BEIRUT (AFP) – Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, in a speech in Lebanon on Tuesday, cautioned his supporters against expecting a change in American foreign policy with the election of Senator Barack Obama.
“Our Arab world, our third world and our African world could empathize with Obama because of his past or the colour of his skin, but politics and interests are a different story,” Nasrallah told supporters at Hezbollah’s Martyrs Day in Beirut’s southern suburb.
“Don’t exaggerate hopes nor give people high expectations so that no one is disappointed or makes miscalculations,” he added.
Nasrallah spoke to the crowd of thousands via a huge television screen after Hezbollah fighters marched in a military parade. The crowd waved yellow Hezbollah flags and Lebanese national flags as they cheered.
“I don’t want to anticipate events, but logic dictates that we not bet on changes in injustice or believe that he will be more lenient or less unfair than his predecessor,” he said of US President-elect Obama.
“The result of the elections is proof of the failure of Bush’s policy,” Nasrallah said.
He said that that they were honouring his Shiite movement’s martyrs “with great pride” thanking them for their “efforts and struggle.”
As Nasrallah spoke, Ghazala Saleh, 65, tightly embraced a picture of her two young sons she said were “martyred” in fighting to liberate southern Lebanon during Israel’s decades-long occupation, which ended in 2000.
“Today I feel pride and honour on the occasion of Martyrs Day,” she told AFP.
“I feel a sense of victory and nation and am thankful,” she added.