Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Hezbollah improbably claims not to take orders from Iran

From Reuters:
Lebanon’s Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah acknowledged on Tuesday for the first time that his armed movement received financial and material support from Iran, but denied it took instructions from the Islamic Republic.

Nasrallah said Hezbollah previously only confirmed Iranian political and moral backing because it did not want “to embarrass our brothers in Iran”, but had changed policy because Iran’s leadership had announced its support in public.

“Yes, we received moral, and political and material support in all possible forms from the Islamic Republic of Iran since 1982,” Nasrallah told supporters by videolink in a speech marking the anniversary of the birth of the Prophet Mohammed.

“In the past we used to tell half the story and stay silent on the other half ... When they asked us about the material and financial and military support we were silent.”

Nasrallah said Iran had not issued orders to Hezbollah since the movement was founded 30 years ago, adding that if Israel attacked Iran's nuclear sites, the leadership in Iran “would not ask anything of Hezbollah.”

He said if that were to happen, Hezbollah’s own leadership would “sit down, think and decide what to do.”