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Nasrallah and the acknowledgement of danger - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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After Iran’s Supreme Leader gave a sermon last Friday, talking about the events in Egypt, Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah, presented us with a new discourse. He addressed the Egyptians, about their revolution and Arab dignity, promising that a victory for the demonstrators in Egypt would change the face of the Arab region.

What we saw in Nasrallah’s speech was nothing but blatant demagoguery, and a falsification of the facts, as is common in Iranian discourse. However, we must stop to examine several points mentioned by the Lebanese “Supreme Leader”. Nasrallah apologized to both the Tunisians and the Egyptians for the delay in pledging his solidarity with them. He justified this as a means of protecting “the entire revolution” from accusations, suggesting that if he had taken this stance previously, “they would say that the protestors in Tahrir Square, or the demonstrators in cities around Egypt, are being motivated by cells belonging to Hezbollah, Hamas, or the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Then this genuine national movement would be accused of serving a foreign agenda”.

Of course, Nasrallah is acknowledging the danger of Hezbollah and Hamas’ constant affiliation with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, and this is the first time in which he has said so in such a way. However, the other important matter, clearly, is that Nasrallah previously delayed commenting about Egypt and Tunisia. This was not out of fear of tarnishing the demonstrators as agents of a foreign agenda, as he said, but rather because he was waiting for the signal from Tehran. Nasrallah gave his speech after the Iranian Supreme Leader had come out in his Friday sermon, to say that the Egyptians were following the path of the Iranian Revolution!

If Nasrallah was sincere in his call to the people, to stand up and demand their rights and dignity, then he would have at least apologized to the Iranians, after their Green Revolution was suppressed [in 2009]. At the time, Nasrallah was in favor of this suppression, in support of the Wali al-Faqih regime. He held grand celebrations for the Iranian President when he recently visited Lebanon, in order to provide Ahmadinejad with internal support. If Nasrallah believes in the rights of the revolutionaries, and he sees what revolutions can achieve, then he cannot accept the repression and violence used against the Iranians during the Green Revolution. Immediately after the Iran’s Supreme Leader gave his speech on Egypt, Iranian opposition figures began a call to organize demonstrations on the streets of Iran. Does Nasrallah support them?

As for his talk about Arab dignity, if Nasrallah was concerned about the dignity of the Arabs – as he says – then he wouldn’t occupy Beirut by force of arms, or the whole of Lebanon for that matter, to the extent where he is now the authority who names the Lebanese Prime Minister. Therefore, Nasrallah’s Egypt speech was merely an attempt to capitalize on what the Egyptians did in their country and a clear attempt to clean up his image somewhat, after several outrageous attempts by Iran and its agents to ‘kidnap’ our Arab world. As I have repeatedly said, there are wolves circling around Egypt, trying to exploit this transitional period.

All that Nasrallah wants to say is that he is a friend of Arab citizens, Egypt, and the Egyptian masses. Here, one can only repeat the famous proverb “with friends like these, who needs enemies?”

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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