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Hezbollah leader vows to avenge late commander | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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BEIRUT (AP) — Hezbollah’s leader denied any role Thursday in plots that apparently targeted Israeli diplomats this week, saying it was an “insult” to believe the Lebanese militant group would avenge the 2008 assassination of its military commander with such small attacks.

The commander, Imad Mughniyeh, was killed in February 2008 when an explosion ripped through his car in Damascus. Hezbollah blamed the attack on Israel, which denied involvement.

“They (Israeli leaders) know when we will avenge martyr Mughniyeh,” Nasrallah said by satellite link. “It will not be against soldiers or Israeli diplomats or civilians. It is insulting for Hezbollah to take revenge for its Jihadi commander by killing normal citizens,” Nasrallah said, hinting that his group plans to kill senior officials.

Israel has accused Iran of being behind a botched bomb plot in Thailand, a bombing in India and an attempted bombing in the former Soviet republic of Georgia this week. There was speculation that Iranian ally Hezbollah could have carried out the attacks as revenge for the death of Mughniyeh.

“If we have to chose between an unsuitable quick revenge and an honorable revenge that will come at a distant time, we chose the second,” the black-turbaned cleric said.

Iran also has denied being behind the attacks.

Nasrallah also renewed his support to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s isolated regime, accusing Arab states and the international community of double standards. He said nations are calling on Assad to leave power, but not the Sunni rulers of the Gulf kingdom in Bahrain. The uprising in Bahrain was crushed with the help of forces from Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

“All concerns today are about Syria, not Bahrain whose people are left to their fate,” Nasrallah said.

Hezbollah is a Shiite group, and Syria’s leaders are from the Alawite sect, which is an offshoot of Shiism.