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Phares comments on Hassan Nasrallah speech - "DISARM TO JOIN THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS"

Phares comments on Hassan Nasrallah speech


Washington, DC, November 19, 2006

Commenting on the speech by Hezbollah's leader today, Professor Walid Phares, Senior Fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies made the following remarks to Mashreq Radio and the daily as Siyassa.

First: M Nasrallah asked the Lebanese Government to either form a so-called "national unity government" or to resign and organize early legislative elections. Otherwise, M Nasrallah will wage a campaign of streets protests to bring down the Seniora cabinet. In fact, if Hezbollah's leader wishes to make a massive change in the democratic political process in Lebanon, he will have to call for an all out halting to this process as is, and go back to square one. For if Hezbollah has accepted the process back in May 2005, and obtained seats in the Parliament and the Government, then withdrew, it means that he has been using this process. If they believe the process must stop, then Hezbollah should hold an emergency congress and declare the following:

1) Disband the militia and remit its weapons to the UNIFIL and the Lebanese army in implementation of UNSCR 1559 and 1701

2) Severe its military and security ties with the Syrian and Iranian regimes

3) Stop receiving illegal money from the Iranian Government

4) Release its Lebanese prisoners and give an account for the Lebanese persons it kidnapped during the War.

When this is performed, then the Lebanese Government, and after the resignation of the pro-Syrian President of the Republic, should call for legislative elections and all political forces would participate, but without the power and influence of weapons and foreign illegal money.

Second: M Nasrallah said the previous pro-Syrian cabinet had allowed demonstrations to take place back in February 2005, and that the Lebanese Army allowed free demonstrations to move forward. M Nasrallah should be reminded that the Syrian occupation, through its controlled regime then, suppressed the Lebanese masses and instructed the Lebanese security forces to stop any popular gathering. It is only when thousands of young people marched to downtown that the officers and soldiers of the Lebanese Army opened the paths and allowed them to proceed against the Government's orders.

Third: M Nasrallah said he acts on the interests of Lebanon only. If this is the case, he should send back the weapons he received from Tehran, declare that Hezbollah is not part of the Islamic Revolution of Iran and that Syria was and still is an occupier in Lebanon. If his group achieves these goals, then he can join other Lebanese in the political process as an equal partner.

Fourth: M Nasrallah still rejects the UN resolutions pertaining to Lebanon. As long as he opposes the international legality, the international community and the popular majority in Lebanon will reject Hezbollah as a legitimate part of the country's political process. Hence, any move by Hezbollah to bring down the democratically elected Government in Lebanon will be dealt with as a move against the majority of the Lebanese People and the international community.

Dr Phares made these comments to several radios internationally, including Mashreq Radio and the Kuwaiti daily as Siyassa.