Hezbollah chief blasts Obama

Updated: 2011-05-26 10:01


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BEIRUT - The secretary general of the Lebanese Shiite armed group Hezbollah lashed out at US President Barack Obama Wednesday, saying Obama's recent remarks targeting the party about an international court investigating the 2005 assassination of Lebanese former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was politicized.

Speaking at a rally to mark the 11th anniversary of the Israeli troops' withdrawal from south Lebanon, Hassan Nasrallah urged the Arab League to withdraw its 2002 peace initiative with Israel.

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Nasrallah said that in the light of Israel and the United States' unwillingness to offer the Palestinians anything, Arabs were left with only one option, namely armed resistance.

"They have left nothing for the Arabs but the choice of resistance," Nasrallah said in a speech transmitted via video-link.

"I call on the Arab League to withdraw their initiative," he added.

Nasrallah also denied claims made on Sunday by Obama that Hezbollah was behind the political assassinations in Lebanon, saying such remarks were aimed to "appease Israel."

"These accusations are baseless," Nasrallah said, adding that Obama had issued a verdict before the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) made its indictment public.

The Netherlands-based court is widely expected to implicate some Hezbollah members in the 2005 assassination of Hariri, but the party has repeatedly denied involvement.

In his speech, Nasrallah stressed that Hezbollah would continue its struggle against Israel and would not disarm, despite demands voiced by the party's detractors in Lebanon.

"Our rockets will remain, and they will stay on alert. No one will take them away," he said.

The Hezbollah chief also talked about the unrest in Syria and called on Syrians to support their president and on the Lebanese not to interfere in their neighbor's affairs.

Nasrallah said the toppling of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was an objective of the United States and Israel, adding that a visit to Beirut last week by Jeffrey Feltman, the US assistant secretary of state for near east affairs, was meant to garner support for a resolution targeting the al-Assad regime.


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