan’s friend. “Every time I entered, I would find him trying to assemble wooden pieces and install them on a small motor. I would ask him: Do you expect these pieces to take off? He would answer me with confidence:

it will not only take off, I will make it capture images. You don’t know. I might make it carry a weapon in the future.”

That idea was born in 1988. That was when the ambitious young man, who did not believe in the existence of “impossible”, decided to breach the sky.

He first started from his small room. He bought a lathe, collected simple motors, pasted them together with wooden pieces, and then tried to make them fly.

One, two, dozens of failed attempts. But finally he succeeded in making one of those designs fly. With his humble but persuasive manner, he managed to turn this idea into a conviction among the leaders and officials. This would later be known as the Air Force Unit of the Islamic Resistance.

It was not an easy journey. Every achievement cost Hajj Hassan and his team a lot of studying, planning, programming and working day and night. They were keen on readiness and development because they believed that the technological battle with the enemy would not end. This task cost a lot of time, effort and even souls. The names of the pioneers of that stage were not revealed except for those who were martyred, including Hajj Hassan, Hussein Ayoub and Jamil Skaf. The latter two excelled in this field, and both were martyred while they were taking part in developing it.

Sacrifice, for them, was not a hindrance. It was an incentive to continue. Therefore, Hajj Hassan continued to work on the development of drones. For this purpose he visited the aircraft factories in Iran. He attended many of the workshops there and met with many specialists in this field to benefit from their experience in developing domestic Iranian aircraft.

He never stopped looking for new developments worldwide in a bid to take advantage of any advances in his field.

Among the “Israelis” his work earned Hajj Hassan al-Laqqis the label of an officer in the existing war of minds against the resistance. This drove the “Israelis” to attempt to assassinate him in the early 1990s. A bomb was planted near his home in Baalbek, according to the martyr’s friend.

“He was returning to his house, and could not overtake a bulldozer driving in front of him. And then he turned right to overtake it. At that moment, a large explosion was heard on the other side,” the friend said.

The enemy was wrong to think that the assassination attempts would weaken al-Laqqis’ determination. After that incident, he returned to work in both the missile and aerial fields with greater focus, expanding the realm even further.

After the “Israeli” defeat in Lebanon in 2000, his work broadened. The drones or what was known as the air force unit had several factories. He managed them with a team he chose and trained carefully. Sayyed Nasrallah visited those factories periodically, being updated on their developments. The leaders of operations soon demanded the participation of these aircraft in their military operations due to their contribution in guaranteeing success.

Over the past years, the aircraft became the resistance’s powerful eye in the sky, both before and during the military operations. This was only some of what Hajj Hassan planned. The effects of this activity emerged clearly during the July 2006 war. At that time, the enemy returned to stalk this commander, who had worried them for many years. The “Israelis” took advantage of the outbreak of the war to try to assassinate him again. The “Israelis” confirmed this themselves.

“I was busy with my work,” said his close friend. “Hajj Imad Mughniyeh called me and told me that he had just seen Hajj Hassan on television during a live broadcast after a building had been destroyed in Shiyah. He asked me to go to him and tell him to leave the area.”

The friend continues, “when I arrived, I learned that he was trying to search the rubble for his 18-year-old son Ali, who was in the building. The martyr later told me that he went to the building to deliver a bag to his son. But shortly after he left, the “Israeli” aircraft struck the building and destroyed it.” His son was martyred.

“He was dauntless despite the loss,” his friend said. “He left the place and continued working hard and firm. We even noticed this firmness when we accompanied him to see his martyred son in the hospital three days after the aggression. He quickly bid him farewell and went back to his work with determination until the end of the war.”

The war ended, and al-Laqqis’ ghost kept haunting the “Israelis” who could not weaken his determination, not even by killing his son or destroying his home. He immediately returned, even before rebuilding his home, to pursue his work in airspace.

After the July 2006 war, work on drones was accelerated in light of the outcome of the war. Hajj took advantage of the scientific developments and the resistance’s existing capabilities to find new models and meet the emerging needs after the war.

The drones did not only operate within the resistance in Lebanon. In Syria, for example, they were credited with assisting most of the confrontations that took place. The al-Qusayr battle is one of the most prominent pieces of evidence.

The martyr’s friend tells us that the latter showed him a video how these drones were operating during the battle. They took pictures, which were directly transmitted to the command room. The command room in return contacted the field group and informed it about the details of the place and the positions of the militants. The drones reduced the loss of lives and helped in the success of the operation as a result of the accumulation of knowledge.

The martyr’s friend added,

“after the battle of al-Qusayr, the martyr informed me of a new plan, which aimed at arming the aircraft, enabling us to use it in filming and bombing. He reminded me of how he told me about this goal since the beginning.”

“Indeed, after a short period of time, he returned and played a video showing the success of a maneuver in which this plan was carried out,” the friend added.

Hajj Hassan was martyred, but his thoughts, approach and the fruits of his labor live on, with the same strength and determination. His team continued to make advances in his work and achievements. The effects of this work spread beyond Syria. Until today, Hajj Hassan has not really been known. Not by friend or foe. But some of his achievements will be revealed in the coming war, through the air force and the Islamic Resistance’s drones when the headlines read: “the resistance’s drones attack “Israel”.”

Source: Al-Akhbar Newspaper, Translated by website team

حسّان اللقيس: الرجل الذي حلّق… فوق فلسطين

خديجة شكر

السبت 8 كانون الأول 2018

خمس سنوات على استشهاد الحاج حسّان اللقيس. ميزة هذا القائد أنّه كان حالماً، لكن أيضاً، مع ميزة إضافيّة، أنّه كان يسعى «بكلّ روحه» لأن يُصبح حلمه حقيقة. لقد فعلها. هو شهيد سعيد، بالمعنى المباشر هنا، إذ حقّق حلمه، بنفسه، ومعه ثلّة مِن الحالمين أيضاً، فكان لهم أن يُحلّقوا… بعيداً. في النص الآتي بعض مِن آثار هذا الرجل، الذي، كسائر شهداء المقاومة، لم تُكشف (بعض) آثاره إلا بعد رحيله، بل لم يُعرَف إلا برحيله.

هنا بعض من ذكريات صديق مقرّب له، تحكي بعض سيرته، وذلك كبعض مِن حقّه علينا، نحن الأحياء، الذي نعمنا وننعم بعزّة صنعتها لنا تلك المقاومة.

12 رجلاً من «الموساد» الإسرائيلي، هم طاقم المجموعة التي أوكلت إليها المهمة، ليل 3 – 4 كانون الأول 2013، في الضاحية الجنوبية لبيروت. الهدف: اغتيال القيادي في حزب الله حسان اللقيس، الذي بات خطراً، فوق العادة، على العدو.

تولى اثنان من أفراد المجموعة مهمة القتل المباشر، بينما توزعت أدوار التنفيذ والنقل والمراقبة على العشرة الباقين. مستوى الخطر الذي بات يحيط بالعدو جراء عمل الرجل ودوره، يوضحه مستوى المجازفة التي أقدم عليها بإرساله لهذا النوع من المجموعات. يتذكر صديق للشهيد، بشيء من اللوعة: «وصلتُ إلى المنزل، فأخبروني أنّ الحاج حسان اتصل بي منذ دقائق. وحين كنت أهمّ بمعاودة الاتصال به، هاتفني مرافقه الشخصي ليخبرني أنّ ناطور البناية التي يسكنها الحاج اتصل به ليعلمه أنّ أحداً ما قد أطلق النار على الحاج حسان». خمس سنوات مرت، ولا يغيب عن خاطر هذا الصديق ذلك المشهد: «وصلت لأجده مستنداً إلى باب السيارة، مبتسماً وخيوط الدم تسيل من رأسه… اقتربت فوجدت المسدس في يده الأخرى».

هو صاحب فكرة الطائرات المسيّرة عن بُعد التي أسست لوحدة القوة الجويّة في حزب الله

تعود الذاكرة بالرجل الخمسيني إلى بداية علاقته بالحاج حسان: «عاد من أفريقيا، في العام 1978، ومنذ ذلك الوقت ونحن أصدقاء». يجزم هذا الصديق أن التميّز كان عنوان الحاج حسان منذ الصغر: «كان متميزاً على جميع الأصعدة، إنْ كان بتفوقه العلميّ، أو بدماثة أخلاقه، أو بطموحه الدائم التجدد. أذكر، حين أنهينا دراستنا الثانوية، يوم علم حسان بوجود معهد في الجيفينور لدراسة الكومبيوتر. سارع إلى التسجيل، مع أن هذا المجال لم يكن معروفاً حينها، إلا أنه كان يحب الاطلاع على كل ما هو جديد ضمن اختصاصات التكنولوجيا والتطور منذ صغره. لدرجة أنه كان يفضل شراء المجلات التكنولوجية والمعدات الجديدة، على حساب حاجاته الخاصة».

يُخبرك كل من تسأله عن صفات الحاج حسان تلك، ويؤكد هذا الكلام السيد حسن نصرالله حين وصفه في خطابه: «هو العامل المُجد والدؤوب… والمؤدّب الخلوق والمحب، وأيضاً المبدع، أحد العقول المميّزة واللامعة في هذه المقاومة».

السيد نصرالله الذي عرف الحاج حسان بحق، فقال عنه: «كان أخاً وحبيباً وأنيساً وقريباً وصديقاً منذ أن كنا شباباً صغاراً في مدينة بعلبك». بعلبك، تلك المدينة التي كانت مستقر السيد حين عاد من العراق، في أواخر العام 1979، ليكمل الدراسة في الحوزة التي أسسها السيد عباس الموسوي هناك. يومها كانت العلاقة بين الشابين «علاقة مسجد». لاحقاً، وحين أصبح السيد هو المسؤول الثقافي لحركة أمل في بعلبك، انضم إليه الحاج حسان. كان ذلك في العام 1980. بقي قريباً منه في تلك الفترة. يوم وصل تهديد للسيد بالقتل، جراء مواقفه وكلامه على منابر بعلبك، أصر الحاج حسان على مرافقته إلى المناسبات التي بقي يلقي فيها السيد تلك الكلمات. كما أصر على النوم عنده في تلك الفترة، تحسباً لأي عمل أمني كان يمكن أن يتعرّض له السيد. ومذاك توطدت أواصر هذه الصداقة التي استمرت وتطورت ولم تنقطع بعدها. يذكر أحد أصدقاء الحاج حسان كيف رافقا السيد مع مجموعة أخرى من الشباب يوم بدء الاجتياح الإسرائيلي، محاولين تعبئة الناس وتحريضهم ضد العدو، وذلك بالقيام بجولات في أنحاء مدينة بعلبك. كانوا يُردّدون: «الموت لأمريكا» و«الموت لإسرائيل». لم يكونا صديقين فحسب، بل كانا شريكين في الانطلاقات الأولى لحركة المقاومة، وحتى حين انتقل السيد إلى مدينة بيروت بقي الشابان على تواصلهما الودي والعملي.

استشهد ابن اللقيس عام 2006 في المبنى الذي قصفته الطائرات الإسرائيلية في الشيّاح

مع وصول الحرس الثوري الإيراني إلى لبنان، وتنظيمه دورات عسكرية للشباب بهدف مقاومة الاحتلال، سارع الحاج حسّان للانضمام إلى أولى تلك الدورات. لاحقاً، انتقل للعمل في مكتب قيادة الأركان التابع للحرس الثوري. كان على تماس مباشر مع معظم المسؤولين الإيرانيين نتيجة عمله، ولأنه بطبعه كان سريع البداهة، اكتسب اللغة الفارسية بطلاقة وبسرعة. كان يشهد، بحكم موقعه العملي، معظم لقاءات السيد مع قيادات الحرس، وذلك ما أكسبه خبرة واسعة وعلاقات أوسع.

مع انحسار الاحتلال الإسرائيلي في الجنوب والبقاع الغربي، وتركز العمليات الجهادية هناك، كان للحاج حسان عدة مشاركات ميدانية في تلك المناطق. شارك في عمليات نوعية، أبرزها اقتحام مواقع إسرائيلية، كاقتحام موقع «تومات نيحا» (عام 1988).

قتاله للعدوّ في ساحات الجهاد جعله يلحظ بعض العقبات والمشاكل، التي كانت تواجه المجاهدين في الميدان، فما كان منه إلا أن سعى لاجتراح الحلول لتخطيها. بدأ من سلاح الإشارة، الذي عمل جاهداً لتطويره من خلال استحداث تعديلات برزت آثارها في المنظومتين السلكية واللاسلكية (الاتصالات)، مروراً باهتمامه بكل ما استجد في عالم التكنولوجيا الأمنية منها والعسكرية، وذلك مِن خلال اطلاعه الدائم على التطور المتسارع حول العالم. لم يكن يوفر أي فرصة لاستغلال كل جديد يمكنه أن يفيد المقاومة. لهذا الهدف سعى دوماً لاستقدام ما أمكنه مِن التكنولوجيا المتطورة، ووضعها بتصرف الجسم المقاوم، حتى بات لاحقاً هو «المرجع التكنولوجي» الأول لدى جميع قيادات المقاومة. هو صاحب العمل الدؤوب، كمشارك، في انتخاب الترسانة الصاروخية وتطويرها لدى المقاومة. توسع في بحوثه على هذا الصعيد، حتى بات المستشار الأول لدى القيادة العسكرية في كل مرة يعرض عليها أسلحة جديدة.
لاحقاً، كبرت التحديات، خصوصاً بعد أن استعرت المقاومة واشتدت أساليب العدوّ الاحترازية. دأب على اقتراح الأفكار وإيجاد الحلول لمواجهة تحديات البرّ وصعوبات الموانع الأرضيّة، إلى أن بدأ بالتفكر في كيفية الاستفادة من السماء لمواجهة صعوبات الأرض. «كنت أسخر منه»، يقول صديق الحاج حسان، قبل أن يُتابع: «في كل مرة أدخل عليه وأجده يحاول تركيب القطع الخشبية وتثبيتها بموتور صغير، كنت أسأله: هل تتوقع أن هذه القطع ستستطيع الإقلاع؟ كان يجيبني ضاحكاً، إنما بكل ثقة: لن تقلع فقط، سوف أجعلها تُصوّر، وما يدريك قد أجعلها تحمل سلاحاً في ما بعد».

إذاً، تلك الفكرة انطلقت بالأساس في عام 1988. كان ذلك حينما قرر الشاب الطموح، الذي لم يكن يؤمن بوجود «المستحيل» أو «غير الممكن»… أن يقتحم السماء.
بدأ أولاً من غرفته الصغيرة، اشترى مخرطة، وكان يجمع «موتورات» بسيطة، يلصق بها قطعاً خشبية، ثم يُحاول أن يجعلها تطير.

محاولة، محاولتان، عشرات المحاولات الفاشلة، وينجح أخيراً في جعل إحدى تلك التصاميم تُحلّق. هنا، وبأسلوبه المتواضع المقنع المتين، استطاع أن يحوّل هذه الفكرة إلى قناعة عند القيادات والمسؤولين، قبل أن يُترجم ذلك إلى ما سيُعرف لاحقاً بـ«وحدة القوة الجويّة للمقاومة الإسلاميّة».

هذا المسار لم يكن سهلاً، فكل إنجاز فيه كان يكلّف الحاج حسان، ومعه فريق العمل الذي شكّله لاحقاً، الكثير من الدراسة والتخطيط والبرمجة والعمل في الليل والنهار. كانوا يحرصون على الجاهزية والاستعداد والتطوير، ذلك لأنهم آمنوا بأن المعركة التكنولوجية مع العدو لن تنتهي. كلّف هذا العمل الكثير من التضحية بالوقت والجهد، وصولاً إلى الأنفس. لم تُكشَف أسماء رواد تلك المرحلة، باستثناء الذين استشهدوا منهم، وهم، إلى جانب الحاج حسان، حسين أيوب وجميل سكاف. هذان كانا من الذين برعوا في ذاك المجال، وكانت شهادتهما وهما يشاركان في تطويره.

التضحية، عند هؤلاء، لم تكن عائقاً. كانت حافزاً للاستمرار، ولذا، تابع الحاج حسان العمل على تطوير الطائرات المُسيّرة عن بُعد. لهذا الهدف زار معامل الطائرات في إيران. حضر العديد من المناورات هناك، والتقى الكثير من الإيرانيين المختصين في هذا الشأن، كي يستفيد من خبراتهم لتطوير النُسخ التي كان توصل إليها. لم يتوقف يوماً عن البحث عن كل جديد، على المستوى العالمي، للاستفادة من أي تطور تكنولوجي يخصّ عمله.

هذا العمل دفع بالإسرائيليين إلى أن يعدّوا الحاج حسان اللقيس أحد ضباط حرب الأدمغة، القائمة، على أكثر من صعيد، بينهم وبين المقاومة. هذا ما جعل الإسرائيلي يحاول اغتياله في مطلع التسعينات. يومها، جرى زرع عبوة قرب منزله في بعلبك، بحسب صديق الشهيد، حيث «كان عائداً إلى منزله، واعترضت طريقه جرافة، فأراد تجاوزها، لكنه لم يستطع. ثم اتجه يميناً، بهدف تخطيها، وفي تلك اللحظة دوّى انفجار كبير عند الناحية الأخرى». أخطأ العدو حين اعتقد أن محاولات اغتيال اللقيس ستضعف عزيمته، إذ عاد بعد تلك الحادثة لمتابعة عمله على الصعيدين، الصاروخي والجوي، بقوة أكثر، مع توسعة الأطر أكثر.

بعد الاندحار الإسرائيلي عن لبنان، عام 2000، أصبح عمله أوسع وصار للطائرات المسيّرة عن بُعد، أو ما يعرف بوحدة القوة الجوية، عدة معامل يديرها مع الفريق الذي اختاره ودرّبه بعناية. كان السيد نصرالله يزور تلك المعامل في شكل دوري، فيطلع على تطوراتها، كما إن قادة العمليات باتوا يطالبون بإشراك تلك الطائرات في عملياتهم العسكرية، وذلك لما كانت تعود به من فائدة على مستوى نجاح العمليات.

على مدى كل تلك السنين، كانت الطائرات المُسيّرة عن بُعد هي العين الجوية النافذة للمقاومة، قبيل أعمالها العسكرية وخلالها، ولم يكن هذا إلا بعض ما كان يُخطط له الحاج حسان. ظهرت آثار هذا النشاط بوضوح خلال حرب تموز 2006. آنذاك عاد العدو ليتربص بهذا القائد، الذي أقلقه لسنوات طوال، فاستغل اندلاع الحرب ليحاول اغتياله مجدداً. لقد ورد ذلك على لسان الإسرائيليين. يقول صديقه المقرّب: «كنت منهمكاً في عملي. هاتفني الحاج عماد مغنية ليخبرني أنه رأى للتو الحاج حسان على التلفاز، خلال النقل المباشر إثر تدمير مبنى في منطقة الشياح، وطلب مني الذهاب إليه وإخباره ضرورة ابتعاده عن المكان». ويتابع الصديق: «علمت حين وصلت أنه كان يحاول البحث بين الأنقاض عن ولده علي (18 سنة)، الذي كان موجوداً في المبنى. قال لي الشهيد لاحقاً إنه كان حضر إلى المبنى لإيصال حقيبة لولده، لكن وبعيد مغادرته المكان أغار الطيران الإسرائيلي على المبنى فدمره». استشهد ابنه. يذكر محدّثنا: «كان جسوراً على رغم الفقد، غادر المكان وعاد يتابع عمله المطلوب بصلابة وقوة. لاحظنا هذه الصلابة حتى حين رافقناه لرؤية ولده الشهيد في المستشفى، بعد ثلاثة أيام من العدوان، فودّعه سريعاً عائداً إلى عمله بعزم حتى نهاية الحرب».

حاول الإسرائيليون اغتياله بزرع عبوة في مطلع التسعينات وأخرى أثناء الحرب عام 2006

انتهت الحرب، وبقي شبح اللقيس يلاحق الإسرائيلي الذي لم يستطع لا بقتله لولده، ولا بتدميره لمنازله أن يثبط ولو جزءاً من عزيمة هذا الرجل. فقد عاد فوراً، وحتى قبل إعادة بناء منزله، لمتابعة عمله في المجال الجوي. بعد حرب تموز 2006، أخذ العمل في الطائرات المسيّرة عن بُعد منحىً تصاعدياً في ضوء نتائج الحرب. فعمل الحاج مستفيداً من التطورات العلمية والقدرات الموجودة بيد المقاومة ليخلص إلى نماذج جديدة تلبي الحاجات المستجدة بعد الحرب.

لم يقتصر عمل الطائرات المسيّرة عن بُعد على المقاومة في لبنان، ففي سوريا مثلاً، كان لها الفضل في معظم المواجهات التي حصلت. وتعدّ معركة القصير من أبرز الشواهد على ذلك.
يخبرنا صديق الشهيد أن الأخير عرض عليه بعد معركة القصير فيلماً يظهر كيف كانت تلك الطائرات تعمل في أثناء المعركة، حيث كانت تصور، فتنتقل الصورة مباشرة إلى غرفة القيادة، والتي كانت بدورها تتواصل مع المجموعة الميدانية، فتطلعهم على تفاصيل المكان وتكشف لهم أماكن تواجد المسلحين. كان ذلك يخفف من زهق الأرواح ويساعد على نجاح العملية نتيجة تراكم المعرفة. يضيف صديق الشهيد: «بعد معركة القصير، أطلعني الشهيد على مخطط جديد، يهدف إلى تسليح الطائرة مما يمكننا أن نستعملها في التصوير ثم القصف. وذكرني كيف أنه أخبرني بهذا الهدف في البدايات». يتابع صديق الشهيد: «وفعلاً، بعد مدة بسيطة، عاد فعرض لي فيديو يظهر نجاح المناورة التي نفذ فيها هذا المخطط».

استشهد الحاج حسان، لكن فكره ونهجه وثمار عمله استمر حتى يومنا هذا، بالقوة والعزيمة ذاتهما، وتابع الفريق تطوير أعماله وإنجازاته. وامتدت آثار هذا العمل بعد سوريا. وحتى الآن، لم يُعرف الحاج حسّان على حقيقته لا من قبل العدوّ ولا الصديق، لكن ستكشف بعض آثاره في الحرب المقبلة، من خلال القوة الجويّة والمسيّرات التابعة للمقاومة الإسلامية، حين تتصدر وسائل الإعلام مقولة «طيران المقاومة يغير على… إسرائيل».

The Woman Who Raised Heroes

The Woman Who Raised Heroes

Hussein Samawarchi

This is, by far, one of the most eventful weeks for the media this year. The ongoing discussions of the speeches made at the United Nations shook the world of news analysts with praise for leaders like Presidents Hasan Rouhani [Iran] and Michel Aoun [Lebanon], and, mockery for substandard performers like [“Israeli” Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and [US President Donald] Trump. There was also the mystery roaming around the Khashoggi affair which has had everyone making speculations as to how much will Erdogan take for hushing up the matter. Mohammed bin Salman had his pilot terrorists target a hospital in Yemen and then families running away from his bombs. And, news of the execution of unarmed Palestinian protestors by Zionist forces made the headlines as well.

All of the above plus coverage of Hurricane Michael could not divert attention from two women who also made the news. They are both best known for their positions on heritage and the oppressed of the world. One defended her heritage with everything dear to her heart and the other did everything she could to deny her own. One gave her three sons and a grandson to the cause of the oppressed while the other strives to have the children and grandchildren of the oppressed massacred.

The first is Aminah Salameh who is better known as Hajjeh EUm Imad Mughniyeh; she is identified as The Mother of Martyrs. A title well deserved because of the number of times she had to attend the funerals of her beloved children who achieved martyrdom in the course of defending their homeland against the invading Zionist terrorists and their Takfiri partners who attempted to break down the last Arab country standing against imperialism.

Hajjeh Um Imad waged war against evil by educating her sons about the necessity of loving their country as much as she loved them; and, a mother’s love is so immense that the greatest poets have not, yet, been able to describe it in words. That is how much her children loved their country.
She also raised them to be proud of their identity and to defend it vigorously; the identity that derives its roots from the teachings of Imam Hussein (AS) – protecting justice and defending those who are oppressed even when the enemy is superior in numbers and arms.

But that is not the only reason why she gained the title The Mother of Martyrs. People bestowed this honor on her for the role she had in motivating others. She never allowed the loss of her beloved children to break her down. That is because she did not see it as a loss. Every time the flag of her country soared higher into the sky because of the martyrdom of one of her sons, her pride grew.

In a culture where the woman is regarded as a leader, Hajjeh Em Imad carried the banner of our Lady Zeinab (AS) with all that it signifies, from strength to sacrifice to victory.

The other woman who made the news during the same time is Nimrata Randhawa, US Ambassador to the United Nations. People may know her better as Nikki Haley.  She announced her resignation this week.

Independent news outlets are still trying to pinpoint the real reason for the decision, but talk of a corruption scandal has begun circulating. Other analysts speak of a higher role being assigned to her in the Zionist deep state that comes as a token of appreciation for her shameless public support of killing Arabs where possible. She would be prepared to win the US presidential elections of 2024 and the American public would be prepared for “Israel’s” flag to fly over the White House instead of the Star-Spangled Banner.

A lot of women choose to keep their maiden names after marriage, but Nimrata did not only drop it, she dropped the first name her parents gave her as well. She changed it to Nikki in an attempt to delete everything that links her to her real heritage. How can a person who denies her own identity be expected to uphold the identity of her country? Perhaps, that is why she is dubbed “Israel’s” Ambassador to the UN instead of the ambassador of the country paying her salary.

The two women are, indeed, at opposite ends of the ethical spectrum.

As much as it saddens the heart to see Hajjeh Um Imad leave us, something very comforting could not escape the eye when watching the coverage of her farewell proceedings. The sheer number of women, young and old, participating and paying tribute to The Mother of Martyrs can only assure us that her legacy of raising patriotic heroes will go on.

She is now with Jihad, Fouad, Imad, and young Jihad, telling them how proud she is of them and ensuring them that with so many mothers raising children like she has, victory is certain for the oppressed.

Source: Al-Ahed News

The full text of Khamenei.ir’s interview with Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah

sayyed hassan

Source

October 03, 2019

Nasrallah

Masseer Especial Journal, which belongs to Khamenei.ir, has conducted an interview with Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah, the Secretary-General of Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which is published for the first time. The following is part one of the interview:

I would like to start the interview by asking you how the situation in the region was, at the time when the Islamic Revolution became victorious. How was the situation in the West Asian region? Particularly given that one of the important dimensions of the Islamic Revolution is its regional and international implications, what changes occurred in the regional equations following the Islamic Revolution and what events have we witnessed? With the Islamic Revolution gaining victory, what took place in the region in general and in Lebanon in particular?

In the name of God the Beneficent, the Merciful. First, I would like to welcome you. If we go back to the past and observe the developments, we will find that, very shortly before the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, a very significant incident took place in the region, namely the withdrawal of the Arab Republic of Egypt from the Arab-Israeli conflict and the signing of the Camp David Treaty. This event—due to the important and effective role of Egypt in the aforementioned conflict—had a very dangerous impact on the region as well as on the Arab-Israeli confrontation over the issue of Palestine and the future of Palestine.

After that incident, in the first place, it seemed that the confrontation was going on largely in favor of Israel. This was mainly because other Arab countries and Palestinian resistance groups were not able to confront major powers without the help of Egypt at that time. So, firstly, the occurrence of such an incident led to the emergence of a deep division among Arab countries.

Secondly, you remember that at the time, there was a US-led Western bloc opposing the USSR. Therefore, there existed a split in our region: the gap between the countries associated with the Soviet Union—that is, the Eastern bloc—and the countries depending on the United States, the Western bloc. Accordingly, we could see a deep divide among the Arab countries in the region, and this gap had devastating consequences for the nations and of course, also had an impact on the Arab-Israeli conflict. At the time, the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States essentially affected our region and its developments.

In the case of Lebanon, it should be said that Lebanon is also part of this region, and thus, it has been severely affected by its developments, including Israeli actions, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the divisions in the region. At that time, Lebanon faced domestic problems as well, and was suffering from the civil war. The Israeli enemy occupied parts of southern Lebanon in 1978, that is one year before the Islamic Revolution, and then created a security zone called the “border strip” on the Lebanese-Palestinian borders. The Israeli enemy, through this security zone, continued its daily aggression against Lebanon, its cities, villages and people. Indeed, we faced a very serious problem: the Israeli occupation in parts of southern Lebanon and its daily aggressions. Israeli warplanes and their artillery bombed southern Lebanon; abduction operations and multiple explosions by the Zionist regime continued in its worst form, and people were displaced following these brutal acts. These events also took place between 1977 and 1979; that is, not long before the victory of the Islamic Revolution.

Did they use the Palestinian presence in Lebanon as the pretext?

Yes; the Israelis objected the existence of Palestinian resistance and operations carried out by Palestinians. However, this was just an excuse because Israeli’s runs of aggressions in southern Lebanon began in 1948, when Palestinian resistance was not present in southern Lebanon. Palestinian resistance set base in southern Lebanon in the late 60s and early 1970s, especially after the events in Jordan and the arrival of Palestinian groups from Jordan in Lebanon.

It was in those circumstances that the Islamic Revolution of Iran gained victory. This victory came at a time when an atmosphere of despair was dominant in the Arab and Muslim world and concern for the future was widespread. Egypt’s withdrawal from the Arab-Israeli conflict and the signature of the Camp David Treaty, the imposition of a humiliating political process on the Palestinians and Arabs, as well as the weakness of the rulers of the Arab countries all provoked the despair, grief, hopelessness, disappointment, and worry for the future at that time. Therefore, the victory of the Islamic Revolution of Iran in such an environment, revived the lost hopes in the region and among the nations to begin with, particularly the Palestinian and Lebanese people.

This victory (the victory of the Islamic Revolution) also brought about the resurgence of the hopes of a nation that had been cornered by the existence of Israel. Because the position of Imam Khomeini (Q.S. – May his spirit be blessed) regarding the Zionist project, the necessity of the liberation of Palestine, and standing shoulder to shoulder with Palestinian resistance groups was clear from the beginning. Imam Khomeini (r.a) believed in supporting the people of Palestine, liberating every inch of the land, and obliteration of the Israeli entity as a usurping regime in the region. Therefore, the victory of the Islamic Revolution of Iran created a growing hope for the future and increased a hundred fold the moral and motivation of the supporters of the resistance as well as the resistance groups in the region.

The victory of the Islamic Revolution also created a balance of power in the region. Egypt fled the fight against Israel and the Islamic Republic of Iran entered. Therefore, the balance of power in the Arab-Israeli conflict was restored, and for this reason, the resistance project in the region entered a new historical phase. This was the starting point for the Islamic movement and jihad in the Arab and Muslim world and among Shi’as and Sunnis alike.

Imam Khomeini (Q.S.) introduced several mottos regarding various subjects such as the question of Palestine, Islamic unity, Resistance, facing and confronting the United States of America, stability and sustainability, trust and confidence of nations in God and in themselves, revival of faith in one’s own power when confronting the arrogant powers and towards the realization of victory. Undoubtedly, these mottos had a very positive and direct impact on the situation in the region at that time.

In addition to the general atmosphere created by the Islamic Revolution and the new spirit that Imam [Khomeini (r.a)] inspired in the hearts of the people of the region, resurrecting the resistance, what memory do you specifically have of Imam Khomeini and his stances regarding the resistance in Lebanon and by Hezbollah?

Yes, in the year 1982. If we want to talk about it, we should consider the liberation of Khorramshahr in Iran. The Israelis were deeply concerned about the war between Iran and Iraq, or Saddam’s imposed war against Iran. For this reason, after the liberation of Khorramshahr, the Israelis decided to attack Lebanon. Of course, this action had its own root causes, and there was a profound connection between the victories in the Iranian front and the Israeli aggression against Lebanon. This was how the Israelis entered Lebanon, Beqaa region, Mount Lebanon Governorate, and Beirut suburbs. At that time, a group of scholars, brothers and fighters had decided to form the Islamic Resistance and establish the Islamic-Jihadi foundation of [the movement of] Resistance, corresponding to the aftermath of Israeli invasion.

By then, Israel had not penetrated in all of Lebanon and had only reached about half of Lebanon—that is 40% of Lebanon’s total area. 100,000 Israeli soldiers entered Lebanon. They brought with them American, French, English and Italian multinational forces on the pretext of maintaining peace. Meanwhile, there were militias in Lebanon who were involved with and collaborated with the Israelis. By pointing to these facts, I mean to picture how very, very bad the situation was at that time.

Subsequently, a group of scholars (ulema), believers, and Mujahid brothers decided to launch a new movement for Jihad in the name of Islamic Resistance, which shortly afterwards was renamed “Hezbollah.” The formation of this front coincided with the decision of Imam Khomeini (Q.S.) to send Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) forces to Syria and Lebanon to oppose and confront Israeli aggression. Initially, the intention was for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps troops to fight alongside Syrian forces as well as Lebanese and Palestinian resistance groups. But after some time the scope of Israeli attacks became limited, so this was no longer a classic battlefield, and the need for resistance operations by popular groups was felt more than ever.

It was at that time that Imam Khomeini (QS) replaced the mission of direct confrontation by the IRGC and Iranian forces, who had come to Syria and Lebanon, by offering help and providing military training to Lebanese youth, so that they—i.e. the Lebanese youth themselves—would be able to deal with the occupiers and carry out resistance operations. This is the first [of Imam Khomeini’s positions].

Therefore, the mission of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps forces in Syria, as well as the Lebanese Beqaa region—in Baalbek, Hermel and Janta, that is, where there were training bases—was changed to providing military training to the Lebanese youth. They taught the Lebanese youths the methods of warfare and provided them with logistic support. The mere presence of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Lebanon at that time gave the Lebanese youth and Resistance groups a purpose and a high spirit to stand up to Israel.

As I said earlier, it was decided that a large group would be formed and nine representatives were selected on behalf of the pro-resistance brothers, including the martyr Sayyid Abbas al Moussawi (r.a), to pursue this important issue. Naturally, I was not among these nine people, because at that time I was young, about 22 or 23 years old. These 9 people travelled to Iran and met with the officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran. They also had a meeting with Imam Khomeini (QS). During their meeting with Imam Khomeini (r.a), while offering him a report on the latest developments in Lebanon and the region, they presented their proposal for the formation of an Islamic resistance front. They said to Imam Khomeini (r.a): “We believe in your guidance, your authority (wilayah) and your leadership. Tell us what we need to do.”

In return, Imam Khomeini (r.a) insisted that their duty was to resist and stand against the enemy in full force, even if you have limited means and are in smaller numbers. This is while Hezbollah had a smaller number of members then. He said: “Start from scratch: trust in the Almighty God, and do not wait for anyone in the world to help you. Rely on yourself and know that God helps you. I see you victorious.” It was an amazing thing. Imam Khomeini (r.a) regarded this path as auspicious, and thus, the meeting during which our brothers met with him, laid the foundation stone for the formation of the Islamic resistance front, under the auspicious title of ‘Hezbollah’, in Lebanon.

At that time, our brothers told Imam: “We believe in your guidance, authority and leadership, but in any case, you are very busy, and you are at an old age, and we cannot allow ourselves to continuously disturb you about different issues and problems. For this reason, we are asking you to name a representative to whom we can refer on various issues.” Then he introduced Imam Khamenei (May God continue his oversight), who was the president at the time, and said: “Mr. Khamenei is my representative.” Consequently, the relationship between Hezbollah and Ayatollah Khamenei (May God protect him) began from the very early hours of the establishment and foundation of this group; we were always in contact with him in different times, we met with him frequently and gave him reports on the latest developments and he always praised the resistance.

I remember the issue of several Hezbollah martyrdom-seeking members. You know that the first experience of a martyrdom-seeking operation took place in Lebanon, and was conducted by our brothers. The brothers sent a video file—before publicizing it in the media—containing oral testaments of those fighters seeking martyrdom, who had carried out a major martyrdom operation in Lebanon, and had shaken the invaders to their core. This video was played for Imam Khomeini, and he watched it and discussed it. The testaments were very beautiful and full of enthusiasm, mysticism and love. After watching the testaments, Imam Khomeini (r.a) said: “These are young [chivalrous] people. All of them were young.” He then said: “These are the true mystics.” The fact is that the Imam was strongly affected by the testaments.

Imam Khomeini’s collaboration, support for, and attention to the resistance and Hezbollah of Lebanon continued until the very last day of his auspicious life. I remember about one or two months before the passing of Imam Khomeini (r.a), when he was ill and rarely met with domestic officials and even less with foreign officials, I went to Iran as a member and an executive official of the Hezbollah council and met with Ayatollah Khamenei, late Ayatollah Rafsanjani and other Iranian officials, and asked if I could have a meeting with Imam Khomeini. I was told that he is ill and does not meet with anyone. I asked them to try and they agreed to do their best. Then I went to the office of Imam Khomeini (r.a) and put in a request for an appointment. At the time, one of our friends among Imam Khomeini’s household, Sheikh Rahimian (May God protect him)—who paid particular attention to the Lebanese—shared the matter with the late Sayed Ahmad Khomeini (r.a), and I was informed on the second day to get ready for a meeting. Naturally, we were all surprised. I went to meet Imam Khomeini (r.a) and nobody else was there, not even Sayed Ahmad; not even any of the Foreign Ministry’s officials or IRGC staff, who would usually attend the meetings, were there. Sheikh Rahimian accompanied me to Imam’s room but then went and left me alone with Imam. I was overwhelmed and awed by his presence.

Imam Khomeini was sitting on a high chair and I sat down on the floor. Awestruck by his grandeur, I could not say a word. Imam asked me to get closer. I went closer and sat next to him. We spoke and I handed to him a letter I had brought with me. Imam answered the questions I had shared with him regarding the developments of that time in Lebanon, then smiled and said: “Tell all our brothers not to worry. My brothers and I in the Islamic Republic of Iran are all with you. We will always be with you “. This was my last meeting with Imam Khomeini (r.a).

 I wish we had time to hear more extensively from you about that time. Thanks again for the opportunity you gave us. You said that, Hezbollah was formed and began its activities during a very difficult time. You correctly mentioned that Iran itself was dealing with an invasion of its borders. In Lebanon, the Zionist regime periodically attacked the people and committed murder and plunder, and in any case, Hezbollah began its work in such a difficult situation. You also said that Imam Khomeini referred you to Ayatollah Khamenei to be in touch with him. I would like to ask you to point out some of the important pieces of advice that Ayatollah Khamenei (May God continue his oversight) gave you after the passing of Imam Khomeini, and let us know the measures that he guided you to take during his presidency. What we mean to make clear, when we reach the time of Imam Khamenei’s leadership, is the history of why Hezbollah was very pleased and reassured with his election as the leader of the Islamic Republic. What has happened that made you feel that way?

From the very first moment of our relationship with Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei, I call him, in my own words, Mr. Leader (السید القائد). So let me use the same word, the Leader, to refer to him. My brothers had a Hezbollah Council within Hezbollah, with 7-10 members—changing at each stage. The members of this council always met with the Leader during his presidency. What I wish to say about that time, almost 7 years of Ayatollah Khamenei’s presidency before the passing of Imam Khomeini…

Was there a specific person to go between Hezbollah and Ayatollah Khamenei?

I get back to this point. The fact is that the Leader particularly valued Lebanese groups and provided them with sufficient time. I remember meetings that sometimes lasted for 2, 3 or even 4 hours. He listened carefully to what we had to say. Our friends and brothers also described the issues for him in details. As you know, at the time, they were not all on the same wavelength, and our brothers had different views. The Leader listened to all the comments, views, and opinions. Naturally, there was no Arabic language problem either, because he was fluent in Arabic and spoke it well. He spoke Arabic beautifully.

Nonetheless, he preferred to be accompanied by an Arabic translator; He usually spoke in Persian, but had no need for translation when the Lebanese spoke in Arabic. His full mastery of Arabic language contributed greatly to his deep understanding of the problems and the views of our Lebanese brothers. The important point is that, despite having full authority from Imam Khomeini, the Leader tried to play the role of a guide, and helped us make the decisions ourselves. I always remember that in every meeting, at that time and after being appointed as the Leader, whenever he wanted to comment, he would indicate ‘my suggestion is’. For example, he had reached a conclusion, but he would ask us to “sit down, consult with each other, and make the correct decision.

Indeed, the Leader at that critical stage managed to play an important role guiding the group in cultivating Hezbollah leaders and commanders intellectually, scientifically, and mentally, so that our brothers could make decisions confidently and by relying on their own capabilities even during the most difficult situations. He would make comments but he would refer to a Persian proverb that said: the expediency of a country is recognized by its owners. His Eminence would say: you are from Lebanon and thus have a better command of your affairs. We can only make a few comments and you can apply them, but it is you who will make the final decision. Do not wait for anyone to make decisions on your behalf. Therefore, the role of the Leader in the training, growth and swift development of Hezbollah was very significant.

In the first years, our brothers went to Iran two or three times a year—that is, they would travel to Iran about every 6 months—to learn about the Iranian officials’ viewpoints regarding the developments in the region, as at that time, developments in the region were taking place very rapidly. Naturally, at that time there was also the war; the 8-year imposed war against Iran and its implications for the region. Therefore, our brothers constantly needed to exchange information, consult with and get support from Iran. At that time, if our brothers were faced with an immediate and urgent problem, they would send me to Iran. Because I was younger than the others, and there was no systematic protection, or anything similar in place for me. I was alone, carrying a bag with me. This means that my trips to Iran, since I was not well known, were not complicated and there was no security threat around me.

On the other hand, I was acquainted with Persian language more than my other brothers in Hezbollah, and for this reason, they preferred me to travel to Iran. From the very beginning, there was compassion and affection between me and my Iranian brothers. My brothers in Hezbollah would tell me: you like Iranians and the Iranians like you too. So you should travel to Iran. On behalf of my brothers in Lebanon, I met with the Leader for one to two hours. Even when all issues had been discussed and I was prepared to leave, he would say: “Why are you in a hurry? Stay, and if there’s anything left, let’s discuss it”. That stage was very important for Hezbollah, because Hezbollah had focused on fundamental issues, fundamental approaches and fundamental goals. They made a collection of varying opinions, but we eventually managed to compile a single united book. Now I can say that we have a unified viewpoint in Hezbollah. Different perspectives have been unified and consolidated due to the events and experiences that we have gone through, and thanks to the guidance, advice, and leadership of Imam Khomeini (r.a) while he was alive and of the Leader after the passing of Imam Khomeini.

I wish there was more time to listen to your memories at length…

You will at some point say ‘I wish’… [laughs]

Anyways, our time is very limited. Putting that period a side, now let’s talk about 1989, when Imam Khomeini passed away to the mercy of Allah, and our people and every devotee of the Islamic Revolution were mourning. Those moments were naturally critical moments for both our country and the devotees of the Islamic Revolution. Please explain briefly what the state of your affairs was, at the time when Ayatollah Khamenei was chosen as the successor to Imam Khomeini? Also tell us more about the events that you encountered at that time, after Imam Khomeini’s passing away, in the regional and international arena.

We had a very critical period at that time, because that era coincided with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the beginning of American unilateralism and the end of the Cold War. At the same time, we saw that the Zionist regime started talking about peace negotiations, and on the other hand, the Islamic Revolution was in a particular situation. Obviously, the Americans had plans for the post-Imam Khomeini (r.a) era. We would like you to talk about those circumstances and describe them to us, and about how the Leader responded to the important developments that took place at regional and international levels?

As you know, during the lifetime of Imam Khomeini, members of Hezbollah of Lebanon and the supporters of the resistance, had close ties with him, both intellectually and culturally. However, Hezbollah members were also emotionally and passionately dependent on Imam Khomeini. Like many Iranians who fought against Saddam’s war on Iran, they really loved Imam Khomeini (r.a). Members of Hezbollah of Lebanon regarded him as an Imam, a leader, a guide, a Marja’, and a father. I have never seen the Lebanese love anyone so much. Consequently, the demise of Imam Khomeini on that day brought about a mountain of sadness and grief to the Lebanese; a feeling definitely not less intense than the sadness and grief of the Iranians. This was the emotional connection between the Lebanese and Imam Khomeini (r.a).

But on the other hand, there was a major concern at that time, and it was that the Western media were constantly talking about the post-Imam Khomeini era (r.a), claiming that the main problem was this man and that Iran would collapse after him and a civil war would break out; that there would be no substitute for the leadership of the country. In this regard, a very intense psychological warfare had started in those years, in the last year of the glorious life of Imam Khomeini (r.a), [particularly in the light of other incidents including the dismissal of Late Ayatollah Montazeri and other issues]. For this reason, there were concerns. At that time, we were being told that your source of support—i.e. the Islamic Republic of Iran, upon which you rely and in which have faith—will start a downfall and collapse after the passing of Imam Khomeini. That was for the second issue.

The third issue, regardless of the psychological warfare, was our lack of information about the situation after the passing of Imam Khomeini (r.a). We did not know what was going to happen after him, and what turn the events were going to take; so we were worried. We were following up on the events after the death of Imam Khomeini (r.a) on television, and when we saw national security and the calm in Iran as well as the glorious presence of the Iranian people at his funeral, we regained some confidence and peace of mind.

We were reassured that Iran would not go towards a civil war, nor would it collapse, and eventually the Iranians would choose a suitable leader in a reasonable and sincere atmosphere. We, like all Iranians, were waiting for the decision of the Assembly of Experts on this matter. The fact is that the election of Ayatollah Khamenei as the Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran by the Assembly of Experts was unpredictable for the Lebanese. Because we did not know Iranian figures properly and we did not know if there was a better, more knowledgably and more competent person to replace the Leadership. We only knew the Iranian officials that we were in touch with. Electing Ayatollah Khamenei for this responsibility, surprisingly and unusually, made us feel happy, fortunate and confident.

In any case, we passed through this stage. We started our relationship and this relationship continued. After a short time, we traveled to Iran and offered our condolences for the passing away of Imam Khomeini (r.a) and we met with the Leader. He was still at the Presidential office and received people there. We pledged allegiance to him in person and directly. Our brothers told him: “During the lifetime of Imam Khomeini (r.a) you were his representative in the affairs of Lebanon, Palestine and the region as well as the President of Iran, so you had time [for us]. But now you are the leader of the Islamic Republic and all Muslims, and therefore, perhaps you do not have enough time as before. So, we would like to ask you to appoint a representative, so that we do not disturb you continuously.” At this moment, the Leader smiled and said: “I am still young and I have time, God willing. I pay special attention to the issues of the region and the resistance and therefore we will remain in direct contact with each other. “

Since then, unlike Imam Khomeini (r.a), he has not appointed any representative to refer to about our issues. Naturally, we did not want to bother much, and did not require much of his time. Especially because in the first years, the early years of the establishment of the movement, he was involved in everything. The principles, goals, foundations, criteria, and guidelines that we had, provided a solution to every issue. All of this was a divine blessing; the blessing of guidance was quite clear and we did not need to constantly refer to him. So, we continued to do the same as the Leader had told. This should answer that part of your question about our relationship with Ayatollah Khamenei after his election as the Leader and the authority for Muslims [wali amr al muslimin] after the passing of Imam Khomeini (r.a).

But regarding the events that happened, it should be noted that the events after the passing of Imam Khomeini (r.a) were, naturally, very critical and dangerous. At that time, the important issue for us was to continue the path of resistance in Lebanon, an issue that the Leader had emphasized from the outset. The Leader provided the officials of the Islamic Republic with many recommendations and words of advice, to attend to the Resistance in Lebanon and the region, saying that, just as during the lifetime of Imam Khomeini (r.a), when we followed this path with the thoughts, methods, principles and culture of Imam Khomeini (r.a) on our agenda; today I persist on this path and insist on the need for it to continue.

Therefore, as a blessing from the Almighty God, there was no change in the position of the Islamic Republic in its support for the resistance in the region, especially in Lebanon, not even in the face of changes within ministries and official entities in Iran as well as some differences in their political policies. Therefore, not only such a change did not happened, rather things went on in a better way; because these stances were strengthened after each president’s and each official’s term and this happened as a result of direct attention by the Leader to Hezbollah of Lebanon and the resistance in the region.

Now we can enter the discussion on the events that took place. Where would you like me to start from? I am ready. I mean, we can now address the political events; because we have already elaborated on our relationship with the Leader and how we kept working with him after the passing of Imam Khomeini (r.a.).

The most important issue for us at that time, i.e. during the leadership of Ayatollah Khamenei, was the issue of domestic problems of Lebanon. At that stage, as you know well, there were some problems between Hezbollah and the Amal movement, and the Leader paid special attention to this matter. Hence, the most important thing that happened to us during the early years of Ayatollah Khamenei’s leadership was the resolution of discords between Hezbollah and the Amal Movement. This blessed resolution, was brought about as a result of special guidance and advice by the Leader, as well as contacts between the authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the leaders of Hezbollah and the Amal Movement, including the current chairman of the Lebanese parliament Mr. Nabih Berri and Syrian officials. Subsequently, Resistance groups in Lebanon got united and this was accomplished thanks to the Leader and his strong emphasis [on unity].

The Leader opposed any issue, any conflict or dispute among Lebanese groups and constantly stressed the need for extensive relations between them as well as achieving peace by any means necessary among them. These efforts took years to bear fruit. That is to say, it took 2 or 3 years for us to pass through that stage. The foundation of the close relations between Hezbollah and Amal that we see today were laid by the guidelines of the Leader, and today the relationship between Hezbollah and Amal is not strategic, but beyond strategic. Through the resolving of the problems between Hezbollah and the Amal Movement and the cooperation between the two, we were able to continue the resistance and attend to defending Lebanon and the south of Lebanon. The achievement and the great victory of 2000 against the Zionist regime were realized as a result of this unity. In 2006 and during the 33-day war of the Zionist regime on southern Lebanon, this unity helped us again, and we were able to resist during the “Tammūz War” and impose a defeat on the enemy. Today, political victories in Lebanon and the region continue to be achieved. One of the fundamental factors of Hezbollah’s political, national, and military power is this coherence, unity and friendly relations.

I recall that at that time, after the martyrdom of Sayyid Abbas al-Musawi (r.a), our brothers chose me as the secretary-general. Later, we met with the Leader. He brought up some issues, saying: “If you want to make the heart of Imam Mahdi (May Almighty Allah Speed His Reappearance) and also the hearts of all the believers happy, you have to work hard to preserve the calm in your country. You have work with each other, especially Hezbollah, Amal, Allama [scholar] Fadlallah and Sheikh Shams al-Din.” At that time, Sheikh Fadlallah and Sheikh Shams al-Din were both alive and the Leader strongly stressed reinforcing internal unity in Lebanon. His emphasis was on maintaining unity among the Shi’as, as well as between Shi’as and Sunnis and other Muslims. He also emphasized on the necessity of unity among Muslims and Christians and would insist on it during internal meetings; that is [he promoted] an open door policy for all Lebanese. This was the second issue. The primary issue was the relationship between Hezbollah, Amal and the domestic situation of the Shias. Another important issue that he emphasized was the open door strategy of Hezbollah towards other Lebanese political groups, despite religious, political, and ideological differences. The realization of this important project was also on account of his wise leadership.

There was an emphasis on continuing the resistance, confronting belligerence and determination to liberate southern Lebanon. That’s why the Leader also focused on the issue of resistance and its progress. He always insisted that resistance should progress, grow, and ultimately take back occupied lands. Hence, he always diligently encouraged the Resistance to persist on the path it had taken. You know that at that time there was a problem that some resistance groups, other than Hezbollah, had got entangled with internal political affairs, and thus, they had been gradually distracted from the mission of resistance. This would make the resistance limited to Hezbollah and the Amal Movement—chiefly Hezbollah. Even inside Hezbollah, there were some of our brothers who were inclined to get involved with domestic politics. But the Leader always emphasized the need to give priority to the mission of resistance and Jihadi tasks.

Part 2

Imam Khamenei’s prediction of Oslo Accord and Netanyahu’s error

One of the important events that took place in the region at that time was the formation of a process of reconciliation through Arab-Israeli negotiations, which is referred to as the “peace process”. This trend was shaped after Arab-Israeli negotiations. Recall that in 1993 an agreement was reached between Mr. Yasser Arafat and the Israelis, represented by Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres; an agreement that was finalized under the auspices of the United States. This agreement was eventually named the “Oslo Accords”. This was naturally a very dangerous issue, and had a negative impact on the Arab-Israeli conflict. The danger was that, according to the agreement, the PLO recognized Israel and thus effectively a Palestinian group—not an Egyptian one like Anwar Sadat—abandoned the lands of 1948, the lands occupied by the Zionist regime during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. Also, in that agreement it was mentioned that the topic of the negotiations would be East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and the issue of other parts of Palestine is already done. This was a major fault.

On the other hand, the agreement opened the way for many other Arab countries to begin negotiations and reach an agreement with Israel, eventually normalizing relations with Tel Aviv. This was a very dangerous issue. At that time, the Leader, and the Palestinian resistance groups including Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine opposed the Oslo Accords. The Commander in Chief and some Palestinian groups opposed the deal. So did Hezbollah and the Lebanese groups. We rallied against this agreement, but were shot, and we had martyrs for the cause in Beirut’s Southern Dahieh.

In any case, it was a turning point and a very dangerous period. We pondered over what reaction to adopt against the Oslo accord. Should we deal with it politically and through the media, and call on the Palestinians to resist and insist on their rights? The emergence of this issue (the Oslo Accords and the ensuing phase) led to the expansion and consolidation of relations between Hezbollah and Palestinian groups, including Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, and also strengthened the path of resistance in the occupied territories of Palestine. Remember that at that time, a major martyrdom-seeking operation was carried out by Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants in the heart of Tel Aviv and Quds, and shook the Zionist authorities to their core. It was after that operation, that an extraordinary meeting took place in the Egyptian city of Sharm El Sheikh with Clinton and Yeltsin, the then Russian president in attendance. Many countries in the world also attended this meeting. Meanwhile, the late Syrian president Hafez al-Assad rejected participating in the meeting.

The fact is that the meeting finally declared war on three groups: first Hezbollah, second Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, and third Islamic Republic of Iran due to its support for resistance in the region. Despite its large sphere, the meeting did not manage to introduce fear in the ranks of Hezbollah and other resistance groups in the region, especially since at that time, the position of the Leader regarding the resistance—that is continuing the Resistance and persisting on the path— was absolutely straightforward and resolute. Therefore the Oslo accord brought about a series of events; events that were very crucial and hazardous for this procedure.

We also had the Madrid conference.

The Madrid conference was before the Oslo Accord. It was then that the talks started. The important point here is that the Leader has a deep insight and exact understanding of the future. I believe that his accurate perception of the future is part of his unique abilities, derived from his deep faith in, submission to, and relationship with the Almighty God, rather than having an only rational aspect.

At that time, certain talks started called the Israeli-Syrian negotiations. The Syrian President of the time was Hafez al-Assad and the Israeli Prime Minister was Yitzhak Rabin. The talks between them were initially secret and later made public. They would meet in the United States and under Clinton’s supervision. Representatives of President Assad and Rabin’s cabinet met with each other in the United States, and they were about to come to an agreement. At that time, it was said that Yitzhak Rabin had agreed to return the occupied Golan to Hafez al-Assad.

Accordingly, there was an assumption in the region that Israel and Syria were coming to an agreement. This atmosphere existed in Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and the entire region. I remember that at that time some would ask us “if an Israeli-Syrian agreement is reached, what will you—that is Hezbollah—do? If Syria and Israel come to an agreement, what stance will Hezbollah take? If such an agreement is made, what will be the fate of Hezbollah and the Islamic Resistance groups?” We organized several meetings to discuss the matter, and plan for the future. We thought then that an agreement was already made between Assad and Rabin. It was not only Hezbollah but all Lebanese, Syrians and Palestinians assumed that the agreement had been finalized. We organized internal meetings to discuss the future. We talked about political, military, artillery issues and even the name of the group. Some raised the question whether or not to keep the name “Hezbollah”? Or if we should adopt a new name to fit the new phase? Some of our brothers were on the U.S.’s black list and there was this debate whether to keep them in Lebanon or make it for them to leave Lebanon? For example, Martyr Hajj Imad Mughniyah was on that list.  So we compiled a collection of various suggestions.

Did Hezbollah not have a communication channel with Hafez al-Assad to be informed of his decision?

The point is that all the available data and information assured us that the Israeli-Syrian negotiations would result in an agreement. At that time, Hafez al-Assad’s main demand was to take back the Golan, and that would withdraw from the June 4, 1967 borders; and Rabin had agreed to meet those demands. Eventually we went to see the Leader. He was very patient with us, because during this visit, we mentioned all the issues raised and the suggestions offered by different people. He listened to all of our words in that meeting which was held with some Iranian officials in attendance, and while all Iranian officials—and all officials unanimously and with no exception—believed that the Syrian-Israeli talks were over, His Eminence said: “It is good that you consider the worst-case scenarios and probabilities and plan to face them; but I tell you this will not happen, and there will be no peace treaty between Syria and Israel, so discard whatever you have written and prepared. You should continue to resist, and double your efforts to increase your weapons, facilities and human resources. Do not worry; because there will be no peace treaty between Syria and Israel.” All those present in the meeting, including the Iranians and the Lebanese, were astonished by the firm remarks of Ayatollah Khamenei. His Eminence did not say that, “I consider it unlikely” or that, “there might be other possibilities”. Not at all. He resolutely declared this will not happen. He said strongly and firmly: “Forget it and put it away; continue to do what you were doing in a better and stronger way than before.”

Anyway, we were surprised. We returned to Lebanon, and we continued to work based on the Leader’s point of view. Only two weeks after our visit to the Leader, a big ceremony with more than 100,000 people was held in Tel Aviv, wherein Yitzhak Rabin was giving a speech, when someone from among extremist Jews opened fire at and murdered Rabin. After Rabin, Shimon Peres was elected prime minister of the Zionist Regime. He had a weak personality, because he was not perceived by Israelis, in terms of historical and military background as well as trustworthiness, as competent as Rabin.

Subsequently, large operations were carried out inside occupied territories, namely Tel Aviv and occupied Quds, which shook the foundations of the Zionist Regime’s power. After that, the Sharm El-Sheikh summit—that I mentioned—was held. Then, in 1996, Israel attacked Lebanon in an operation called Operation Grapes of Wrath and marked the unprecedented genocide in Qana—a tragedy later known as Qana Massacre. In response, we resisted against the Israelis and became victorious. Shortly thereafter, that is in 2 or 3 weeks, elections were held in the Zionist Regime, during which Shimon Peres was defeated and the Likud party replaced the Labor party as the dominant party, and Benjamin Netanyahu became the Prime Minister of Israel. After coming to power, he said “I do not adhere to any of Yitzhak Rabin’s and Shimon Peres’s commitments with regard to Syria and the negotiations with Hafez al-Assad”. Therefore, the Israeli-Syrian negotiations ended. We are talking about the year 1996 and now in 2019, where does the peace process stand? It is in its worst status.

As you pointed out, in that atmosphere, there was a feeling that an impending compromise was going on, and meanwhile, the Palestinian people were being slaughtered. Did other countries contact you to encourage Hezbollah to follow the movement? Did the countries which favored this compromise contact you in this regard? Did they send a message to encourage you to accept to compromise with Israel?

There was no direct contact with Hezbollah. They had no hopes in us; because they knew about our wisdom, willpower, faith and determination. But in general, some Arab countries pressured Lebanon. They pressured the Lebanese government and people to compromise with Israel. They threatened that Israel would destroy Lebanon if they did not accept to compromise, and the Arab world would turn away from Beirut. There were such pressures, but there was no significant contact; because they knew what our stance was and we saw how they have absolutely no hopes in us. This was God’s blessing for us.

Some raise the question why the Islamic Republic of Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon cannot accept any of the projects offered by the US and the Zionist Regime for compromise–from Oslo to the Deal of Century? The question is raised why Iran and Hezbollah do not provide the prerequisites to end these conflicts? Another point about Palestine is that some imply that the Palestinians themselves are interested in some form of compromise. What is your opinion about these questions? On the other hand, we see that some Arab rulers and figures are pretentious in their support for the Palestinian cause and standing for the Palestinian aspirations. What are the indicators for identifying the true representatives of this movement and thinking?

Regarding the first part of the question, I would say all the offered projects for the Palestinian cause violated the rights and the interests of the Palestinians. They say, according to the Oslo Accord, the lands usurped in 1948 are not included in the negotiations. That means two-third of Palestine is to be regarded outside the negotiations. Well, this is a major act of oppression; that is, in its basis and foundation, it is a major form of oppression. Then, they do not even give them the remaining one-third of Palestine. They do not even say that they would give the West Bank to the Palestinians and only negotiate on East Quds. At that time, even as for the Gaza Strip, the Zionists acted passively on the issue of Gaza. Shimon Peres said “I dream of a day when I wake up and I am told that Gaza has gone under water”. This was their territorial viewpoint.

In the case of Quds, in all the offered proposals, the Americans and Israelis never agreed to give back East Quds to the Palestinians. Even during the last negotiations in Camp David between Yasser Arafat and Ehud Barak, the matter of Quds [Jerusalem] was brought up, and the Israelis said: “Of Jerusalem, whatever is on the ground, for you; but what remains underground of Jerusalem is for us”. As for the Palestinians who were expelled from their homes, the Israelis have explicitly stated that they would not allow them to return to their lands. This is while millions of displaced Palestinians were living in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and other countries of the world dispersedly. Would any wise man accept such a thing?

Even if we accept the above-mentioned proposals which are based on the two-state solution, a question is raised: which Palestinian state? A state with no national sovereignty, no borders, no sky or coast, no airport, etc. What kind of a state is this? Thus, the proposals that have been presented on the question of Palestine since long ago—from the Madrid negotiations to the bilateral talks and the Deal of the Century—indicate that the situation has become worse day after day. Let’s talk about the Deal of the Century. Recently, Jared Kushner spoke about the Deal of the Century, and explicitly said that according to this plan, Jerusalem (Quds) is for Israel. He announced that major Zionist settlements in the West Bank would be part of the occupied territories. Therefore, there is basically no discussion of a two-state solution; that is, one that includes a true Palestinian state. Even the Palestinians themselves do not accept such plans.

Accordingly, we gradually come to the conclusion that, firstly, if you see that the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hezbollah of Lebanon and other resistance groups do not agree with the proposals on the Palestinian question, it is because all these proposals are very oppressive to the Palestinian nation as well as to the Islamic Ummah, overall. Secondly, the overwhelming majority of the Palestinian people won’t accept these plans. Today, it is absolutely clear that there is a complete consensus among the various Palestinian groups and parties in response to the Deal of the Century. It is not that some of them accept and others reject the proposal. The Fatah and Hamas as well as other movements, despite their disagreements, have no doubts about rejecting the Deal of the Century, and are on the same page with this regard. The Palestinian nation, both inside and outside the borders of the country, reject the Deal of the Century. Thus, opposition to this plan is not confined to Iran and the resistance groups in the region. Rather, Palestinians themselves oppose the Deal of the Century.

On the other hand, we must have a thorough understanding of the positions of Imam Khomeini (r.a.), the Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Lebanese Hezbollah and the resistance groups against the Zionist regime. The fact is that Israel is not a problem only for the Palestinians; rather, the stabilization of the sovereignty of Israel is a threat not only to the Palestinians, but also to all Arab and Islamic countries. The stabilization of this regime is a big threat to Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, and even the Islamic Republic of Iran. Israel has nuclear weapons and more than 200 nuclear warheads. The regime has always sought to expand its dominance over the whole region. There is another important point that we have learned from Imam Khomeini (r.a.) and also Ayatollah Khamenei, which is the fact that Israel is not a regime independent from the US; rather, it is regarded as a U.S. arm in the region. Who is after warmongering in the region? Who conducts invasion and aggression? Who meddles into other countries’ affairs? Hence, the existence, survival, power and promotion of Israel—either through peaceful or non-peaceful means— is a major security threat for all the countries in the region, from Iran to Pakistan, and even for the countries of Central Asia and Turkey.

Therefore, those resisting Israel today, are in fact defending the Palestinian people and their rights, of which they have been divested, and they are also defending themselves, the sanctities and defending Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq and other countries. Israel will not withdraw from the ‘Nile-to-Euphrates’ goal and this goal has always been presented as a Torah dream Israel has been trying to realize. Israel is a military base in the region that serves the interests of the United States. We all know that the United States wants Iran to return to the pre-revolutionary times, i.e. a monarchy, just like Saudi Arabia, so that whenever it demands oil, Iran would give oil and whenever it demands oil prices be dropped, it gets realized. You saw that Trump personally declared that he took $450 billion from Riyadh. Trump openly announced that receiving this $450 billion was much easier for him than receiving $100 from an illegitimate booth somewhere in New York. He wants Iran to be like Saudi Arabia; in fact he wants all countries in the region to be just like Saudi Arabia. Who is Saudi Arabia relying on? On the monarchists in the region as well as the Israeli entity that possesses nuclear weapons and threatens countries of the region.

Accordingly, the important strategy emphasized by Imam Khomeini (r.a.) was that if we want to have a safe region, live in permanent peace, defend our national sovereignty and integrity of lands, and if we want all countries of the region to enjoy national sovereignty and true freedom, none of them is possible to achieve as long as there is an Israeli entity. They seek to fixate the Israeli entity by means of peace treaties.

Today, who is the vanguard of supporting the aspiration of a Palestinian government and leading it?

Today, there is no question that Ayatollah Khamenei (May God Continue His Oversight) bears the flag of the Palestinian cause. Today, no one doubts that the Islamic Republic of Iran, with its determination, will and power, is the vanguard and the main nucleus and main pivot that steers the Resistance movement.

Israel and its authorities announced in 2000 that they would leave southern Lebanon and tried to pretend it was voluntary. Did they voluntarily leave or were they forced to leave Southern Lebanon?

The Israelis wanted to retreat from southern Lebanon due to the significant financial and human forces’ damage imposed on them by the Resistance. There is no doubt that it was the Resistance and their operations that forced Israel to leave southern Lebanon. In Lebanon, no one has any doubt about it; that is to say, everyone acknowledges it. Had it not been for the Resistance’s daily operations, Israel would have remained in southern Lebanon; there is no doubt about it. Of course, the Israelis, even when they were under the most extreme pressure from the Resistance, tried to gain a concession from the opponents and to impose their prerequisites on Syria and Lebanon. At that time, Lebanon as well as Syria—whose president was Hafez Al-Assad—rejected granting any concession to Israel. This helped the Lebanese government a lot, since Syria had a significant influence on the Lebanese government and helped it to reject Israel’s conditions. Here, I would like to add a point about the talks between Yitzhak Rabin and Hafez Al-Assad: one of the factors contributing to the discontinuation of the Israeli-Syrian negotiations process at that time was the stance Hafez al-Assad’s took; because when the Israelis came to the June 4 borders, Hafez Assad insisted to take back the Lake Tiberia. He said that it belonged to Syria and had to be returned to Syria. This was one of the factors that led to the discontinuation of Syrian-Israeli negotiations after the death of Yitzhak Rabin and under the rule of Shimon Peres.

Now let’s go back to the issue of southern Lebanon. We were saying that the Israelis tried to receive concessions from Syria and Lebanon and impose their prerequisites on them. The Syrian and Lebanese governments also expressed their opposition to this issue. Hezbollah and the Resistance in Lebanon also rejected it. On the other hand, Hezbollah Resistance continued its operations until the Israelis came to the conclusion that their remaining in Lebanon was costly and they could not gain any concessions from Lebanon. So they decided to leave Southern Lebanon without any prerequisites. Also note that at that time, there were domestic pressures in the occupied lands on the part of settlers on the Israeli regime to leave Syria, especially because the families of the Israeli military and the families of the dead were demanding Israel not to stay in Lebanon. More interestingly, they had set July 2000 as the date for leaving Lebanon, but the intensity of the operations of the Resistance forced Tel Aviv to withdraw from Lebanon and thus, with complete humiliation and precipitation, the regime’s military forces left southern Lebanon. This occurred by God’s grace.

I’d like to ask another question and I’m willing to close this discussion here. Ayatollah Khamenei said a few years ago, that Israel won’t survive to see the next 25 years.

Before coming to that, we need to finish the topic of the year 2000 victory. I remember a very important memory of Ayatollah Khamenei. You remember I said that in 1996 his Eminence had said no peace treaty would be achieved between Syria and Israel. In 2000, a few months before Israel’s withdrawal from southern Lebanon, and in accordance with our plans, we traveled to Tehran to meet with Ayatollah Khamenei and the Iranian officials. We—that is the Hezbollah council—traveled to Iran. On that trip, we also were accompanied by the military commanders of the Resistance for the first time. Nearly 50 commanders of the Resistance traveled with us.

At that time, we thought that Israel would not retreat from Lebanon in 2000. We were not sure, but we assumed it was unlikely that Israel would retreat in 2000, because we believed that Israel would not accept to retreat without imposing some prerequisites. We said to the Leader: “It is unlikely that Israel will withdraw from southern Lebanon. It seems that Israel will stay longer in Lebanon and we will need more time and more operations to make Israel withdraw with no preconditions.” Then he asked: “Why do you think this is unlikely?” We responded: “Because this measure would be a major threat to Israel. Israel withdrawing from south Lebanon with no preconditions represents obvious resistance and this will be considered the first obvious victory of Resistance, naturally affecting Palestine and Palestinian nation’s domestic developments; something that would pose a strategic threat to Israel and would signal to Palestinians the message that the main path is that of resistance and not negotiations. A message that told them: negotiations took your lands and sanctities away from you, but resistance liberated Lebanon and south Lebanon.” It was then that the Leader stated: “I recommend you to seriously assume that Israel will leave Lebanon and you will be victorious. You continue your activities and plan for the future based on this assumption. Plan on how to face Israel’s retreat from Lebanon on military, field work, media and political aspects.” We were surprised to hear these words, because we all believed that Ehud Barak—who had just won the election— would not act on his promise of retreat, because his conditions had not been met and particularly that he had not achieved security commitments either. That is to say, neither the Lebanese government, nor the Syrian government and nor Hezbollah of Lebanon had made security commitments to Israel. Thus the question was that, how would it be possible that Israel would retreat? This seemed unwise and illogical.

Even more important than that, following the meeting, in the evening, we went to the Leader’s home with our brothers from the Resistance, including the late Hajj Imad Mughniyah. Our brothers were those from the resistance, fighting on the front lines of the battle and could be martyred at any moment. After entering the Leader’s house, we and our brothers went to a great hall where prayers were performed. At the time, our brothers were wearing military uniforms, with keffiyehs worn around their necks, and looked a lot like the Basijis on the Iranian fronts. We were only supposed to perform congregational prayers with the Leader, and to offer our greetings before ending the ceremony. The Leader performed the prayers and after finishing Isha, he rose to greet his Lebanese brothers.

Then the Leader told his companions to move away. Then he said to me: “I am here to listen to you”. At this moment, one of our brothers came and kissed the Leader’s hand. Some of the brothers began to cry, and some of them were so impressed that could no longer stand on their feet. They slowly came forward. One of the brothers kissed the Leader’s hand, and when the second one bent down to kiss his feet, he did not allow it. He went back and told me: “Tell them to sit down and calm down so we can talk.” A speech was not planned for that ceremony. I asked my brothers to keep calm and I started translating the Leader’s speech for them. Among the issues he addressed—which I believe emerged from his spiritual vision and not simply from political analysis, rather from something deeper— was that he said: “You will be victorious by the grace of God. Your victory is much closer than what some people think. “He pointed to me because we had said that Israel’s withdrawal in such manner was unlikely. Pointing with his left hand, like this, he said: “Each and every one of you will see with your own eyes that you will be victorious.”

After that we returned to Lebanon. At that time, we carried out large operations and, of course, many members of the Resistance were martyred. May 25 came, and Israel’s surprising, unexpected and undignified retreat from southern Lebanon began. Also several were martyred during our progress towards the border. It was here that both predictions of the Leader of the Revolution were realized. First, the victory of the Resistance happened very soon, only a few months after that meeting; and second, all the people who were present at the meeting with the Leader and participated in the frontline operations, lived on to witness the great victory with their own eyes.

The question I wanted to ask before was that Ayatollah Khamenei said a few years ago that Israel would not see 25 years from now. [Meaning, there will be no Zionist Regime in 25 years.] There were interpretations of this sentence. Some people considered it to be definitive, and they started counting the days until it comes true. On the other hand, the front of Arrogance began to scoff at some of the interpretations of the statement. You have stood against the Zionist regime at different times and experienced various battles against this regime. Given your experiences, when you heard this statement from Ayatollah Khamenei, what was your perception and feelings about it?

First, I was not personally surprised by the remarks made by Ayatollah Khamenei, because we had heard similar statements in our private meetings in the previous years, especially in 2000, after the victory over the Zionist regime. We paid a visit to Ayatollah Khamenei a few months after the victory, and he was very delighted of the victory. We spoke about the future. At that time, he said: “If the Palestinian people, the Resistance in Lebanon, and the nations of the region perform their duties appropriately, and we continue this path, then certainly Israel cannot last for a long time in the region.” At that time, he mentioned something less than 25 years.

So when I heard the Leader’s 25 years remark, I concluded that he has given Israel extra time. That’s why I was not surprised. On the other hand, it should be mentioned that the Leader’s statement on Israel is absolutely serious. According to our experiences, some of which I already mentioned, we believe that the Leader is a person endorsed by Allah, the Almighty, and that what His Eminence states sometimes emerge from some other source–as it happened in the 33-day war. It should be noted that all data, investigations and information show that such an event (the elimination of Israel) will occur, but the realization of this matter is not unconditional, and it would happen under certain conditions. Therefore, if we resist and continue on the path we have taken, factual and field conditions indicate that Israel will not be able to remain in the region in the next 25 years.

We have done a lot of research and studies on the Israeli regime; trying to find answers for the following questions: what are the foundations of this regime? What are the hidden factors that have led to the existence of this regime? What are the strengths and weaknesses of this regime? Therefore, this shows that the Resistance has always exploited research as well as the power of logic and thinking based on existing facts.

Although there has been a revolutionary spirit in the fight against Zionism, this does not mean that the fight lacked research and rationality. I do not know the hidden dimensions of the Leader’s words. Based on field studies and real investigations, we can clearly say that Israel cannot survive, because the existence of Israel in the region is not a natural existence; rather, its existence does not match the nature of the region. This entity has been imposed on the region cannot and hence cannot become normalized and turn into a normal issue.

Moreover, even if the Arab monarchs, emirs and rulers want it, all the nations of the region oppose the existence of Israel and firmly reject this illegitimate entity [against their rulers’ will]. The elements of weakness are ample in the Israeli entity, so the likelihood of the collapse of this regime is very high. I refer to two examples of Israel’s apparent weakness: first, Israel’s power is now heavily dependent on the power of the United States. Consequently, if anything happens to the United States of America—like what happened to the USSR, from the collapse of its economy to internal problems and discords and natural disasters or any other incident that might get the U.S. busy dealing with its problems and lead to a reduction of Washington’s influence in the region, you will see that the Israelis will get their stuff and evacuate in the shortest possible time. Therefore, their destruction does not necessarily entail a war.

Israeli regime’s existence in Palestine depends on the U.S.’s spiritual, psychological, military and economic support. If the U.S. gets busy with its own problems, Israel will have no chance to survive and there would be no need for a war with that regime. This is just one example, truly foreseeable.

Everyone knows that the United States allocates an annual amount of $3 billion to Israel. Meanwhile, Israelis enjoy US $10 billion worth of US banking facilities per year. A part of U.S. taxpayers’ money is spent on Israel. Moreover, the most advanced technologies are transferred to Israel; Washington’s support for Israel is completely obvious. One of the most important reasons behind the humiliated stances taken by Arab regimes towards Israel is their fear of the United States, not fear of Israel itself. If a day comes when some Arab regimes and Arab armies free themselves from pressures by the U.S., their stances towards Israel will be different. Even the armies and the regimes themselves [will take a different stance].

Let me make another example: the governments of the world usually build armies for themselves, but it is said that Israel is an army made for the regime. In the world, a country’s army might collapse, but that country will stand. For example, after the U.S. war on Iraq, the Americans dissolved the Iraqi army, but Iraq remained and did not disappear. There are countries in the world that do not have an army or have a weak army; however, Israel is a regime that cannot survive without a strong army; if its army is defeated, or if the truth of the Israeli army—that is its weakness and instability—is disclosed to the settlers and they realize that this army is incapable of supporting them, you will see the Israelis will get their stuff and flee.

My dear brothers! Israel has many lethal weaknesses. That is why I believe that in the shade of a national will power against the survival of this regime, regional and international events will take place in this regard. I am among those who strongly believe in the new generation and God willing, this generation will enter Palestine and perform prayers in Quds, and there will be no Israel.

Sayyed Nasrallah p3

Imam Khamenei’s secret letter delivered to Hezbollah by General Soleimani

The 33-day war was a good test to see how powerful Israel is and how powerful Hezbollah and the axis of Resistance are as opposed to it. At some point, the Israeli army attacked several Arab countries and defeated them in a 6-day war. In the 33-day war, the Zionist army’s attacks on Hezbollah’s sites as well as on the innocent people in southern Lebanon were severe, but these attacks ultimately failed, and it seems that this war and the resulting victory became a turning point in the history of the region. What is your analysis of this war, and the defeat that Israel suffered as it failed to achieve its goals. In other words, what directions will it lead Tel Aviv to?

We can discuss it more broadly and refer to the aftermath of the 9/11 and the emergence of Neo-Conservatives in the U.S., i.e. the George Bush era; because the war on Lebanon was part of the same project and a bigger plan. It was at this point where the importance of the leadership role of Ayatollah Khamenei in the region became increasingly evident. George Bush and his associates used the 9/11 incident as the excuse to attack the countries of the region; fir they had the intention of conducting such attacks even prior to the 9/11. They chose to target Iraq on the pretext of possessing weapons of mass destruction. However, after the 9/11, they had to go to Afghanistan first and then move to Iraq.

So an American project opened in the years 2000 and 2001. Washington believe that the peace process in the region between Arabs and Israel had declined. The Resistance achieved a major victory in Lebanon, and consequently Israel retreated from southern Lebanon. Iran also became more and more powerful both in terms of its domestic affairs and in the whole region. This was a great victory for Lebanon, Syria, Iran, and even Palestinian resistance groups. Iran was also becoming more power day after day both domestically and regionally. After seeing these events, the U.S. decided to have an extensive military presence in the region so that, firstly they could pursue their interests, by gaining dominance over the oil resources and natural resources of the countries; secondly, they could impose a solution on the region that would benefit Israel and fixate its existence.

To achieve this goal, they needed to eliminate any obstacle. These obstacles Resistance in Palestine, Resistance in Lebanon, the Syrian government, and Iran. This was the project they were pursuing. All documents and evidence prove that. Well, after the 9/11, they had to go to Afghanistan, because the determining part of the neo-cons and George Bush’s project included encircling Iran and isolating it. The U.S. troops based in Pakistan, their forces in the Persian Gulf countries and the Persian Gulf waters as well as their forces based in Syria and the some neighboring countries were deployed to Afghanistan and then Iraq to complete the encircling of Iran.

Naturally, before isolating Iran and attacking it, the Americans would need to completely dominate over Iraq, destroy the Resistance in Palestine and Lebanon, and then put an end to the life of the Damascus government; that is, [destroy] Iran’s friends in the region and those countries the U.S. regarded as Iran’s strong allies and arms in the region. They also sought to annihilate those who would resist humiliating peace with Israel, because peace with Israel was one of the conditions for isolating Iran and attacking it. That is to say, the first goal was to expand the direct military presence, and then to overthrow the countries, to destroy the resistance groups, to establish an Arab-Israeli peace, and to form a single Arab-Israeli front led by Washington to attack Iran and overthrow the Islamic Republic and take over the country. This was the U.S. project.

Thus, the first step was the war in Afghanistan, and the second step entailed the war in Iraq. I will tell you about the third phase and what happened. After the occupation of Iraq, if you remember, Colin Powell, who was the U.S. secretary of state at that time, went to Damascus with a long list of U.S. conditions, and met with Bashar al-Assad. He wanted to exploit the environment of fear that had been created following the U.S. attack on the region to impose his conditions on Assad regarding the Golan Heights, Palestine, Palestinian Resistance, Hezbollah of Lebanon, etc. Anyway, it was a long list [of conditions]. Despite the U.S.’s threats, Bashar Assad refused to surrender to them.

So the Americans failed and moved to the next phase. At that time, the elections of the Palestinian Legislative Council were scheduled. The U.S. assumed that the Palestinian Authority, headed by Mahmoud Abbas, would win the election, and that Hamas and other resistance groups would be defeated. Washington presumed that the PA would win and then begin to disarm the Palestinian Resistance and commence the process of reconciliation with Israel. But what happened? A major surprise; Hamas took to the Legislative Council by winning the vast majority of the votes. After that, the U.S. took their next step, which entailed a military strike on Lebanon. At that point, the 33-day war and the Resistance of Hezbollah took place.

The goal of the United States was to eliminate Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Palestine, and then to attack Hezbollah in Lebanon. For after achieving their goal, they had plans to go to Syria after in order to overthrow the government of Damascus, and after that make peace with Israel and normalize relations between Israel and the Arabs; and afterwards to encircle Iran and isolate it. Naturally at that time, the victory over the Palestinian Resistance and Israel’s victory over Lebanon’s Hezbollah and the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad’s government could have been a major achievement for George W. Bush by which he could attain more victories at congress as well as presidential elections.

In late 2006, when mid-term congress elections were around and George Bush needed to win two third of the seats, an imminent American writer told me—and of course late he wrote it—: In order to succeed in congressional elections and even presidential elections, George W. Bush desperately needed to enter the electoral campaign like a cowboy, carrying three bloody severed heads: the head of the Resistance in Palestine, the head of Hezbollah’s Resistance and Bashar al-Assad’s head. If Bush succeeded in winning these three heads, he could win two-thirds of congressional votes for his party and, at the same time, he could guarantee a war against Iran.” The main purpose of what would happen was, in fact, to end the Palestinian issue and provide the preliminaries for a war against Iran. I am going to elaborate on this topic and I hope a there will be an opportunity to explain this matter to the Iranian nation so that they will properly realize the fact that the ultimate goal of the conflicts and disputes in the region is not only Palestine, but the ultimate goal is to restore the U.S.’s domination over Iran, over its resources and facilities and to bring it back to what it was during the reign of the Shah.

Well, at this stage of history of the developments in the region, Iran’s position, and the positions held by the Leader were of high importance. First, in the spiritual sense. Well, the U.S. entered the region. Obviously, there is neither the Soviet Union, nor the socialist front,; rather there is only one domineering, arrogant, and merciless power in the world called the United States. This power decided to launch a military war in the region and entered the region with its armies and military equipment. All but a few were frightened and startled. Here, we remember the stances taken by the Leader regarding the U.S.’s invasion of Afghanistan and then Iraq. Ayatollah Khamenei travelled to different provinces of Iran and reassured the Iranian people, the nations of the region as well as resistance groups, and delivered speeches wherein he strengthened the spirit of resistance and never surrendering to the U.S.’s historic and severe attack on the region. This was indeed a very difficult mission. I remember that after the invasion of Afghanistan and prior to the occupation of Iraq, I traveled to Iran to meet with the Leader.

I told him that some concerns had risen in the region. See what outlook he adopted. He turned to me and said: “Tell all our brothers not to fear; rather, the coming of the Americans to the region signals achieving freedom in the future.” I was surprised to hear this statement. He pointed with his finger this way and asserted: “The Americans have reached the peak but with their invasion of Afghanistan, their decline has started. If the Americans truly believed that Israel and other Arab regimes and their mercenaries in the region were capable of supporting the interests of Washington, they would have never deployed their armies and navies to the region. Thus, this military act taken by them is a sign of their defeat and the failure of their policies in the region. Had they not failed, they would not need to take such measured.  When the Americans come to the conclusion that they must act directly in order to achieve their interests in the region, this is a sign of weakness, not power. When any army, no matter how big and powerful, moves thousands of miles and goes to an area where there are living nations, such an army will surely be defeated and collapse. Therefore, the U.S. coming to the region marks the beginning of their fall and decline, not the beginning of a new era for them.”

Ayatollah Khamenei recurrently reiterated this point, putting it in different words on different occasions. However, he told me this very clearly and obviously, and I quoted him and we discussed this issue together. Anyway, it was the year 2006 when we took up the path of resistance. If you remember, on the very first day of the war, the Leader issued a statement wherein he endorsed the Resistance and stressed the need to resist and fight against invaders. This measure on his part was very valuable for us, our nation, and our combatants; because we are talking of a tough battle wherein we witnessed bloodshed, martyrs, and wounds.

When we saw that our wali e-amr, our leader, our frontrunner, and our marja’ encouraged us to resist, our spirit and motivation increased manifold and we powerfully engaged in a war against the invaders. After a short time and only within 4 or 5 days—that is when Israel had bombed all places it knew, the Americans assumed that we were in a weak position, we were scared and it was our time to surrender. At that time, the Americans spoke with Sa’d al-Hariri, who is now the Lebanese Prime Minister. A-Hariri was not the prime minister then, he was the head of a parliamentary fraction to which the prime minister of the time, Fouad Siniora, was inclined. Al-Hariri contacted us and reported that the Americans—that is the negotiator was the U.S. government—are ready to stop the war on southern Lebanon if three conditions are met.

The first condition was that Hezbollah releases two Israeli prisoners it had captivated. The second condition was that Hezbollah becomes completely disarmed and turns into a [merely] political party. The third condition was that Hezbollah agrees with the deployment of multinational forces to the south of Lebanon. That is, neither the international forces affiliated with the U.N., as you call international organizations of the United Nations. At that time multinational forces had already entered Iraq. These forces were not afflicted with the U.S. Security Council, rather they belong to the U.S.

The goal was to make us  accept that multinational forces be deployed to Lebanon, to the Lebanon-Palestine border, the Lebanon-Syria borders s well as in airports, coasts, and the Lebanese entrance and exit gates. That is, an international occupation and an American occupation. Naturally, we rejected these three conditions and continued to fight. At that time, Condoleezza Rice visited Lebanon. What did she tell the Lebanese? She talked of the determining battle and that Hezbollah would definitely be defeated and destroyed, and made the famous remark that “the region was going through the pain of giving birth to a new Middle East”. This is the “New Middle East” we were talking about.

Despite all this, the resistance stood and became victorious. Therefore, the first round of the U.S. project failed in light of the results of the Palestinian elections. The second round failed in Lebanon; that is the plot to destroy Hezbollah miscarried. Consequently, the third round also miscarried; because it was planned that after the destruction of Hezbollah, the war would go to Syria, and Israel and the U.S. would attack the ruling government in Syria. This did not happen, either. These were the first, second, and third failures that the United States faced.

With regard to Iraq, the Leader’s position was absolutely clear. He insisted that the United States should be recognized as an occupier in Iraq. All official stances taken by the officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran also indicated the occupation of Iraq by the United States. After a while, public resistance began in Iraq. While it was assumed that the U.S. would stay in Iraq, dominate it and take control of it, in the end, Washington had no option but to leave Iraq as a result of the armed and sincere resistance in Iraq—not a resistance like that of the Al-Nusra Front, Al-Qaeda or takfiries— as well as a mighty political stance and the emergence of a national willpower in that country. Henceforth, the United States left Iraq, albeit in the light of an agreement. When the U.S. withdrew from Iraq, I explicitly stated that this was a great achievement and victory for the Iraqi resistance, but unfortunately nobody celebrated this great victory of the Iraqi people. This great victory of Iraqis during which the United States was forced to leave Iraq in 2011 should have been celebrated.

Eventually, all U.S. projects in the region miscarried at this stage: all-American projects from 2001 to 2011, or the “New Middle East” project failed. The United States failed to win control of the region in order to bring about a disgraceful peace deal with Israel, normalize the Arab-Israeli relations to eradicate the Palestinian question, destroy resistance movements, dominate over countries, and isolate and invade Iran. How did this happen? Here we see the role of the Leader, the Islamic Republic of Iran, as well as its allies and friends in the region. They were the ones who foiled these plots.

Naturally, the Al-Saud and the rulers of many Arab and Persian Gulf countries were an integral part of the United States’ plan in the region and they were in some way a means for implementing the American plots. Israel was the U.S.’s most important means for realizing its plans in the region. However, those who stood up to the U.S.’s plots and conspiracies were the Islamic Republic of Iran led by Ayatollah Khamenei, Syria led by President Assad, the Resistance in Lebanon and their allies, the Resistance in Palestine and their allies, sincere political and national leaders in Iraq—headed by the religious clergy in holy Najaf—, and Islamic and national groups in the region.

But who played the most important role, empowered others, and supported them? The Islamic Republic of Iran and Ayatollah Khamenei’s position, stances and determination. We were at the heart of the events that took place between 2001 and 2011—that is during a decade—and their obvious outcome was the defeat of the U.S.

I will close this part of my speech with a memory of Ayatollah Khamenei (May Allah protect him). In the 33-day war—which actually lasted 34 days, but is called the 33-day war—the Lebanese people were naturally very worried, at the beginning of the war, about what they was going to happen. What happened? Even some Lebanese officials contacted Saudi authorities, asking Riyadh to intervene as a mediator and end the war in southern Lebanon. The Saudis replied to the Lebanese officials by saying: “No one will interfere. There is a U.S., international and regional consensus that Hezbollah should be eradicated and crushed. Hezbollah has no way but to surrender or be destroyed.” Obviously, our decision was to fight back and there was a strong willpower for fighting and a spirit of Karbala ruling the whole of Hezbollah. This quote by Imam Hussain (a.s.) was always in front of our eyes that: “Beware that the humiliated man, son of the humiliated, has pressured me between the sword and surrender in humiliation. Never to humiliation!

We were faced with the two options of war or a humiliated surrender, and we chose war over the other. In the early days of the war, our dear friend and brother, Hajj Qasim Soleimani, contacted us. He came to Damascus, contacted Beirut and said that he needed to meet with us. We asked him: How do you want to do it? We said to Hajj Qasim Soleimani: “The Israelis are bombarding all the bridges, roads, and cars, and you cannot reach us.”

This dear friend of ours told us that he needed to get to us, because he had an important message from Ayatollah Khamenei to deliver to us. We arranged the situation, so eventually Hajj Qasim came to Beirut’s southern suburbs during the early days of the war. He said that when the Leader (May Allah protect him) was in Mashhad, he called on all the officials of the Islamic Republic—including the current and former presidents, the current and former foreign ministers, the current and former defense ministers, the current and the former IRGC commanders, and other officials to hold a meeting together.

Hajj Qasim explained to me that during the meeting, the war against Lebanon and its objectives as well as the question as what the war would lead to were examined. From the outset, the Islamic Republic of Iran considered the war on Lebanon to be part of the United States’ plan in the region and not an issue separate from that plot. Hajj Qasim said that all of the participants in the meeting unanimously agreed that the Islamic Republic of Iran had to stand alongside the Lebanese resistance, Lebanese government and people, as well as alongside Syria; because there was the threat that the war would be spread to Syria and therefore, Iran needed to use all its political, financial and military capabilities to help the front of Resistance win. Hajj Qasim further said that once the meeting was over and Maghrib and Isha prayers were performed, the audience were about to leave when the Leader asked them to stay longer, saying: “I have words with you.”  This happened after the first meeting; that is, the first formal meeting.

Afterwards, Ayatollah Khamenei turned to Hajj Qasim and said: “You write what I say, then go to Beirut and give it to that [particular] person. He will discuss the matters with his friends and brothers, if he deems it proper.” After describing the events, Hajj Qasim started reading the Leader’s words for me. Among his words, the Leader had said: “The captivity of Israeli soldiers by the Lebanese Resistance was a hidden divine grace; because the operation forced Israel to enter Lebanon, in respond to your action. The Israelis and the Americans were preparing themselves to attack Lebanon and Hezbollah late summer or early fall 2006, and so you would have been caught by surprise, while you were not ready for a war. Therefore, the captivity of the Israeli military forces by you was a divine blessing that brought about progress in time; so the war did not happen when the United States and Israel had planned it; it happened when they were not ready for it and they were just getting prepared, while you were already prepared for it. That is to say, it happened at a time when there was no source of being caught by surprise.

This statement of the Leader was later confirmed and verified great figures. For example, when I referred to it in the media, the eminent professor Mohamed Hassanein Heikal acknowledged it in separate programs on Al Jazeera channel at that time. Meanwhile, one of the great American writers, Seymour Hersh, confirmed the matter. I should point out that when I raised the issue in the media, I did not attribute it to the Leader.

Another point that Ayatollah Khamenei had referred to in that message was that he had said: “This war is very similar to the Battle of the Confederates, which happened during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah (p.b.u.h.). This war will be very difficult and frustrating, it will threaten your existence; you are obliged to be patient in this war.” In this part of his message he had quoted the Quranic verse “and hearts almost reached the throat … you started to think of God with suspicion; [the Quran; 33:10].” The Leader had also said: “you should place your trust completely in God.” Also, the third part of his message read: “You will be victorious in this war.” I had heard a similar sentence before—I do not exactly remember if it was before or after that—but someone narrated Ayatollah Behjat (Allah’s mercy be upon him), as telling us: “Be sure, and be certain that you will win the war, God willing.”

But the interesting and important point in the Leader’s message was that he had said: “you will win the war, and after that you will become a regional power to the point that no other power will be able to confront you.” At that time, I laughed and said to Hajj Qasim: “We will turn into a regional power? If we manage to survive the current battle and maintain our existence, we have made a great achievement.” Then, I commented jokingly: “My dear brother! We do not want to become a regional power.” But anyway, Ayatollah Khamenei’s letter on that day created some sort of assurance in me. From that day on, I was sure that we were going to win the war and after that, we were going to become a regional power; which actually happened.

Did his Eminence recommend any duas and supplications during the 33-day war?

During the early days of the war, I received a letter from the Leader, which I still keep. At that time, I also received a letter from my brother and friend, Mr. Hejazi. Mr. Hejazi advised us in his letter to recite some supplications, but I do not exactly remember if he had attributed the recommendations to Ayatollah Khamenei. I do not remember that very well, but I remember that the supplication “Jowshan” was recommended by the Leader—as far as I recall now.

The supplications “Jowshan Saghir” and “Appeal to Imam Mahdi (God’s greetings be upon him and may God hasten his reappearance)” as well as “Ziarat Ashura”, besides that well-known supplication were among the recommendations in this regard. But in general, I would like to refer to my experience on knowing the leader.

We would naturally recommend the same to our brothers. These are among the sources of strength for Hezbollah in the wars. Supplicating to God and relying on Him has always been part of our schedule, and the Leader always emphasized it. Ever since we knew the Leader, he always insisted on spiritual matters: that is, the need for trust in and reliance on God, the Almighty. He recited in all meetings: “If you help God, He will help you and make you steadfast (in your faith); [the Quran; 47:7].” He always stressed that what the Almighty God says is no joke; His words are explicit and this is God’s promise. God will surely fulfill His promise. He has always insisted on trust in God’s promises. Even now, at times, he specifically focuses on this matter in his statements. He particularly emphasizes on reciting Duas, supplicating to God, and asking for His assistance.

I remember at times we felt exhausted, because we faced very difficult phases and the situation was frustrating. In one of the meetings, His Eminence told me: “whenever you feel exhausted, in face of threats and difficulties, find a quite a place, get in and close the door. So for a short while—a few minutes, 15 minutes or 30 minutes—speak with God with your own words; there is no need to recite a supplication. With the same language you use to speak with others, speak with God; talk to Him about your sorrows and pains, and ask Him to help you. Don’t all of us believe that the Almighty God is always present, witnessing everything, and capable of doing anything? The Almighty God knows all our needs and there is no barrier between Him and us. He will welcome us at any time, and He will hear us, by any language we speak. If you do so, you will see that the Almighty God will grant you power, will and energy, and He will open all His doors to you.” Since then, we have acted based on the Leader’s recommendation and we have seen its fabulous results.

Several questions remain, and we don’t have much time left. There are two issues that we won’t discuss here: the enemy’s efforts to create divisions between the Shias and Sunnis, and the issue of Islamic awakening. In addition, during the last seven to eight years, we have witnessed the emergence of an important event in the region:  an event that has had very strategic effects in the region; and that is the events and crisis in Syria. In your opinion, why was Syria chosen for the implementation of the plots in this region, and what were the dimensions of this crisis? Another question I’ like to ask is why, despite the heavy costs, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Hezbollah got involved in the Syrian crisis? What would have happened if they hadn’t engaged in this affair? What were the presumed repercussions that led Iran and Hezbollah to assume their engagement in Syria as essential?

This is related to our discussion about regional transformations from 2001 to 2011. We said that the end was marked by the U.S.’s withdrawal from Iraq, their defeat in Lebanon, their failure in Syria, their defeat in Palestine, and therefore, the miscarriage of the U.S.’s plans in the region. After 2011, this situation—failures of the U.S.’s plans—is still ongoing. This is an important and historic phase in the life of the region, the life of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the leadership of Ayatollah Khamenei (May Allah protect him); for in the early 2011 the Leader referred to it as the phase of “the Islamic awakening”; which is called the “Arab Spring” in the region.

I would like to speak about the Islamic awakening in the region before starting the debate on Syria. The Arab Spring, the Islamic Awakening, or massive popular uprisings in the region first erupted in Tunisia, later took place in Libya and Egypt, and then happened in Yemen. These incidents were followed by conflicts in Syria. Briefly, based on what was happening at that time we concluded that after the U.S.’s plans and attacks miscarried, Obama tried to compensate for the defeat.

The nations of the region became awakened and began to take action in hope of making changes. It was in this context that the Arab regimes found themselves at a disadvantage. A great opportunity was provided for the nations to overturn the regimes. My inference and many others’ conclusion was the same as what the Leader had suggested since the very beginning. He had said that “these national movements are genuine national movements.” The Tunisian movement represented the Tunisian people and their national will, the Egyptian movement represented the will of the Egyptian people, the Libyan movement represented the will of the Libyans, and the Yemeni movement was the same. All the slogans that these movements were chanting and the goals they were trying to accomplish rose from their popular and national views and interests.

Thus, we saw the true impact of Islam and the Islamist movements in this great movement and the awakening of the nations. That’s precisely why the Leader called it the “Islamic awakening.” But what was the main problem with this Islamic awakening? The problem lied in the lack of a leadership and unity. You see, the Islamic Revolution in Iran was a massive popular revolution, but what made this revolution successful and strengthened it after the victory was the existence of a leader, Imam Khomeini (r.a.). Another factor that led to the victory of this revolution was unity among all the people, authorities, and scholars who unanimously supported Imam Khomeini (r.a.).

Therefore, at that time there was a unified nation and a leader who outlined the policies and strategies for the orderly progress of the affairs. So the problem that existed in these countries (revolutions)—except in Syria which I will discuss later—was the lack of a reliable and united leadership. There existed many leaders and many parties with no unity among them: they had disagreements. When they wanted to negotiate with each other, their disagreements emerged. This also affected the people, so the people were divided, too. It even led to civil wars in certain regions.

The Americans and some countries of the region entered the scene to take possession of and defeat the national movements in different countries. Here, the U.S. played an important role. France also got involved in North Africa. Moreover, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates joined in fiercely to eliminate the Islamic Awakening—the Arab Spring—and eliminate popular uprisings. They were trying to achieve their goals by mobilizing their media power and supporting military coups in the region. We all know how the situation unfolded in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. But in Yemen, the situation is different. They tried to take possession of the popular uprising in Yemen for their profit, but a large part of the Yemeni nation, with national and political resistance, continued to support dear the brother Al-Sayyid Abdul-Malik al-Houthi and the Ansar Allah movement, and stood against the foreigners until an unjust war was imposed on them: the war which continues to this day.

Now we get to the case of Syria. What happened in Syria had nothing to do with the “Arab Spring” or “the Islamic Awakening”. What happened in Syria was the implementation of the plot of the U.S., Saudi Arabia and some countries in the region to block the achievement of the movement of Resistance; particularly, because at that time the popular revolution in Egypt had made Israel very worried about its future in the region.

At that time, the Israelis held big conferences in which they spoke of the strategic atmosphere. They were even considering re-establishing some military battalions and sending them to the Sinai borders. This shows how worried and frightened Israel was about the changes in Egypt.

After they lost hope in turning the Syrian government into their ally, their desirable goal to pursue in Syria was to overthrow the government and the ruling system. What many do not know is that before taking actions to overthrow the Damascus government, much effort was made so that President Bashar al-Assad would lead the Syrian movement to another direction. The Saudis worked on this issue so hard that even “Malik Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz” personally went to Damascus, despite the fact that he had boycotted Syria. The Qatari government also worked hard to achieve this goal. Turkey and a number of other Arab countries, including Egypt, during the ruling of Hosni Mubarak, also tried to push Syria into joining the opposing front. By giving political and enticing financial promises to Assad, the U.S. and their allies tried to push Syria to another direction, the so-called “Arab moderation”, which we actually call “Arab surrender.”

Nevertheless, President Bashar al-Assad and other Syrian leaders consistently emphasized their firm support for the Resistance, believing that the Arab-Israeli conflict persisted. Bashar al-Assad believed that there would be no peace in the region without resolving the issue of the occupied Golan, and compensating for the unaccomplished rights of the Palestinians.

=All in all, what happened was that the Americans failed to make Damascus comply with them; Washington knew well that Syria had a pivotal status within the framework of the Resistance. If we want to explain the precise role of Syria with regard to the Resistance, we should mention the Leader’s description of the country. He stated: “Syria is the pillar of Resistance”. Today, without Syria, Lebanon’s resistance will be marginalized. Without Syria, Palestinian resistance will be marginalized, because Syria is one of the main components of the body of Resistance in the region. Some believe that Syria is like a bridge for the Resistance, but I believe that this country is more than a bridge, because Syria is one of the main components of the body, intellect and culture as well as the thinking and will of the Resistance in the region. This fact was proved especially after the 33-day war. Syria’s position, Syria’s support, and Syria’s stability were threatened during the 33-day war: [the plot was that] while the United States is present in Iraq and the borders of Syria, Israel would expand the scope of the war and attack Syria and launch a massive war against Syria. But Bashar al-Assad did not back down, and resolutely and sovereignly continued to support the Resistance during the 33-day war.

After the end of the 33-day war, the Israelis did some research and eventually concluded that in order to end the Resistance in Lebanon and Palestine, they first needed to abolish Syria and they planned to do so. Since they could not take over Syria through their policies, they opted for a military option. If they had been able to create a military coup by penetrating the Syrian army, they would have done so, but they could not. After this failure, the Americans and Israelis abused the freedom of expression in media and political space of Syria and pushed the transformations to a direction which created chaos and internal conflicts in Syria. Since the very early days of the anti-government protests in Syria, I saw first-hand that President Bashar al-Assad organized meetings with the leaders of opposition leaders and tried to meet their demands.

But, afterwards, the demonstrations turned into military operations, just like what happened during the occupation of Daraa. The Americans, Saudis and some other countries in the region sent al-Qaeda, ISIS and Al-Nusra Front Takfiris from all over the world to Syria so they dominate over Syria and put an end to the Syrian state. To serve the interests of whom? To serve the interests of the US and Israel. To serve the interests of the powers who look forward to extinguishing the Palestinian issue; to serve the interests of the powers who want to encircle, isolate and attack Iran. This is the truth. Therefore, the Syrian issue was by no means a problem of people seeking a certain type of election or reform, because Bashar al-Assad was ready to discuss any option that the people wanted. But others quickly took actions to occupy the areas and hit the Syrian army, security forces and Syrian institutions to overthrow Bashar al-Assad through a military solution.

They opened the borders and many ships came carrying loads of military weapons. Joe Biden himself says that tens of thousands tons of weapons and ammunition were delivered to Syria. The U.S. spent hundreds of billions of dollars in this country. What for? To realize democracy in Syria?! ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra were seeking to establish democracy in Syria? Were those who regarded the elections as the worst sin, considered voters in the elections as pagans, and killing them as legitimate, seeking to organize elections for Syrians? The answer was clear; and today, it has been proved that what happened in Syria did not have anything to do with elections, reforms or democracy-related matters; because Bashar al-Assad was willing to negotiate these issues. But they [the West] were in a hurry to overthrow the Syrian government and dominate the country.

What hastens the collapse of the Saudi regime is its officials’ actions

As I’ve mentioned in some media outlets, one and a half years after the start of the Syrian crisis, around 2012 or 2013, Malik Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz sent a special envoy to Bashar al-Assad. Saudi Arabia sent a message to Assad, declaring that if he withdrew from the Resistance and ended his ties with Iran, the war on Syria would be stopped and a solution to the takfiri groups would be found, and Assad would be recognized as President, forever. The Saudis told Assad, “we are demanding neither reform nor anything else, and we are willing to pay hundreds of billions of dollars to reconstruct Syria”. Therefore, the goal was completely different from the demands of the nations in the Arab Spring. The goal was to rob Syria off its historical status, to rob off its rights and to draw it out of the Resistance movement, to prepare the grounds for the obliteration of the Palestinian cause, for the stabilization of U.S.’s position in Iraq, and the isolation and encirclement of Iran. Well, since day one, our understanding of the war was this. I hope that the brothers in Iran will help disperse the information on these facts. Some U.S. officials and Syrian opponents said that if they could dominate Syria, they would immediately enter Lebanon to get rid of Hezbollah. Others said they would go to Iraq. So, the issue was not just Syria.

When the president of the United States, Donald Trump, acknowledges that Obama, Clinton and the CIA created the terror group ISIS and sent it to Syria, was the terrorists’ goal to establish democracy in Syria and the election, or they sought to destroy this country? That’s why we clearly knew from the first day that the goal of the war on Syria was not related to such matters. The goal of this war was to overthrow the Syrian government, destroy the Syrian army, and expand dominance over Syria, so that Syria would yield up its rights and grounds would be prepared for the destruction of the Palestinian issue, the normalization of relations with Israel, and the elimination of all the aspirations and dreams of the nations of the region. We agreed on this conclusion in Lebanon, for example in Hezbollah, and there was not even one single different opinion among the members of Hezbollah regarding the goals of the war against Syria. Even Ayatollah Khamenei—who is also approved by God and enjoys great historical insight and awareness, as well as the characteristics of the famous and exceptional leadership—believed in the principle that the Syrian issue was not a matter of democracy, reform, and so on.

I pointed out in some gatherings that there were people suggesting that Iran had ordered us to enter Syria, but this is not true. We decided to enter Syria because we felt seriously threatened by the situation in Syria and Lebanon. There was the risk that the war would soon be drawn into our towns and villages. We were willing to engage in the war, but after all, it required permission and support—and the former, i.e. permission, was more important.

I paid a visit to the Leader, I explained my data and inference about Syria and its transformations, and I presented my own arguments. I learned that his view about the events in Syria was much clearer and deeper than our view. His positions with regard to Syria and its transformations were clear from the very beginning. He said that this was a plot for overthrowing Syria, and it targeted Syria, the status of Syria with relation to the Resistance and the Palestinian issue, the Resistance movement, and also the Islamic Republic of Iran; because after they finish with Syria, they would attack Lebanon, Iraq and Iran. This is what actually happened. They came to Lebanon and occupied a part of Al-Baqaa, and if they had been able, they would have occupied more areas. But we and the Lebanese army stood up to them and besieged them in mountainous areas.

You saw in Iraq, Takfiri terrorists were quickly transported from the east of Euphrates in Syria to Iraq, and they dominated the province of Al Anbar over a very short period of time. This province accounts for over a quarter of Iraq’s total area. They also subjugated Mosul, Saladin, and other parts, reaching an area 20 kilometers from the city of Karbala and 40 kilometers from Baghdad. This means that we actually saw over the past years, what Ayatollah Khamenei had judged at the beginning of the Syrian events. There, the reason for the Leader’s firm position as to side with Syria was revealed. The Islamic Republic of Iran adopted this position, and we, too, taking this position, went to Syria and fought there. The Syrian government, people and army resisted the plots. A large portion of the Syrian population supported the government and resisted. We have always said that after God’s grace, this was the resistance and endurance of the Syrian government, people and leaders that led to the victory of Syria. Hezbollah of Lebanon, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Iraqi friends, and Russia were the arms that assisted Syria, and the main task was carried out by the Syrian government, people and army. If the Syrian leaders surrendered, if the Syrian army collapsed, or if the Syrian people stopped supporting the government and the army, we would not have achieved anything in the big war in the Levant. We only assisted them.

So, now we are here. I will finish this part of my talk by mentioning anecdotes of my visit to Ayatollah Khamenei and the spiritual capacity of this dear and honorable Sayyid. After the Syrian crisis began in 2011, a US-led international coalition entered this country, and all the countries of the world believed that Damascus would collapse within only two months. All the Arab countries believed this. Even some of our friends also believed that. So, we also felt a little worried, even though we didn’t really believe that. The dimensions of the matter were not clear for us, and we were very worried. At that time, some countries like Turkey and Qatar, with which we were in contact prior to the Syrian crisis, sent us messages. At that time, Mr. Davutoğlu who had a political responsibility came to Lebanon.

Did this happen before the Istanbul summit or after that?

No, it was after the events and before the Astana meetings. Astana meeting was held after Davutoğlu’s visit. I am currently talking about the transformations in the first and second years of the Syrian crisis, especially in the first year. The Turkish leaders sent us messages that “We are willing to give you a guarantee. You stand back and do not count on Syria, because we guarantee you that Damascus will fall in two or three months.” Many brothers in Iran were also influenced by this atmosphere. At a meeting with the Leader and a number of Iranian officials, we learned that some Iranian authorities were also influenced by the atmosphere formed in the region. But in that meeting, contrary to the views and opinions of all the countries of the world, the experts of the region, and even a number of Iranian officials, the Leader turned to me and said: “We have to make Syria and Bashar al-Assad win, and they will eventually win.”

Meanwhile, all the world said a different thing. After about 2 years, the signs of the realization of this prediction by the Supreme Leader of the Revolution were also revealed. Now that we reached this point, we are possibly witnessing a major and historic victory in Syria. Imagine for a moment that ISIS and the Al-Nusra Front and their American allies had become victorious in Syria and had subjugated this country, what would have happened to Lebanon, Iraq, and Iran? And what would the fate of the nations of the region have been? What would the fate of Palestine and Quds have been? In the case of the victory of the Takfiris, the deal of the century would have come about long ago, and it was enacted by this day. If today Ben Salman told the Palestinians to accept minor things they were given, what would have happened to Quds and Palestine? Therefore, if we want to know the importance of the victory that was achieved in Syria, we must reverse this question and ask: if we had not won and had been defeated in Syria, if they had won, what would be the situation in Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, Iran, and the whole region? When we answer this question, we understand the importance of what the fighters have accomplished in Syria and the significance of their resistance.

You repeatedly emphasized that the rulers of different countries contacted Bashar al-Assad, giving him various promises of the financial and political kind, and even guaranteed his remaining in power, but he eventually refused to accept these promises. What was the reason for Bashar al-Assad’s persistence and resistance against these promises, and what caused him to endure so much pressure?

It was mainly because Bashar al-Assad did not trust the American and Arab parties. On the other hand, Assad knew their experience; because they all consider granting concessions. Yet, he himself is not a man who would give concessions in exchange for the essential and national principles. Bashar al-Assad believed that offering any concession in exchange for national principles would be risky for Syria’s existence, national sovereignty, and its status in the region.

Before Syria faced this situation and Iran, Hezbollah and Syria itself and the government of Dr. Bashar al-Assad opted for this solution, were other alternatives investigated to see if other options were available or there was basically no other way from the beginning?

Our initial option was negotiation, and a political settlement was our priority. The Syrian government, our brothers in Iran, and we in Hezbollah made numerous contacts with the Syrian opposition and invited them to negotiate for deciding on a political settlement, but the opposition strongly rejected political negotiation and discussion and believed that the Syrian government would fall within two to three months. I remember that some influential parties in the Syrian opposition told us that we intended to revive the dead! They said that the Damascus government was done with and they would not accept to negotiate with such a government. This was their mistake in calculations because they absolutely refused to negotiate a political settlement. But their even bigger calculation mistake was that they engaged in military action too soon, which was their main objective in Syria. As I mentioned earlier, their goal was not to establish democracy in Syria or to implement reforms in this country. Their main goal was to overthrow the Damascus government, hit the Syrian army and, change the equations in the country. Yes, that’s right; there was no other option when the Syrian government and its friends and allies opted for an armed resistance option.

An important matter that has always been emphasized by Ayatollah Khamenei is the policy of approximation of Islamic denominations and that members of different Islamic denominations should be able to coexist peacefully and should by no means be hostile toward each other. Meanwhile, we see some movements that add fuel to the fire of religious disputes, under the influence of the propaganda and policies of the foreigners—who are enemies of both Shias and Sunnis. What is your view about the policy of approximation of Islamic denominations promoted by Ayatollah Khamenei, and also emphasized by Imam Khomeini (r.a.)? What has this policy achieved? And what issues, do you think, can threaten this policy at the moment?

Firstly, this is one of the fundamental principles raised by Ayatollah Khomeini (r.a.) under the title of Islamic unity, solidarity among Muslims, the closeness of Islamic denominations, and the proliferation of the spirit of convergence, cooperation and coordination among all Muslims. The Islamic Republic of Iran has always favored this policy. After taking up the responsibility of leadership, Ayatollah Khamenei, too, continued this policy forcefully, always stressing it. The truth is that this is also the policy of the original Islam of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the Quran. Unity among Muslims, the policy of approximation of Islamic denominations, is an Islamic logic that all Muslims should heed.

Much effort has been made in this regard. Since the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, extensive relations were developed among Islamic parties and Muslim scholars across the region and even the world. Moreover, many congresses and conferences were held during these years to promote the policy of approximation of Islamic denominations. Undoubtedly, the attitude of Imam Khomeini (r.a.) and also Ayatollah Khamenei toward the Palestinian cause has played an important role in gathering all Muslims under one single flag, i.e. the centrality of the Palestinian cause.

Much effort has been made in this regard. If we look for the good results and the achievements of the policy of approximation of Islamic denominations, we will find them in recent years; because the most dangerous incident since 2011 was the U.S.-Saudi project aimed at creating faith and tribe related sedition and divisions between Shias and Sunnis in the region. This is more dangerous than what happened in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Bahrain. I remind you of four years ago; now we are in the fifth year. When the aggressive U.S.-Saudi coalition took military action against Yemen, the Friday Prayers’ Imam of the Great Mosque of Mecca (Masjid ul-Haram) announced during the Friday Prayers sermons that the war on Yemen was a Sunni-Shia war. The Saudis tried to present the Syrian war as a religious and ethnic war, too. A lot of efforts were made in the media and huge amounts of money were spent to make the different wars in the region look like sectarian and tribal conflicts. All these attempts failed. The Shias rejected this rationale. Many Sunni scholars and Sunni figures rejected this rationale. This has been one of the results of this policy pursued over the past 30 years.

Relations between the Shias and Sunnis, the efforts of the Islamic Republic of Iran, as well as the positions held by Imam Khomeini (r.a.) and Ayatollah Khamenei created solid relationships in the Muslim World, so that the Islamic world was able to nullify the biggest sedition aimed at creating an internal war between Shias and Sunnis. Naturally, we should continue this policy, although we have successfully passed this stage, and we have overcome many risks so far.

I believe that the United States and Saudi Arabia suffered a tough defeat in their efforts for causing sedition in the region and thus failed to make Iraq’s events seem like a Sunni-Shia battle. We saw that Sunnis, Shias, Iraqi nomads—including Shias and Sunnis—all stood against ISIS, and prior to that, they had resisted the occupation by the United States. In Syria, too, the people, including the Syrian army, the popular forces or the allied forces, who fought against ISIS, Al-Nusra Front and other terrorist groups were mostly Sunnis. That is, those who fought in Syria were mostly Sunnis, fighting alongside Shias and members of other Islamic denominations.

Therefore, based on what has happened so far in Yemen or other countries, I strongly believe that the division-provoking project has miscarried, which means that the Islamic Ummah has been largely spared of the risk of being afflicted with religious sectarian conflicts. We should continue this strategy to strengthen this achievement. Enhanced relations, cooperation, support of the Palestinian cause, resistance to the U.S. and defense of the nations of the region can lead to increased unity and solidarity among Muslims.

Sometimes, the adversaries of the Palestinian nation, the Islamic Revolution, and the Resistance movement propagate the idea that the people of Palestine are Sunnis. They also attribute other characteristics to the Palestinian nation so that under the influence of the propaganda, the Iranian people become skeptical toward the Palestinians. They try to create the ambiguity that ‘why should Iran support a Sunni nation?” But we have always seen that Ayatollah Khamenei has stressed and stresses that the Palestinian cause represents the most important matter of the Muslim world, and he has never adopted a Sunni-Shi’a perspective with regard to Palestine.

This position by the Leader has existed since the occupation of Palestine by the Zionists, and this is the position taken by all scholars, jurists (Faqihs) and religious authorities (marja’s) in Najaf and in the holy city of Qom and among all Shias of the world. Even beyond this, our great scholars and marja’s, who are said to be traditionalists and not revolutionary—if it is appropriate to say this about them—support the Palestinian cause, accuse the usurper Israel and provide assistance to Palestine; all of them have issued written permissions to grant part of the religious donations and Imam’s share to the Palestinian Resistance. This is a great action. You know that our marja’s are generally cautious about spending the Imam’s share, but they allow Imam’s share or some of it to be allocated to the Palestinian Resistance. Now, who were the members of the Palestinian Resistance? The members of the Palestinian resistance are Sunnis, not Shias; many were not even Islamist, for example, they were inclined to nationalist or leftist parties. Our marja’s did not include any prerequisite for assistance and authorized part of the Imam’s share to the Palestinian Resistance so that Palestine would be liberated. This means that there has been a great insight and awareness.

As for the question of Palestine, as Ayatollah Khamenei has pointed out on many occasions, if we search the whole world, looking for a matter that has remained intact, and its legitimacy is completely clear in terms of legal, religious, moral, and humane principles, it is the matter of Palestine. The enemies are trying to distract us from the Palestinian cause, using all the tools at their disposition and various weapons. This is an effort that has been made in previous years, i.e. when they sent Palestinian suicide bombers to Shia areas to carry out terrorist operations. That’s why I said on Quds Day a few years ago: “Why do you send Palestinian people? Why do you hire them to kill our women and children? If you are seeking to distract us from the Palestinian cause, then kill us everywhere: by every door, in every mosque and hussayniyah. We are the Shia of Amir al-Mu’minin, Imam Ali (a.s.), and we won’t let go of Palestine, the Palestinian nation and the holy institutions of the Islamic Ummah in Palestine.” These efforts in theory and practice are known. Undoubtedly, it is a matter of the Truth and Islam, so the Islamic Republic of Iran, we and all Muslims must take actions for this cause, based on their religious and divine duty.

Given the importance of this matter, I would like to ask two questions. First, the general view of Ayatollah Khamenei is clear about the approximation [the policy of approximation of Islamic denominations], and he initiated a movement of approximation at the beginning of his term of leadership. I would like to ask you to give some more concrete examples of his actions and views on the unity of Shia and Sunni and the approximation dialogue. For example, it is indicated that he has announced as forbidden (haram) to disrespect Sunnis sanctities, and so on. Secondly, some pretend that the issues that have occurred in different Islamic countries like Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, and Bahrain over the past years have been based on the disagreements between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and others have entered into conflict, on their behalf. How much can this be true?

As for the first part of the question, the formation of the “Congress on approximation of denominations”, holding several conferences and gatherings in Iran, the special attention the Leader gave to these gatherings and his insistence on attending them and speaking to the audience and the Muslims of the world are some of his measures for promoting approximation. We also constantly observed during the conferences on Islamic unity in Iran that the Leader presented himself among the Shia and Sunni scholars and met with them, ignoring all the security and non-security considerations. The main reason for this attitude is his emphasis on the necessity of spreading the culture of unity among Islamic communities and Muslim scholars. His Eminence endorsed gatherings that bring about unity among scholars.

We, in Lebanon, have the “gathering of Muslim scholars”, which is one of the good and successful experiences for unifying the Islamic denominations. A large number of Shia scholars and Sunni scholars are present at this Islamic gathering. Whenever our brother organizers traveled to Iran for the gathering of Muslim scholars and met with the Leader, his Eminence praised the formation of such a gathering and emphasized the necessity of promoting it in other Islamic countries. In recent years, he has taken some brave positions. In these years, we have seen that many efforts were made aiming to disunite and divide Shias and Sunnis, and unfortunately, some Wahhabi and Takfiri movements, as well as some Sunni-attributed satellite channels such as Safa and Wesal, have tried to takfir (denote excommunication to) the Shia, attributing big lies to Shias. They attributed certain beliefs to Shi’ism that the Shia do not hold at all.

On the other side of the spectrum, some satellite channels are attributed to the Shia community, figures and groups that have nothing to do with Shi’ism, and none of the current notions, such as ‘the Islamic Ummah’, ‘the global Arrogance’, ‘Autocracy and Tyranny’, ‘freedom’, and ‘defending sanctities’ are important to them. The only mission of these satellite channels is to divide Shias and Sunnis by using insulting words to criticize the opposite community. That is what the Leader referred to as the “London-based Shiism”.

The type of activities of the satellite channels attributed to each community– either Shia or Sunni– shows that they are both conducted by one single force. For instance, we see that some channels attributed to Shias use insulting words for certain wives of the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) or his companions. The Wahhabi channels then broadcast some of these cases. This means that each of these channels plays a complementary role in arousing sedition and sectarian conflicts between Shias and the Sunnis. Naturally, this had a dangerous impact on Muslims. I have discussed it with some major Sunni scholars in Lebanon and other countries like Syria and Egypt, who similarly believe that this is very dangerous. We believe that only one person can solve this problem and stand up to this wave. Because it requires bravery and a high position so that a sovereign position can be taken for it, in other words, so that the sedition is completely defeated.

While meeting with the leader some years ago, I mentioned these issues and the names. He also stated: “It is true; what is happening is very dangerous. One of the worst things is insulting the prominent figures of the denominations, and we need to adopt a strong position with regard to this event.”

 I remember that some years ago the Leader traveled to the province of Kurdistan and had a speech in the city of Sanandaj. In that meeting, he emphasized the fact that insulting Sunni figures was haram (forbidden). Nevertheless, shortly after his speech, the so-called Shia satellite channels started disparaging Sayyida Ayesha, and accused her of things that the Shia had never mentioned before. This was an event that could have caused big sedition in the countries of the Muslim World.

Afterwards, some of the religious scholars addressed a letter to the Leader of the Revolution, asking an istifta’ about the law applicable to insulting prominent figures of the Islamic denominations. The Leader’s response was so powerful and explicit that it had a significant impact on Arab and Islamic countries. I assure you that the speech of the Leader in Sanandaj and then his assertive answer to the scholars’ istifta [enquiry] about the actions of the channels attributed to the Shias and the Sunnis blocked the way to sedition and made futile the efforts of those who tried to arouse conflicts. Moreover, by God’s grace, at that time many honorable Marja’s in Qom and in Najaf issued separate declarations, explicitly announcing that the real position of the Shia community is the same as what Ayatollah Khamenei had stated.

As an answer to the second part of the question, I should say, the interpretation that the transformations in the region is indeed a Saudi-Iranian conflict, is a mistake. The conflict existed in the region even before the Islamic Republic was established; when the Soviet Union on one side and the United States of America and the West on the other side were in conflict. In addition, before the establishment of the Islamic Republic in Iran, there existed Arab-Israeli conflicts in the region. The Arab-Israeli conflict existed since 1948, before the victory of the Islamic Revolution. Therefore, Saudi Arabia’s problem with many countries of the region and many resistance groups in the region dates back to the time before the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. This is a well-known fact. So when the Islamic Revolution became victorious in Iran, and the Pahlavi regime, as one of the best friends of the U.S., collapsed, the Islamic Republic was established in Iran and started supporting the Palestinian cause, the resistance groups and the underprivileged in the region. From the very first moment, Saudi Arabia declared hostility to the Islamic Republic. Of course, Imam Khomeini (r.a.) extended the hand of friendship to all Arab and Islamic countries from the very early days of the Revolution. Despite this, since day one, Al Saud found that the existence of the Islamic Republic of Iran was a threat to the interests of the United States, Israel, the tyrannies and autocrats, as well as the mercenaries of Washington and Tel Aviv in the region. For this reason, Saudi Arabia became an enemy of the Islamic Republic.

They say, when in the war against Iran, they sided with Saddam, they paid $200 billion to support Saddam. At that time, however, oil was cheap. I remember a few years ago, one of the Saudi princes, Nayef, said that if Saudi Arabia had been able to pay more money to Saddam at that time, it would have done so. Therefore, Saudi Arabia was the initiator of hostility, war, and conspiracy against the Islamic Republic of Iran. Whereas, Iran had extended a hand of friendship to it. Saudi Arabia’s problem with Iran basically derived from the same reasons that had hampered Saudi Arabia’s relations with other countries which supported the Resistance in Palestine and the region. This is a fact. There is no such thing as a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia in the region.

Regardless of the position of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia always opposed the resistance groups even before the victory of the Islamic Revolution. So our problem with Saudi Arabia is not related to the positions of Iran. Saudi Arabia’s opposition to Palestinian resistance throughout history also has nothing to do with Iran. For example, when there was a great deal of hostility between Saudi Arabia and Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt, the Islamic Revolution in Iran had not been in place, yet. Therefore, the controversy during the era before the establishment of the Islamic Republic has its own clear reasons. When the Islamic Revolution of Iran became victorious and the Islamic Republic started attending to the affairs of the Islamic and Arab Ummah, then Saudi Arabia started showing enmity to Iran. This is the reality.

 At the end of the discussion on Saudi Arabia, I would like to point out that recently the Supreme Leader, referring to the fact that some are equipping Saudi Arabia with missiles and nuclear weapons, said “we are not upset, because soon this equipment will be at the disposition of the Islamic fighters”. How do you evaluate this statement of the Leader?

The ruling regime in Saudi Arabia is an old regime; very old and aged. Perhaps this regime, for natural reasons, is going through its final era. The Al Saud family has inflicted all kinds of oppression on others during the last 100 years and looted the property of their own nation. Corruption is rooted in every part of this regime, and suppressing freedom in this country has reached its highest level. In addition, the monopoly of power within the members of the Saudi family has peaked in the last 100 years.

But what will precipitate the end of this regime is the performance of its current officials, which is completely different in terms of both appearance and method of action, with that of the former officials of Saudi Arabia. For example, the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched a war against Yemen, and now we see that he is committing horrible crimes in that country. Undoubtedly, the adoption of such a decision, namely, the war on Yemen and committing crimes against civilians, will have a negative effect on the future of the Saudi regime. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia’s apparent interference in the affairs of various countries is among other factors that will affect the future of this regime. For example, in the countries of the Arab world, we see that Saudi officials interfere in every country and try to show themselves as sided with the nations.

In the past 40 years, we have seen that Saudi Arabia has tried to present itself as a friend of all countries and all nations, pretending to be a good state which helps others. However, we hear for the first time that the slogan “Down with Al Saud” resonates in many Arab countries. For the first time, we see that political and national groups, as well as governments, are openly opposed to Saudi Arabia’s crimes and interference in Arab countries. Saudi Arabia’s involvement in countries such as Bahrain, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan can be seen. Even in Libya, where there is a military conflict now, at least one of the parties involved says that Saudi Arabia and the Emirates are conspiring to destroy Tripoli and Libya.

Today, in many Arab and Islamic countries, many personalities as well as parties, movements, scholars, and governments abhor Saudi Arabia’s attitude and oppose it. Add to this the Saudi stance on the question of Palestine, and in particular the so-called Deal of the Century. Saudi Arabia’s humiliation, indignity, and disgrace before Trump will normally undermine Saudi rulers’ dignity and power. The Saudis have always shown themselves to be independent of others, to be honorable and to be servants of the Holy Shrines. Trump’s recent trip to Saudi Arabia and what he says at celebrations today is worth considering. Look at Trump’s recent remarks on Saudi Arabia. “I called the king of Saudi Arabia and told him I love him,” he says. He says he told the king of Saudi Arabia: “You have a lot of money and we have paid a lot of money to support you. You must pay for the support.” He says he has gained a huge amount from Riyadh, much easier than earning $100 from a New York store. Look at Saudi Arabia, its media, its officials; absolute silence! Even their friends in the world, their media in the world did not speak a word. This is the ultimate humiliation. Trump makes similar remarks to ridicule and humiliate Saudi Arabia. The Americans laugh at the Saudis and ridicule them.

This is while if a person from the Muslim world made similar remarks about the Saudis, they would be furious.

Definitely. They might even cut off diplomatic relations with the leaders of that country and accuse them of disbelief [kufr] and sentence them to capital punishment! I cannot but say that Saudi Arabia has never experienced such humiliation, vanity, weakness, humiliation, and scandal in its history. That’s precisely why I think the current Saudi rulers will not stay in power for a long time. Divine and historical traditions and the nature of affairs indicate that they cannot endure for long.

Sayyed Nasrallah p5

How did we defeat the U.S. in its ISIS project?

Over the past few years, we have witnessed popular uprisings in some Islamic countries, including Yemen, where the people rose up. We also witnessed popular uprising in Bahrain, but in all of these cases, Saudi Arabia, with its interventions, has been trying to suppress these popular uprisings in the region which seek the establishment of Islamic and anti-Zionist governments. As you know, Ayatollah Khamenei has always emphasized the role of the people in creating a general movement to confront Zionism. That is, even if certain measures are taken by the Resistance movement, he still focuses on the people of the region, and he always raises hope that the people will rise up. Even in the case of Palestine, when some of the Palestinian leaders sign inappropriate agreements for a compromise, he says that the Palestinian people are opposed to this. Accordingly, given his emphasis on the role of the people, how do you evaluate and analyze the role of the people in the developments of the Islamic world in the perspective of Ayatollah Khamenei and based on the meetings you have had with him?

What we heard from the Leader (May Allah protect him) on public occasions, in public meetings or private meetings, was that he emphasized on massive popular movements in all matters. He always emphasized that if you had a certain organization, this organization should always be at the heart of its supporters and the people, and no organization or party should be separated from the involved people; the true power is the power of the people’s presence. Of course, this is what we saw during the victory of the Islamic Revolution of Iran. We have also had such an experience in Hezbollah in Lebanon. Our power as Hezbollah in Lebanon is not only due to military capabilities, but also due to the popularity that this group has gained among various grassroots groups.

In Palestine, too, those who are fighting against Israel’s aggression and conspiracies—including the Deal of the Century—are the people of Palestine. The Palestinian resistance movements were able to resist, fight and take strong positions thanks to the support of the Palestinian people. Today in Yemen, without the presence of the people and the popular support of Ansar Allah, could Ansar Allah, under the leadership of dear brother Sayyid Abdulmalek Al Houthi, be able to enter the fifth year of battle and continue to fight? In many Yemeni cities, like “Saada” and “Sana’a”, we see massive popular presence, while there are many problems, including war and the spread of cholera and other diseases and the siege of Yemen. Yet, all the Yemeni people, men and women, old and young, take to the streets in every occasion, and this popular presence has given the Yemeni army and popular committees the power to resist Saudi-American invasion.

Another example is Iraq. Who stood up against ISIS? In Iraq, people stood up against ISIS terrorists. In Iraq, those who were able to resist ISIS, were the Iraqi people and the Popular Mobilization Force, after the fatwa of the Marja’iah [religious leadership] and support of Ayatollah Khamenei and the Islamic Republic of Iran. If the Iraqi people hadn’t supported the Popular Mobilization Forces, the army and the Marjaiyah, resistance against the Takfiri terrorism and defeating it would not have been possible. It’s the same in all arenas. So the matter of the nations is a fundamental matter.

Now what has actually been the main factor that has been able to keep the Palestinian cause alive—after decades of conspiracy and deceiving—and has defeated the U.S.’s plans and plots against the Palestinians, one after the other in the region, has been the popular support and not the positions of the governments. The popular stance, the uprising of the nations, their attention to the issues, their involvement, their sacrifices, and their resistance has always been the cause of victory. We say in Lebanon’s literature: “The nation and resistance are like the sea, that is, like water and fish.” The fish cannot survive out of the water, and this means no resistance movement can resist and win outside the circle of the nation and widespread popular support.

You referred to Iraq; well, we have witnessed very important events in Iraq over the past recent years, and we can say that during this period, two important incidents took place; the first event was the occupation of Iraq by foreigners after the fall of Saddam, and the second was the formation of ISIS terrorist group. After the formation of this terrorist group, Iraq was severely invaded and significant parts of the country were occupied by the members of this group. But, both the American occupiers and ISIS occupiers finally had to leave Iraq. What role did the Islamic Republic of Iran play in the shifts in Iraq? What were the macro-level policies of the Islamic Republic regarding these events and its role in preserving the unity and integrity of Iraq? In recent years, some events also took place in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region that we would like you to talk about, as well.

Firstly, since the start of the occupation of Iraq by the United States of America, the position of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Leader (May Allah protect him) was quite clear towards the occupiers. The Islamic Republic of Iran rejected the occupation of Iraq by the United States. Even before the U.S.’s invasion of Iraq, Iran’s position was clear. After the occupation of Iraq by the United States, the Islamic Republic of Iran, with a clear position, called for the withdrawal of the U.S. from Iraq so that the Iraqi people can themselves manage their country. This was a great political stance.

Secondly, after the occupation of Iraq by the U.S., the Islamic Republic of Iran made many efforts to unite Iraqi parties, movements and various groups, so that they form a unified position against the occupiers. Meanwhile, the Americans at that time were trying to take advantage of the internal disagreements in Iraq to stabilize their occupation. Therefore, the second attempt (of IRI) was to coordinate the positions of Iraqi leaders, groups and parties, who had  intellectual, political, religious, tribal, and regional differences. In order to achieve this important goal in Iraq—namely to unite different parties—the Islamic Republic of Iran established good relations with all Iraqis, including Arabs, Kurds, Turkmans, Shias and Sunnis.

Thirdly, the Islamic Republic of Iran supported the stance taken by the religious Marja’iah [religious leadership] in Najaf, Ayatollah Sistani (May Allah protect him), the eminent Marja’iah [religious leadership] of the Shias, because the positions of the Marja’iah [religious leadership] in Najaf were very important and had a significant impact on shaping the central and crucial events. For example, after the occupation of Iraq, the U.S. sought to impose a new constitution on the country, to which the Marja’iah [religious leadership] objected and declared that the Iraqis should decide on the constitution and agree on it. This is just one example of the cases when the Marja’iah [religious leadership] intervened.

Among other important factors was that the Islamic Republic of Iran’s support strengthened and inspired the Iraqi resistance groups who resisted the American occupiers. The position of the Islamic Republic of Iran was explicit; they regarded the resistance in Iraq as legitimate and the natural right of the Iraqi people. They believed the Iraqis had the right to engage in armed resistance against those who had occupied their land. Eventually, the U.S. couldn’t achieve its goals in Iraq.

Moreover, in one of the stages, along with the honorable Marja’iah [religious leadership] in Iraq, the Islamic Republic of Iran worked hard to prevent conflicts among members of different denominations in Iraq. At that time, the takfiris who had entered Iraq, were seeking to cause conflicts between the Shias and the Sunnis by suicide bombings in Shia community areas, such as their mosques, Hussainiyehs, the shrines of the immaculate Imams (a.s.) including the shrine of Imam Hussain (a.s) and the shrines of Imams Askariin (a.s.) in Samarra. Most of the suicide bombers were from Saudi Arabia and their car bombs were also sent to them by Saudi Arabia’s Intelligence services. So although Riyadh endeavored to create religious schism in Iraq, the efforts of the religious Marja’iah [religious leadership] in Najaf and the Islamic Republic of Iran prevented tribal conflicts and a civil war—even if some struggles and contests occurred.

As a result of political resistance and political effort on the one hand, and armed resistance on the other hand, the U.S. found it impossible to stay in Iraq. During the premiership of Nouri al-Maliki, they sought to sign an agreement to withdraw from Iraq, and eventually the signing of an agreement between Baghdad and Washington led to the decision of withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq. Naturally, the U.S. wanted to stay in Iraq for longer. During the negotiations for the agreement, they tried to maintain about 50,000 troops of the total 150,000 U.S. forces in Iraq, but the Iraqis refused to accept. [The Americans were bargaining by diminishing the number]: they accepted to leave 30 thousand, 25 thousand, 20 thousand, and finally, 10 thousand of their forces in Iraq, but still the Iraqis opposed; obviously, not all the Iraqis, but this was the view of the public in general. The Iraqi government rejected the granting of diplomatic immunity to American troops and military forces. Consequently, Washington under President Barack Obama concluded that there was no choice but to leave Iraq.

Yes, the Americans retained their embassy in Iraq and a large number of embassy protection forces, as well as some of their consulates, but their open military presence was over, and the American military bases were closed down and America’s military retreat from Iraq was announced. This was a great victory for Iraq and the Iraqi people. Another incident occurred when ISIS inflicted calamity and pain on the Iraqi people. Everyone knows about ISIS. ISIS took advantage of its presence in Syria, at the east of Euphrates and the Badia (the Syrian Desert). You remember that this group then occupied 40 to 45 percent of the territory of Syria. ISIS’s leaders were Iraqi, indeed, the main leaders were Iraqi, and they paid special attention to Iraq, and therefore they were counted on. The United States of America and some countries in the region, and more than others, Saudi Arabia, were behind-the-scenes players of what ISIS did in Iraq. We all recall that when ISIS arrived in Mosul, Diyala, Anbar and Salah al-Din, many satellite channels affiliated with Saudi Arabia and some Persian Gulf countries reported on the event as a major victory. ISIS dominated a number of Iraqi provinces and facilities in a short time. The Iraqi forces collapsed and ISIS was on the verge of entering Karbala and even Baghdad. The situation was very dangerous. Even ISIS had reached only some hundred meters to Samarra, and it had become a threat to the shrine of Imams Askariin (a.s.).

In the early days, the Islamic Republic of Iran rushed to aid Iraq. Iraq’s religious Marja’iah [religious leadership] decided on certain positions, and Ayatollah Sistani issued the fatwa of jihad kafayee. The Iraqis became prepared to rise up but they needed assistance for managing and commanding, weapons and facilities. At that time, a significant part of the war armaments and facilities of Iraq had been robbed by ISIS. The Iraqis said that many of their firearm warehouses were empty. We remember that in the early days, dear brother Hajj Ghasem Soleimani and the brothers from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps went to Baghdad to organize resistance groups rooted in Iraq and coordinate them with Iraqi government forces. Mr. Nouri al-Maliki also cooperated very well. Resistance to ISIS began. After a few days, Hajj Qasem came to Lebanon and met with me. He asked us to send about 120 Hezbollah members to Iraq to command operations. He said that combatants weren’t needed because there were so many combatants in Iraq, but commanders were needed for operations in different areas. So we sent a large number of our brothers to Iraq. The borders between Iran and Iraq were opened so that weapons were provided via the border areas and that there would be no need to send them from Tehran and distant places. Importing armaments started, providing arms for the Iraqi army and the Popular Mobilization Forces set off, and the fight began.

All Iraqis know the reality. We said that the Islamic Republic of Iran rushed to aid Iraq, while taking firm positions. Rejecting ISIS’s dominance, the Islamic Republic started fighting against the Takfiris openly and unhesitatingly, and assisting Iraq. The best commanders in the Guard Corps went to Iraq to help the Iraqis. All of the facilities of the Iranians were provided for the Iraqi people. Everyone knows that the Leader’s stance on helping the Iraqi people and Iraqi forces to impose a defeat on ISIS was that there was no red lines that would prevent the Islamic Republic of Iran from offering the aid.

Praise be to God, thanks to the religious Marja’iah [religious leadership] of Iraq, the fatwa of jihad Kafayee, the firm positions of the Leader, the valuable aids provided by the Islamic Republic of Iran, the direct involvement of the Revolutionary Guards’ brothers and especially the Quds Force, the measures taken by the Popular Mobilization Forces and the Iraqi forces as well as the national unity and solidarity of the Iraqis, in particular, among the Shias and Sunnis and Kurds in confronting ISIS, after a few years, a great victory was achieved in face of ISIS. This achievement would not have been made without the historic and great positions of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Leader, the positions of the religious Marja’iah [religious leadership], the actions of the Popular Mobilization Forces, the Iraqi government and the Iraqi forces.

Recently, you warned of the re-emergence and reactivation of ISIS.

I highlighted two issues, which the Iraqi Prime Minister, Adel Abdul Mahdi, also referred to. The threat posed by ISIS—which is called the “Caliphate State”—is persisting in Iraq. Of course, there is no government under this name now. They formed a government between Syria and Iraq, which was a large government; that is, at some point, their government was larger than what was left of the Syrian and Iraqi governments. The ISIS government ended. The ISIS army, that is the big military infrastructure of ISIS, ended. However, the group’s major leader is still alive, and there are naturally questions about his fate as well as the role of the United States in this matter.

Many of ISIS leaders are still alive, and have been saved from the east of Euphrates and various battlefields. ISIS has small groups that are based in different parts of Syria, Iraq and other parts of the region. They carry out anti-security activities: they engage in suicide attacks, bombings, they kill people; and these are the threats we have to counter. This means that if the ISIS and its security infrastructure are not completely eliminated, ISIS will remain as a threat to Syria and Iraq, as well as to Iran, Lebanon and the entire region.

Based on our information, the Americans have taken some parts of ISIS to Afghanistan. Now the question is whether the members of this group will act against the Taliban in Afghanistan or against the countries of Central Asia. The case is open. A part of ISIS was transferred to North Africa. In the future, it will not be surprising if ISIS is used to exert pressure on China, Russia and other countries, because the U.S. resorts to such methods. Another issue, I called attentions to, is related to Trump, the U.S. and Iraq. Trump insists on the U.S. forces remaining in Iraq. The warning I gave was that Trump is trying to fulfil his electoral promises, sometimes succeeding, and sometimes not.

He might not succeed, but he is trying to fulfil his promises. For example, during his presidential campaigns, Trump promised to transfer the U.S. embassy from Quds to Tel Aviv, which he did. He promised to recognize Quds as the eternal capital of Israel, which he did. He promised to retreat from the nuclear deal, which he did. He promised to intensify sanctions against Iran, and he did so. Well, he also made some promises that he failed to realize. For example, he could not build a wall between Mexico and the United States because he failed to gain the Congress’s approval and the funding. Yet, he is still striving to fulfill this promise.

So this man strives to fulfill his promises. Well, one of the promises he made, which he insisted frequently, was that the departure of the U.S. from Iraq during Obama’s administration was a mistake, and that the U.S. should stay in Iraq. This means that he does not want to leave Iraq, although this is not what the Iraqis want. The second issue is that he says, “Iraq’s oil belongs to the U.S., because we spent $ 7 trillion to free Iraq from Saddam Hussain,”—in his words—“and this should be paid back to us”.

He says, “we need to exploit Iraq’s oil and sell it to get our money back”. When asked how, he said, “we would send the U.S. Army to dominate the oil fields, encircle the oil fields and prevent Iraqis from exploiting these fields. We would use their oil for years and then we will deliver it to them”. Can Trump do this? Maybe not, but he will try to do so. Therefore, I warned that the Iraqis should be vigilant about the plots and dangers of this man who has focused on their oil. Just as he is focusing on Saudi’s capital and is plundering it, he also seriously considers looting Iraq’s oil. What can prevent Trump is the Iraqis’ vigilance, their willpower and their diligence.

Trump’s overnight trip to Iraq apparently infuriated him.

Exactly. He says ‘we sent our military forces, we had casualties, we spent a lot of money, and now we have to travel to Iraq overnight. That’s right.

Since the early days following the victory of the Islamic Revolution, the U.S. officials were angry with Iran. Well, the Shah regime was obliterated, so they lost the regime which was dependent on them, and was their biggest base in the region. Since forty years ago, the U.S. has been faced with resistance on the part of the leader of the Revolution, the Iranian people and the Muslim nations that support the Resistance movement against the Front of Arrogance. Therefore, Americans are very angry with Iran.

You probably remember the famous quote by martyr Beheshti which was derived from a verse of the Holy Qur’an: “The U.S.! be angry with us, and die of this anger.” In this situation, Ayatollah Khamenei states that U.S. is declining in West Asia and Islamic countries, and this power will go away, and the nations of the region will become victorious. I would like to learn about your opinion on this analysis of Ayatollah Khamenei; and what proofs do you think support it?

Firstly, what Ayatollah Khamenei has said about this issue is based on experience, information and concrete realities in the region. One of the hallmarks is the withdrawal of the United States from Iraq, despite the fact that the U.S. had entered Iraq to stay forever, and not to leave it. The United States was unable to stay in Iraq and had to return to the country under the pretext of ISIS. This country cannot remain in Iraq. If the Iraqi authorities and people make the determination to dismiss U.S. forces, they will succeed to do so in a few days. The United States is not strong enough to stay in Iraq against the will of the Iraqi people. Well, this was the first sign and example.

The U.S. was also defeated in Syria. Even eight months ago, Trump announced that the U.S. forces settled in east of Euphrates had plans to retreat. But other officials persuaded him to let the forces stay for six more months. He recently wanted to pull the U.S. forces out again, but he was told that this should not be done, because the departure of the United States was like a major defeat for the U.S., and it would disappoint Washington’s friends in the region. So he decided to let the U.S. forces stay; however, they could possibly leave Iraq any moment. In a telephone conversation with Mr. Erdogan, he said: “the U.S. is leaving Syria; Syria is left for you to do whatever you want with it.” This infuriated Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Therefore, the Emirates embarked on immediately reopening its embassy in Damascus. Well, this was about Syria.

In Yemen, too, it was not only Saudi Arabia that was defeated; rather, the United States also suffered a defeat. The United States became frustrated and despondent in Yemen. Today, the United States cannot impose what it wants on the countries of the region, except in some cases like dealing with the craven among the Al-Saud. The United States is unable to impose its demands on many countries in the region. Washington cannot defend its interests. Remember that 20 years ago, the U.S. went to Somalia and could not stay in that country even for a year, and eventually they left it, humiliated. The United States has become too weak to stay in and dominate over the region; its power is declining day after day. This has happened in the wake of the nations’ awareness and confidence. The obvious manifestation of this failure is that the United States has been trying to encircle the Islamic Republic over the past 40 years, and to overthrow its Islamic system, but it has always failed. They say ‘we are not seeking to overthrow the Islamic Republic, we just want Iran to change behavior and method’, yet they failed.

The Islamic Republic continues to adhere to its values, principles and positions, even though 40 years have passed, and its policy has been quite clear since Imam Khomeini (r.a.).

Pompeo came to Lebanon, and met with Lebanese officials. Then, during a press conference, he said to the Lebanese people, “you have to be brave and fight against Hezbollah”. Nevertheless, he did not receive one single positive answer. When Pompeo came to Lebanon, even those who are our rivals told him: “We cannot confront Hezbollah and it is not acceptable for us to cause a civil war in Lebanon.” This means that the U.S.’s demands and decisions are not even accepted by its friends. These are not our friends, they are our rivals. The reason is that, firstly, we are strong, and secondly, our opponents know that pushing toward a civil war negatively affects Lebanon in general. Therefore, they rejected to confront Hezbollah.

Even now that Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, are seeking to impose the Deal of the Century on Palestine, we see that the entire Palestinian nation reject this plan. From Hamas and Islamic Jihad, to Fatah, the Liberation Organization, and Mahmoud Abbas are against the Deal of the Century. Mr. Abbas accepts to compromise, negotiate and give concessions, but he says: “this type of contract and compromise is not even acceptable to me; because it is so disgraceful and insulting that no Palestinian can consent to such a plan.” Even in the last meeting of the Arab League foreign ministers, despite the fact that many of the participants were not honest, they stated in a declaration: “We cannot accept political solutions against international agreements and laws.” This means they oppose the Deal of the Century. They said this publicly; but why? Because they know that their nations will not accept the Deal of the Century, even if a person like Trump supports this plan.

Hence, there are plenty of signs indicating the defeat of the U.S. Moreover, now we see the current leaders of the U.S.—namely Trump, Bolton, Pompeo—have no respect for others. They don’t consider diplomacy; and they are greedy, arrogant and haughty. Therefore, they humiliate their friends and allies and damage their relation with them. Their behavior toward the Europeans, the tensions in their relation with Russia and China are examples of these behaviors. Nobody knows to which direction they are leading the world. If you ask the public opinion whether they think the U.S. is a reliable government, you will get a negative answer. Now the U.S. leaves all treaties and agreements; it seeks to impose its demands on the international community. This kind of behavior has disrupted and weakened America’s image. Therefore, the signs of the U.S.’s defeat are very clear in many countries.

One of the signs of this major U.S. failure in the region is, in my opinion, the situation of Hezbollah and Lebanon today. I traveled to southern Lebanon two days ago and went as far as the frontier with the occupied Palestine and visited the area. There was a time when the Zionist forces would enter the Lebanese territory whenever they wished, and even advanced up to Beirut in 1982, committing many crimes and killing many people and even many Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. In short, they did whatever they wanted to and committed any crime with impunity. During the 33-day war, they attacked from air and ground. Two days ago, I saw the Lebanese people live in peace and security in the area, and they were not at all worried about being attacked by the Israeli enemy. I saw there, that now it is the Zionists who have built walls to protect themselves. All this shows that Hezbollah, which grew and evolved over the course of about 35 or 40 years, has become a great power today, against the will of the Zionists and the U.S. So much so, that it has given Lebanon a special credibility and this is a national pride and power for Lebanon. Those scenes show that during these years, the U.S.’s plan to completely eliminate the resistance movement has completely failed, and today, the Israelis consider themselves defeated in this region.

That’s right. At least since 1982, when the Zionist aggressors invaded Lebanon, this was part of an American project for Lebanon and the whole region. Since then, every U.S. plan and project has failed in Lebanon. These failures occurred in 1982, then in 1985, and later in 2000, 2005, and 2006, and finally in the current period. Today, the U.S. cannot impose their will on the Lebanese people and their attempts have failed, by the grace of God. The same is true about the Israelis. As you have seen and said, southern Lebanon is in peace and security, which is unprecedented for the past 70 years; that is, since the creation of the Israeli usurper and cancerous regime. You know that southern Lebanon and the border with the occupied Palestinian have always been insecure. The Israelis carried out military invasions and bombarded it. They crossed into the region, kidnapping army men, security forces and even ordinary people.

They ridiculed the Lebanese. For example, in the 1967 war, when Israel sent separate army units to the Sinai, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and the Golan, Israeli war minister was asked if an army unit had been sent to Lebanon. He replied: “No, it is not necessary. It’s enough to send a music band to occupy Lebanon.”

That is the extent they disparaged Lebanon. That period ended by the grace and help of God the Almighty. Today, in southern Lebanon, they do not dare bombard, kidnap, kill, or even trespass. They are very cautious and constantly in fear; because they know that in the event of any aggression, the resistance gives them a decisive answer, which in our view signifies observing the rule of the game and the conflict.

Southern Lebanon has always been frightening [for Israel], and today northern Palestine is the same. Colonialists, settlers, and Israelis in northern Palestine—and not the people in our towns and villages—are scared. This time, it is the Israelis who are building walls and defensive lines, when before, they were always in an offensive position. We were always in a defensive position, but today, we are in an offensive position. It is us who threaten them today; that we will one day enter the occupied Palestine by the grace of God. Hence, thank God the equations have changed, and this has been achieved in the wake of the victory of the Islamic Revolution, through the leadership of Imam Khomeini and the Leader (May His Oversight Last), constant support, and unwavering positions of the Islamic Republic of Iran alongside Hezbollah and the resistance groups in the region.

The image of Hezbollah and the Islamic resistance of Lebanon—in the minds of most people who are not familiar with it—is the image of a military organization. They think Hezbollah is just a military organization. In addition to its defensive and military dimensions to protect Lebanon and to undertake the responsibilities it has defined for itself in that regard, what services has Hezbollah offered to the Lebanese people? We have heard a lot about the progress that Hezbollah has made in science. Besides, there has also been progress in terms of education and literacy rates in that region, especially as compared to before the formation of Hezbollah. These facts have been little publicized. Please tell us more about it. Given the emphasis placed by the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution on the progress and investment in the scientific fields of Iran, do you feel you are among the addressees of this remarks?

Naturally, we consider ourselves to be the addressee of these words too, and believe that this is part of our duty, and we work towards this goal. Regarding Hezbollah, from the very beginning, we were concerned with this issue, but today it has become more important and we are paying more attention to it. Hezbollah is not just a military organization, but a popular movement. This group is a popular movement rather than a [political] party, but it is called the Party of Allah. Hezbollah acts like a national and popular movement. In addition to armed resistance and military activities, Hezbollah engages in various activities. Hezbollah has religious activities, and has scholars and missionaries in religious seminaries who carry out promotional activities in different areas. This is a great change. If today you look at the number of religious students in Lebanon compared to the past, you will realize that the proportion of the Lebanese population who are students of religion is significant. If we include our brothers in the holy cities of Qom and Najaf al-Ashraf too, it will make for a spectacular number. This is unprecedented in Lebanon’s history. Regarding ​​religious activities, in many towns and villages of Lebanon, there was not a mosque before. But today, there is no village in which there is not a mosque. There are also mosques in different parts of cities. For example, in Southern Dahieh, even though hundreds of thousands of people live there, there were only 3 or 4 mosques; but today, praise be to Allah, there are mosques in most of its neighborhoods.

Today there are seminaries in different regions. Seminaries for women, as well as cultural, scientific, and religious studies institutions for women can be found in different regions. Organizing religious ceremonies during Muharram and the holy month of Ramadan, organizing Qur’an recitation gatherings, and holding Muharram processions—which are getting more traction year after year—are among other religious activities of Hezbollah. People are keener on religious occasions and activities in Ramadan and the nights of Qadr.

Beside religious activity, Hezbollah has academic and educational activities. We have the strongest student organizations in universities. The most powerful student organizations at universities are those affiliated with Hezbollah and include both boys and girls; they have a significant presence in universities. They have a strong and active presence at universities among university professors, and school teachers in middle schools and high schools. Hezbollah Group is one of the strongest and largest student and educational groups in Lebanon’s schools. They carry out the same activities as those carried out by Hezbollah student organizations at universities.

Therefore, there are cultural, intellectual, media, political, and scientific activities. In the official examinations, we see that girls and boys who are members of Hezbollah, always rank top and are successful in government and official examinations. We have diverse cultural and social activities for different groups. For example, we have a large division called “Women’s Councils” in Hezbollah. Women’s societies are found in all villages. They communicate with all women; organize cultural classes, and ceremonies on religious and political occasions; provide social aid, and govern women’s affairs in different places. We also have a division for teenagers called “Imam Mahdi (as) Scouts”. This organization, in terms of the number of male and female members, is the largest Scout organization in Lebanon. This is another cultural, intellectual, religious, social and, of course, recreational activity.

We have schools under the name of Imam Mahdi (as) Schools, from kindergarten to secondary school, in different regions, including Beqaa, Beirut and the south. A few years ago, we also set up a University of Religious Education. This university has diverse colleges. We also have a radio station. Al Nour radio is one of the strongest radio channels in Lebanon. Al-Manar TV station also belongs to us; in this field, the range of our activities go beyond television. There are also some institutions of social and service activities in Lebanon that belong to Iran, but are run by Hezbollah brothers. For example, the Martyr Foundation, the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee, and others. These institutions provide services to the families of martyrs, disabled war veterans, and underprivileged families. We take care of many poor families in need, and a large number of orphans.

Another important area of activity is medical care. We have hospitals, surgery, and therapeutic clinics. We also have a large civil defense organization that helps emergency patients. All of this is supervised by Hezbollah, and not the Lebanese government. All these institutions provide people with health, medical, social and financial services. We have an extensive institution called Imam Kazim (as) Qard al-Hasan [interest-free loan] Institute, which is known as the ” Bayt al-mal of Muslims”; but called the Imam Kazim (as) Qard al-Hasan [interest-free loan] Institute. This institution has branches in most districts and has given tens of thousands of interest-free loans to the people. This is also one of the important and well-known matters in Lebanon.

In addition to all the service centers mentioned, Hezbollah also runs other institutes, such as “Constructive Jihad,” which basically helps people in agriculture. We provide a great deal of assistance in this regard. I may have forgotten some other things. Among other important issues is the participation of Hezbollah in municipal elections. Today, Hezbollah is present in most municipalities and many of the heads of municipalities are among our brothers. These municipalities also particularly serve the people. So, if you go to different cities of Lebanon today, you’ll see the situation there is quite different compared to 10, 20 or 30 years ago.

Well, we get to the participation of Hezbollah in parliamentary elections and the presence of our members in the parliament. Naturally, the number of Hezbollah members of Lebanese parliament does not reflect the true size of this group; that is, this number is not proportionate to the true size of Hezbollah. Because, we tend to form a coalition and hand over several seats to our allies so that they also have a strong presence in the parliament. Our representatives serve the people of their regions in the parliament. We participate in the government and have ministers, and we hold ministries such as the Ministry of Health which are naturally to provide services. The current health minister is among the most active ministers of the government. Therefore, apart from the military dimension, Hezbollah is also politically, socially, and culturally active. We have institutions that are active in communications, and even poetry, literature, painting, and music.

But what the media usually concentrate on is the military dimension, since the most important action by Hezbollah since 1982 was defeating Israeli occupiers and achieving the first manifest Arab victory. This was a huge and great action. That is why Hezbollah’s military dimension is often highlighted. Also, Hezbollah went to Syria to fight against the Takfiris and against a project of foreign domination over the whole region. As a result, its military dimension has been wide and essential. However, other activities of Hezbollah continue strongly; even though they are sometimes not adequately portrayed in the media.

I was listening to your speech on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution; I noticed you pointed out some of the problems the Lebanese people face such as the problems with electricity. When we come to Lebanon sometimes, we see the problem of electricity is very serious, and in fact, it is a concern for the Lebanese people. I heard that Saudi Arabia is one of the obstacles. Please tell us about the needs to solve this problem in Lebanon, the government’s lack of serious action to solve the problem and how it is Hezbollah’s concern.

We follow these cases. Not just Saudi Arabia; the main problem is the United States. For example, what disrupts cooperation between the Lebanese government and the Islamic Republic of Iran? Threats posed by the U.S. Some in the Lebanese government are afraid of the U.S. and their sanctions against Lebanon. Otherwise, a few years ago, delegations from Iran came to Lebanon with offers of help and loans. But they are afraid of U.S. threats and sanctions. The U.S. block [cooperation between Iran and Lebanon]. The U.S. prevents Lebanon from cooperating with not only Iran, but also with Russia and even China. For example, the Lebanese government can buy weapons and use Russian military equipment and armaments, but it does not do so because the U.S. has threatened the Lebanese government saying: “If you buy arms from Russia, we will cut all our aid to the Lebanese army.” Well, China has plenty of opportunities and is willing to cooperate with Lebanon. But why do Lebanon’s doors not open to China? The main reason is the U.S. threat of sanctions. The United States now does not threaten Lebanon of occupation and does not send military forces to it. Because they know that if they enter Lebanon, they cannot occupy and dominate this country. The U.S. knows that in this case, their experience in Iraq would be repeated in Lebanon; as it has already had such an experience in Lebanon in the past. But now the United States resorts to sanctions. When they threaten a country with banking, foreign currency, and trade sanctions, the other party gets scared and back off.

But in any case, we are pursuing in the government, along with the officials, the issues concerning Lebanon and the Lebanese people to the extent of the authorities’ capabilities. To this date, the U.S. has supported Israel in the south, preventing the Lebanese from extracting oil and gas in southern Lebanon; because Israel has threatened [them]. Naturally, we are also threatening [them]. But the companies come looking for a guarantee, and the United States penalizes any company that comes to extract oil and gas in that region, of course, if any company dares to come in the first place. So, the main problem is the United States. Of course, Saudi Arabia is also pushing to prevent serious cooperation with the Lebanese government. For example, Lebanon needs to work with and interact with Syria now, but some Lebanese government officials who count particularly on the relations with the United States and Saudi Arabia do not try that, although the interests of Lebanon require to do so.

Lebanon is an interesting example for those who think cooperation with the United States can solve their problems, and sometimes complain, asking why the Islamic Republic does not resolve its issues with the U.S. government to help resolve its problems. Well, Lebanon has no political problems currently with the United States, and has a good political relationship with it; but the main obstacle to Lebanon’s progress is the United States. I read somewhere you said “we are superior to the Zionists in three areas.” One of the areas you mentioned was in intelligence and information. Well, it’s said that the intelligence system of the Zionist regime is one of the most advanced information systems.

Even during the reign of previous regime in Iran, when they wanted to organize very high levels of intelligence training, they either sent SAVAK agents to the occupied territories, or they brought some trainers from Israel to hold courses in Iran and strengthen Iran’s intelligence systems. Now, you have said that you are superior to Israel in terms of the intelligence system. Based on the points I mentioned and that there are people who might not accept your remark, what explanation do you have in this regard?

I do not remember saying that we are superior. That is, I do not remember saying that we are superior to them. I said we have some information about the situation of Israel that helps us defeat it. We cannot claim to be superior to Israel in terms of intelligence. It is not true. They have some capabilities both technically and in terms of their services. Currently in Lebanon, the services of the U.S. and the services of the European and Arab countries are all at the disposition of Israel. They are technically powerful, and their drones are always flying in our skies, but we do not have such superiority. What I said was that in the past, we had no information—or very poor information—about Israel. But now our strength is that we have much information about Israel, and we know about its bases and barracks, the strengths and weaknesses of its army and its capabilities. We can collect this information by use of various methods. What we need to be able to strike the enemy is this amount of information that we have today, but it is not correct to say we have superiority.

So I would like to ask a question related to the point you mentioned, and then you could continue your words.

That we managed to launch a psychological war against the enemy and affect the enemy’s people showed that my information and the news and issues I was talking about were true and real. The Israelis said: “Wow … they have got so much intelligence.”

One essential point in the context of military confrontation with the Zionist regime is an intelligence surveillance over the enemy, and to use this intelligence in various fields, both in defense of yourself and in planning attacks against the enemy. How much intelligence surveillance has Hezbollah currently gained?

We have an excellent intelligence surveillance that is unprecedented. Hezbollah obtains the necessary intelligence using various methods. The most important intelligence is what we need for any future war or confrontation, or to face any possible threat from Israel. We have an excellent intelligence surveillance and keep track of every development on the enemy’s side. We track the intelligence about the developments related to the enemy, whether obtained through public or confidential methods. But the important thing is to analyze this intelligence; that is, it is important that we evaluate and investigate the intelligence, even when obtained through public means, in order to arrive at a conclusion. This is important.

Hezbollah’s strong point is that it always examines ideology, culture, traditions, customs, weaknesses and strengths as well as the developments related to Israel. This always puts Hezbollah in the context of what goes on within this regime; so that we know how they think, what they like or dislike, what affects them and what problems they are facing. We also know what political, religious and partisan divisions and discords exist within this regime and what the differences between the personalities are. We also evaluate the enemy’s political and military commanders and possess such information. This increases our power to a great extent, and helps us face and confront the enemy through various strategies.

Throughout what you said, you made some remarks about Ayatollah Khamenei on different occasions. I would like to ask you a bit more specifically, considering that you have been in contact with Ayatollah Khamenei for nearly forty years; what are his most prominent personality traits in your opinion? Especially since you have naturally known other important personalities, what makes him singular in comparison?

Firstly, whatever I say in response to this question, I might be accused of bias out of the passion and love that I have for him. Because of this, it may be said that I have brought these issues forward out of affection and love for the Leader. But, realistically and far from the emotional aspects, I have to say that after this extensive experience I have found the Leader possessing exceptional character traits. Sometimes you talk about someone and say that they have good characteristics, of which one or more are excellent and extraordinary. But regarding the Leader, I have to say that he has many exceptional characteristics. For example, his intense sincerity towards God, Islam, Muslims, the underprivileged and the oppressed is an awesome and remarkable devotion. Perhaps this is one of the indications that he is approved by God. This sincerity is very deep and uncommon. When I speak of sincerity, I do not just mean his personality; I have lots of evidence for this. This sincerity lies in his intrinsic personality, in his leadership and in his authority, and does not stop at a certain limit. He always preferred the interests of Islam, Muslims and the public over any other issue.

For example, one of the most prominent features of the Leader is his piety and righteousness. This is a well-known matter. Recently, the U.S. embassy in Baghdad and elsewhere has been trying to attack the Leader’s personality. But, idiotically, they have focused on an aspect of his character that nobody would believe their words. For example, they propagated that the Leader’s personal wealth reaches $200 billion.

One of the distinctive features of the Leader is his moral character and his personality traits. Whenever we meet him, we can see humbleness in his face. Every Lebanese who has travelled to Iran and met with the Leader, in private or in public, has been amazed by his humbleness and modesty. Here in Lebanon, we see that even the head of a small municipality in a small area, is not as humble as the Leader before the people and his visitors.

Others feel that rather than an Imam, a Leader, and a sovereign, they are meeting a loving, caring and affectionate father. Regarding his modesty, and paternal behavior, I told you before that whenever we expressed our views, he would weigh in by saying “my suggestion is …”, and asked us to evaluate it for ourselves. This is one of the signs of the modest, kind and paternal behavior of the Leader. This behavior is fatherly because it teaches us how to mature, and make decisions, and it is kind because he does not want to put us in a difficult position and force us to decide.

Another one of his characteristics, is his extensive political and historical knowledge. The Leader knows our region, despite the region and its developments being very complex. I am referring to the West Asia region, also known as the Middle East, and in particular Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and of course specifically Lebanon. The issues in the region are extremely complicated and even many regional politicians and thinkers make mistakes in analyzing the situation. Meanwhile, we have found every analysis by the Leader to be accurate and reasonable over the past 40 years. Every stance he has made towards the countries of the region, even countries where their own people have been unable to analyze their own issues, has been correct. This is extraordinary.

One of his distinctive features in my opinion, is his absolute trust in the Almighty God. We are not talking about someone who has isolated himself to pray or someone who is active in teaching or in scholarly activities and claims to trust God absolutely. The real test is to have a responsibility as important as that of the Leader, to lead the Islamic Republic, lead the Ummah, confront the U.S., the imperialists on Earth, and the arrogant powers, and to support the oppressed and the underprivileged, go to the most difficult battles, and say I trust in God, and really do have trust in God. That is the difference. This is the true faith in God and the ability to nurture it in others. What is meant is not just claiming to have this trust, but to create and nurture it in the hearts and minds of others like the Hezbollah of Lebanon. It is in the shadow of this trust that progress, consciousness, endeavor for the sake of God, and victory will be achieved. It is through this trust that the Iranian nation and the Iranian youth have stood against the U.S. and faced challenges. If the Leader himself had not achieved such a great level of trust in God, he could not pass it on to others.

In the intellectual realm, today there are very few Muslim thinkers in the Muslim world. There is a difference between a thinker and an educated person. We have many Muslim scholars who have written many books and delivered many lectures, but there are not many Muslim thinkers, the like of the martyr Motahhari, or the martyr Sayyid Baqir Sadr who are among the thinkers of the Muslim world. Today, the number of Muslim thinkers in the Muslim world is very small. There is no doubt that someone who listens to the Leader’s speeches, reads his books and listens to his statements and advice, especially during the month of Ramadan, when he meets with different groups, realizes that he is a great Muslim intellectual leader. Perhaps there is no other thinker in the Muslim world of his stature. That is, no Muslim intellectual is currently comparable to him.

Regarding the subject of jurisprudence and fiqh, naturally, the Leader’s scientific character, and his status among scholar has not been adequately presented. I do not claim to be a scholar, but I know many knowledgeable and mujtahid brothers who are scholars themselves and have attended the Leader’s fiqh classes, and have given solid testimonies about his mastery of Islamic law, and his command of jurisprudence and fiqh. When providing testimony regarding his authority in fiqh, this testimony has gone through testing, investigation, and serious scientific examinations, and not based on an emotional stance or the like.

Today, the struggle continues. Who is conducting this struggle, and its requirements, including science, knowledge, thought, and real identification of the issues in every political, economic, social, cultural, military and security dimensions? Who is conducting this struggle which requires deep insight and courage? One may have insight, but lack the courage and spirit of sacrifice with his soul, life, and blood. Which leaders possess all these features all together? This was a summary of the Leader’s characteristics. Although, if one wants to study his exceptional and distinctive features, one would learn about many of them.

You pointed out his courage. In your opinion, what was the most courageous decision by Ayatollah Khamenei regarding the issues of the region?

You know that after the events of September 11 in the U.S., George Bush and the neoconservatives in the U.S. were outraged. They misused the anger of the American people as a pretext to break every legal boundary and international norm. On that day, George Bush declared that the world is either with us or against us. He sent U.S. troops to Iran’s neighbors. We are not talking about U.S. troops deployed to, [let’s say] Brazil. We are talking about forces deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq, and countries surrounding Iran and its neighboring waters. Bush did this to show his blunt and fierce hostility.

Anyone standing in his way, he would try to destroy. Many in the region were in a state of great fear and horror; because they thought that the U.S. would come and take over the region.  I remember, at the time articles were written claiming the region would enter an American era for 200 or 300 years, and no one can stand up to the United States and defeat it. Who stood up to the United States? The Leader. This stance does not only require historical wisdom, political knowledge, piety or sincerity. It also requires a great deal of courage. He stood against the only arrogant imperialist superpower in the world; a fuming superpower that does not abide by any rule. He stood up to them, not in a subdued state, but taking an attacking posture. In conclusion, the person who has led the fight against the American project in the region over the past years has been the Leader.

When we were talking outside of this interview, you described the decision to get involved in Syria also as a very courageous decision.

Of course; there is no doubt that all of these decisions have been courageous. But you asked me about the most courageous decision. The most courageous decision was to stand against the stupendous, fierce and utterly mad tornado of the United States, and to reject any kind of kneeling or surrender to this tornado and ultimately vanquish it.

About the book “Certainly, Victory Comes with Patience” that you also referred to, during the ceremony marking the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution; please tell us if you remember an interesting point or remarks from this book.

First of all, when this I received this book before its final edition, I read it the same night. It was sunset when I received this book. That night, I read it with great enthusiasm. I first read the introduction written by the Leader in his own handwriting. An introduction in Arabic, which is obviously, also in Persian alphabet. I was surprised. I knew that the Leader is fluent in Arabic, but the text I read was of the highest level of rhetoric and was very eloquent and expressive. I do not think that today, any Arab native could write a text of such beauty and eloquence in Arabic. This was the first thing I noticed at the beginning of the book.

Likewise, what was said in the introduction of the book, regarding its language and expression was very significant. Because I had heard from a brother, Dr. Azarshab that: “This text – i.e. the Arabic text – is written by the Leader, and I have only made simple modifications to it “. The text of this book is a great and very important text in Arabic literature and rhetoric. Many Arab literary figures, not scholars, but literary figures, cannot write a text with such excellent rhetoric and eloquence.

Another feature is a clear, detailed description of the events. The Leader has narrated the events beautifully, in a way that many of them are new to the Arab world, although this may not be the case for the Iranians; because there is of course a Persian version of this book. I had read some books about the Leader’s memories and his life; a collection of many books. But this was the first time I read a book in Arabic written by the Leader himself, which includes extensive details. It was very effective. And, of course, the amount of oppression, pain, suffering and solitude that the Leader and other brothers endured became apparent to the people. But anyway, he narrates his personal recollections, and not those of the others, who are not the subject matter here. Obviously, the Iranian nation, religious leaders, officials, and even those who took up responsibilities later suffered a lot and made many sacrifices for the victory of the Islamic Revolution.

In your meetings with the Leader, what language are the meetings held in?

I speak Arabic and he speaks Persian. But sometimes, at the beginning of the meeting, he asks some questions in Arabic. For example, he asks about how we are, and about our families and brothers in Arabic. But he continues in Persian. Indeed, it was an agreement at the beginning of his leadership and even during his presidency, but mostly during his leadership. Because I understand Persian. But some of my brothers in the Council understood Persian to a certain degree. So, they used to bring an interpreter to the meetings with the Leader. He said in the beginning that we should rely on an interpreter. At a meeting where the Leader, the Lebanese and some Iranian brothers were present he said: “We will not rely on an interpreter from now on. The Iranians must learn Arabic to understand what you say, and the Lebanese must learn Persian, so they do not need an interpreter.” Since then, there has never been an interpreter present at any of our meetings with the Leader.

Clearly, you have many memories of your meetings with the Leader. These memories are related to politics, military discussions, etc. some of which have been explained. Now, at the end of this conversation, if we ask you to share with us one memory that is very sweet and interesting for you, of the many memories that you have, which one would it be?

(Sayyid Hassan laughs) Now, we need to search. They are all good memories. (Sayyid Hassan laughs) It’s difficult to choose one. You know that in the 1990s, i.e. in 1997 or 1998, we were going through a difficult period because of all the hardships, challenges and many dangers and we were very tired. We were in a very difficult position, both domestically in Lebanon, and in our foreign affairs, and the issues related to Israel and our neighbors. Naturally, at that time, I was young. My beard was completely black, and the burden I had on my shoulders was beyond my capacity. I sometimes travelled to Iran. To the Leader I said: “Our Leader! What do I do? “At that time, the Leader answered:” You are still young and your beard is still all black. What complaint should I make about fatigue, with all my beard grey?” He said: “It is natural for anyone to face challenges, difficulties and dangers, sometimes coming from enemies and sometimes from friends. Often, the hardships coming from friends are heavier than those from the enemies, and it causes more pain. Well, ultimately there are limitations in many things. Sometimes a man gets tired mentally and needs someone to guide him and show him the way forward. Sometimes a person needs someone to hold his hand; sometimes he needs someone to calm him down and give him spiritual and moral relief; sometimes he needs someone to increase his strength and reinforce his determination. Well, for all the things we need, we have God the Almighty and do not need anyone else. We have God the Almighty. God the Almighty, through His Kindness and Compassion, has allowed us to call Him and talk to Him at any time and place.”

These words were all by the Leader, stated without any formalities. He continued: “For that reason, whenever you feel tired or overwhelmed, I recommend the following. Enter a room alone, and for 5 or 10 minutes or a quarter of an hour, talk to God the Exalted. We believe that God is present, hears, sees and knows, and He is capable, rich and wise. That is, God has everything we all need. So talk to Him, and for this purpose, there is no necessity to read the Prophet’s (PBUH) or the infallible Imams’ invocations. No, in your own language, say what weighs on your heart and minds, using your everyday language. God will hear and see, and He is generous, benevolent, forgiving, merciful, and the source of guidance and knowledge. If you do this, God gives you peace, confidence and power, and takes your hand and leads you. I say this from experience. Try it and see the result. “

Then I told them that God willing, I will follow his advice. Since then, I have done this occasionally and seen the blessings of this advice and guidance from the Leader. No matter how great the hardships, if we resort to this means, the doors of the great divine blessing will open to us. This was the most important thing we did during the 33-day. Whether I, or my brothers, we each sought a secluded corner, and we would resort to God the Exalted and ask for guidance, support, determination, power, courage, and so on. God the Exalted is so generous.

Thank you very much. At the end of this conversation, I would like to ask your Excellency if you would like to say a few words in Persian to the Iranian people.

It’s hard for me. I speak in Persian in our private meetings, but because it is for the media, I have to be cautious.

We cannot thank you enough for the amount of time you dedicated for us, several hours both yesterday and today. We are grateful, and God willing, this interview will be a source of blessing and goodwill for the Iranian nation and the Islamic Ummah. May Allah keep you in good health; you are a source of pride for all Muslims.

 

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