Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

The Price of Moving Closer to Hezbollah | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The reasons behind Britain’s negotiation with the so-called political wing of Hezbollah have begun to be revealed. The available information indicates that the reasons for negotiations between Britain and Hezbollah are contrary to what had previously been announced. It seems that the main reason is London’s desire to secure the release of the 5 Britons kidnapped in Baghdad two years ago, in return for the release of prisoners affiliated to Muqtada Al-Sadr’s organization, as well as Hezbollah leaders held by the Americans in Iraq, rather than for the sake of Lebanon’s stability.

Of course it is Britain’s right to do all that is in its power to ensure the safety of its citizens, but there are important and essential issues with regards to Iraq, Lebanon and the Arab world which indicate the extent of the danger posed by the Iranians and their agents in the region.

It is enough to recall that the British Embassy in Baghdad received tapes of the kidnapped Britons from a member of the Iraqi parliament, and that Hezbollah is demanding the release of one of its members who was captured not in Lebanon, but in Baghdad!

More importantly than all of this is that the British are not negotiating with the Sadrists or the Al-Maliki government for the release of the kidnapped Britons in Baghdad, rather they are negotiating with Hezbollah. The question here is; where do the borders of Hezbollah begin and where do they end? And what is Hezbollah’s role in Iraq and in our region as a whole? This is something that reminds us of the story of the capture of the American marine of Lebanese origin in Baghdad during the early days of the collapse of Saddam’s regime, yet then the marine appeared in Lebanon [and it turned out the whole thing was a hoax].

So what was a senior Hezbollah leader doing in Baghdad? Who was he training there? Where did those he trained come from originally, and where did they go? What is the relationship between the Hezbollah leadership and the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard?

The other question here is; what is the role of Nuri Al-Maliki’s government in Iraq, and its security which he is [always] talking about, especially following the withdrawal of US troops? How is it that a member of the Iraqi parliament delivered the tapes of the kidnapped Britons?

This is a suspicious and disturbing question that reveals to us the attributes of the Iraq that Iran and its agents in the region desire, and so it is clear that Iraq will be turned into a camp for Iran’s agents such as Lebanon and others in the Arab world, yet we do not hear any complaint from the Baghdad government except those against the Al Qaeda organization.

As I said before, it is Britain’s right to seek the release of its citizens, but who will seek the release of the larger number of innocent hostages who are in the clutches of the Iranians in Iraq, as well as the hostages that are at the mercy of Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Therefore we have warned at great length against the subterfuge of talking about a political wing which is separate from the military wing of Hezbollah; they are both different sides of the same coin. Therefore it is absurd to say that negotiating with Hezbollah will lead to Lebanese stability, on the contrary the opposite will occur. For Western negotiation with Hezbollah will mislead the undecided in Lebanon – especially with regards to the forthcoming election – and they will believe that there is international recognition for the group. As for the Arabs, unfortunately it seems that they have yet to grasp the danger that the Iranian siege represents to them.