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Lebanese MPs Irked by Khamenei’s Statement on Tribunal | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat – The statement made by the Supreme Leader of Iran, Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on the Special Tribunal for Lebanon during his meeting with the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani in Tehran yesterday, in which he said that “this tribunal is receiving orders from elsewhere and whatever ruling it hands down is null and void” has been a new source of controversy throughout the Lebanese political scene. The March 14 Alliance has said that it considers the Iranian leaders comments direct interference in Lebanese internal affairs, and that it pre-judges the forthcoming decision that is expected to be issued by the Hariri tribunal.

In this regard, Future movement official Mustafa Alloush told Asharq Al-Awsat that “after a period of political hypocrisy, Iran has proceeded today – and via its highest authority – to announce its decision not to cooperate with the tribunal but to confront it.”

He added that “the accelerated pace with which statements and remarks are being made, as well as the latest remarks by Khamenei, indicate that the tribunal’s decision is imminent, and that there is no longer the luxury of time and that therefore there is no room for diplomacy to affect the time-frame of the issuance of the tribunals decision, or its content.”

Alloush, who spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat via telephone, also said that “Khamenei’s statement is an indication that Iran believes that the tribunal will point the finger of accusation at Hezbollah.” He said that “this proves what we have repeatedly stated which is that Hezbollah is operating according to orders and instructions from the Supreme Leader [of Iran], and their [Iran and Hezbollah’s unified position towards the tribunal is the greatest evidence of this. Khamenei came out to tell his audience, Hezbollah and the Iranians, that Iran is involved in the assassination of Prime Minster Hariri because everything that Hezbollah will be accused of will be reflected upon Iran.”

Khamenei’s position on the international tribunal completely corresponds with Hezbollah’s latest announced position of completely rejecting the international tribunal’s decision “whether this is issued tomorrow or a year from now…regardless of its content, and particularly if it accuses Hezbollah or any of its members.”

In this regard, Hezbollah MP Walid Sukkarieh told Asharq Al-Awsat that “Khamenei’s statement is an Iranian message from a senior authority which proclaims that the situation in Lebanon is not being ignored, for inflaming the Lebanese arena will result in the entire region being set on fire.”

He added that “it is very natural for Imam Khamenei to issue such a position” and he also called on “Arab leaders to take a similar position, because the seditious US – Israeli project – namely the international tribunal – intends to inflame the entire region, and who wants to see sectarian violence?”

Sukkarieh also told Asharq Al-Awsat that “Iran wants to tell those who want to inflame the region via the issuance of the tribunal’s decision: Stop! We will not stand idly by whilst our homes are set on fire.”

He added that “the international tribunal, since its establishment, has not been credible because it has political goals to support the US – Israeli project in the region, and incite Iranian – Arab sedition through Sunni – Shiite sedition, starting from Lebanon and [growing] to affect the entire region and in the process dividing the Islamic world.”

He added “Hezbollah and the Lebanese resistance have exhausted their evidence with regards to the establishment of the tribunal, and it is natural that Iran would intervene, for Hezbollah is not the only target…Iran is also directly implicated in what is planned.”

Responding to Khamenei’s statement on the international tribunal, Lebanon First MP Jamal al-Jarrah said that “this pre-emptive position [by Khamenei] towards the decision that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon is expected to issue does not change anything.”

He added that “the position of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran is nothing more than the continuation of what was begun by another party [March Alliance], and an attempt to legitimize this.”