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Nasrallah Has Been Ordered to Lie Down! - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Hassan Nasrallah’s address yesterday included a great deal of propaganda; he spoke about reclaiming prisoners without negotiations, which is a hint to the Syrians. However, this is not true since negotiations were rushed with the [United Nations-appointed] German mediator and perhaps others as well.

Moreover, this should not distract us from recognizing what is most important in Nasrallah’s statements, which he delivered while trying to appear relaxed and during which he smiled often. The highlight of Nasrallah’s speech was his announcement that Lebanon will witness a stage of pacification and openness to all and that the resistance will not be forever. He also banned his followers from shooting firearms during celebrations.

Of course one cannot simplify matters to say that Sayyed Nasrallah did this out of concern for Lebanon; the issue is bigger than that. Nasrallah’s enforced calm cannot be isolated from the general calm that Iran is spreading throughout the region. To make matters clearer, separate statements must be read within the same context.

While he was in New York, Iranian Foreign Minister Manochehr Mottaki issued statements that hinted at an upcoming tranquility and furthermore defused the tension surrounding the nuclear crisis talks. The ‘New York Times’ correspondent cleverly noted that Mottaki evaded four direct questions about whether Iran intends to suspend its uranium enrichment and he remained tight-lipped on the subject.

Mottaki told the ‘New York Times’, “You can write that the Iranian foreign minister did not make a comment on the question of uranium enrichment. We saw potential for the beginning of a new round of talks.”

Some uphold that Mottaki’s statements are typical of an Iranian diplomat; however the minister’s statements were not the only ones in this context. Ali Akbar Velayati, top foreign policy advisor to Iran’s Supreme Leader [Ayatollah Ali Khamenei] issued a warning to the Iranians when he said, “officials and political experts should avoid illogical, provocative statements,” and added, “those who are acting against our interests want us to reject the offer made by major states (regarding the nuclear issue) which it is in our interest to accept.”

Reading Hassan Nasrallah’s statements about an openness that embraces all the Lebanese people juxtaposed against the Iranian statements about the uranium enrichment crisis, along with the monumental efforts exerted by Hamas to impose calm as it called anyone who launched rockets from Gaza into Israel a traitor, brings the larger picture into focus.

It appears as though the Iranians have issued instructions to their associates in Hezbollah and Hamas to stay put so as to buy more time and to avert the possibility of a military strike on Tehran. It also appears that the Syrians were the first to be warned that Iran was treading dangerous grounds and thus they were the first to walk away from the alliance with Tehran.

Therefore, statements about calming matters issued by Hamas, and Nasrallah’s declaration about openness among all Lebanese factions, are all part of one context that is in line with the Iranian inclination that seeks to avoid a blow that would prove to be fatal, if it is indeed dealt. Moreover, this pursuit of calm is evidence of the falsity of Iranian claims about its invincible military might.

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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