Thursday 30 November 2023

Hezbollah chief figure rules out any talks with US, Israel

Lashing out at the US for including Lebanese Hezbollah in the list of terrorist organizations, a top official said under no circumstances will Hezbollah hold talks or shake hands with the US government and the Zionist enemy.

On the occasion of the 17th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon against the Zionist regime, the head of Hezbollah's Communication and Coordination Committee revealed unheard-of memories of battle with Israeli regime.


In his first interview with an Iranian media outlet, Hajj "Wafiq Safa," the head of Hezbollah’s Communication and Coordination Committee explained the details of prisoners exchange between the resistance and Israeli regime after the victory in 33-day war in 2006.


Safa, known for his prominent role as Hezbollah's chief negotiator in various political and military cases, is recognized as a confidential repository for Hezbollah and the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon.


He also elaborated on the dimensions and details left unsaid about the 2006 war, such as the delineation of maritime borders between Lebanon and the Zionist regime, the struggles of Palestinian resistance against Zionist occupiers, Hezbollah's negotiations with other Lebanese political factions to advance the case of electing a new president for the country, and the interventions of the United States in the political developments in Lebanon and the region.


In response to a question from the Tasnim News Agency correspondent regarding the reasons for initiating the 33-day battle, Safa said, "Contrary to the claims of the officials of the Zionist regime who attribute the beginning of this battle to the capture of two Zionist soldiers by the resistance forces, I believe that was not the cause. Instead, I believe that even before this event, the enemies had planned to attack Lebanon."


"The course of events following the start of the battle, especially the statements of senior American officials about the 'New Middle East,' indicates the reality that the enemies of the Lebanese people had already prepared conspiracies against our nation even before this, and during the battle, this fact became apparent to everyone," Safa continued.




He considered the meetings of the leaders of the March 14 Movement with the enemies as another sign of the alignment of some political factions in this country with the enemies with the aim of eliminating Hezbollah's resistance. "Despite the political pressures exerted by the enemies, they failed in achieving all of their predetermined goals, such as disarming the resistance, freeing Israeli captives, and pushing the resistance back from southern Lebanon, during the 33-day battle," he added.


The head of Hezbollah's Communication and Coordination Committee, highlighted the role of Emile Lahoud, the former president, and Nabih Berri, the Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament, as two prominent political faces of the resistance in defending the resistance's weapons and thwarting the enemy's conspiracies during the 33-day war in 2006.




Continuing with his recollections as Hezbollah's chief negotiator during the large-scale exchange of prisoners between the resistance and the Zionist enemy in 2008, Wafiq Safa mentioned the simultaneous occurrence of this significant event with the martyrdom of Hajj Imad Mughniyeh and referred to Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah as the head of the negotiation team. He also mentioned other members of this team, including Hajj Imad Mughniyeh and Mustafa Badreddine (Hajj Zulfiqar). He added that the team's responsibilities included overall preparation of the negotiation process, designing and arranging questions, and scheduling sessions, all under the supervision and guidance of the Secretary-General of Hezbollah.



Regarding the extensive list of prisoners that Hezbollah aimed to exchange, which included individuals from various nationalities such as Lebanese, Syrian, Palestinian, Algerian, and others, Safa, while explaining the complex dimensions of the exchange negotiations process, regarded the negotiation team's ability to keep the fate of the two Israeli captives unknown as an art.


"The final achievement of these negotiations was the release of all the prisoners sought by the resistance, including martyr 'Samir Qantar,' and the negative consequences for the Israeli army and residents of the occupied lands after the completion of the exchange process and the revelation of the inevitable fate of the two Zionist captives who returned dead to the occupied lands," he continued.




In response to a question about last year's agreement on delineating maritime borders between Lebanon and the Zionist regime and the commencement of oil exploration by a French-Qatari company in Lebanese energy fields, Wafiq Safa said, "Hezbollah supported the official position of the Lebanese government from the beginning, and it was only after witnessing the Zionist enemy's deviation at the beginning of the process of exploiting energy resources that it decided to compel Israel to respect the rights of the Lebanese."


Referring to the empty words and threats of Zionist regime's officials regarding the issue of resistance tents in southern Lebanon, the head of Hezbollah's Communication and Coordination Committee continued, "Israel initially complained to the UNIFIL forces about the tents set up by the resistance in Lebanese territory and asked them to pressure the resistance to retreat. After witnessing the resistance's indifference, they resorted to threats and repeatedly extended their deadlines, showing that they lacked the military capability to confront the resistance. Eventually, they also spoke of the necessity of negotiations on this matter. This clearly demonstrates Hezbollah's deterrent power."


"The resistance forces are always in a state of readiness because these tents have been erected inside Lebanese territory, and any trespassing or interference is prohibited," he stated.


Asked about his recent negotiations with General Joseph Aoun, the commander of the Lebanese army, Safa denied any involvement in the political process and discussions with various political factions in Lebanon regarding the presidency of the country. He clarified that his meetings with General Joseph Aoun were solely for the purpose of countering threats emanating from terrorists in border areas, coordinating with UNIFIL forces on the Lebanese-Palestinian borders, and controlling the security and social situation in certain areas of southern Lebanon. He emphasized that there was no political motivation behind these meetings.


"In the Hezbollah political council, there are multiple individuals, each with their own responsibilities for advancing various issues. I personally focus on matters related to myself," Safa said, while denying any role in the negotiation process and talks with different political factions in Lebanon regarding the presidency of the country.


In response to a question from Tasnim News Agency regarding his refusal to shake hands with the US intelligence officer in Lebanon during a public event, Safa added, "Hezbollah believes that it cannot negotiate or cooperate with two entities: the Zionist enemy and the US government."


He continued to explain the situation, saying, "Hezbollah's approach towards the US government has always been consistent. Despite continuous efforts by American officials to send mediators for negotiations between US and Hezbollah authorities, especially myself, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has consistently emphasized that it is the US government that has designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization and opposes it. Therefore, we will not even greet them, let alone engage in negotiations."


In conclusion, Wafiq Safa expressed his appreciation and gratitude for the efforts of Tasnim News Agency in covering the news related to the axis of resistance. He noted that Tasnim News Agency is, in fact, part of the resistance axis that is currently taking steps in the path of struggle and aims to present the principles of resistance to both friends and enemies.

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