Exclusive: Hezbollah not behind Beirut explosion, we are people standing against 'occupation', says Spokesperson

WION
Beirut Published: Aug 27, 2020, 02:46 PM(IST)

Ibrahim Al Moussawi, spokesperson of Hezbollah Photograph:( Twitter )

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Ibrahim Al Moussawi, Lebanese MP and spokesperson of Hezbollah spoke exclusively with WION.

By: Ghadi Francis for WION

Equations in West Asia are changing. Israel struck a peace deal with UAE recently. The agreement was brokered by the USA. Hezbollah, the organisation in Lebanon often finds itself part of various equations in the region. WION spoke with Ibrahim Al Moussawi, Lebanese MP and Hezbollah spokesperson on situation in West Asia and the organisation's role in it.

WION: First viewers in the world, West Asia see Hezbollah as the villain or terrorist group. Where would you like to start in defining what Hezbollah is regarding in the area in the region?

Ibrahim Al Moussawi: Well thank you for giving the opportunity to give a kind of review of Hezbollah. It's not the viewer who views Hezbollah as the terrorist or the villain of West Asia, I would say we're a, simply we are a resistance movement against occupation, when you resist them, you resist an action, that is a reaction to an action, we resist the Israeli occupation, the Israeli invasion, the Israeli expansionist trend in the area. We all know that Israel is one manifestation of the new liberal, capitalist,....... colonial West.

We have to remember that the number one supporter of Israel in the whole world is the USA, and America itself ,the United States of America is responsible for most of the problems all over the world, you know it spreads the military bases all over and it interferes in internal affairs of many countries, it supports operations.

I will simply put Hezbollah as a group of people, organised people, who stood against the occupation against the operation. they are rightful people. We are rightful people. We support the right, the independence, the liberty, we have never attacked anyone, we have never come to anybody's land, we are talking about our land, we are talking about West Asia, we are talking about Palestine, occupied Palestine, not Israel, the manifestation or the cancerous  glands (reference to Israel) that has been put by the West into this part of the area, our sense, the existence of Israel.

We are suffering not only in the Lebanon, in the Arab world, in Syria, we have .... heights that are occupied in Egypt during the ....., we have .... it has no full independence, also we are talking about Jordan, we are talking about west bank and Gaza, we are talking about Palestine.

So here you are talking about a ... high regime in the 21st century that is oppressing people, killing people, that are not allowing them to go to schools, there are a lot of massacres, ....... of massacres that they have done. It is evident for everybody, yet the United States continues to support it, with high tech weaponry, with the Veto power, in the United Nations, in the Security Council, and we are in a position to defend, to liberate and to fight operations.

WION: Okay, since you spoke profoundly about the ideology problem with Israel, where do you stand today when the UAE and Saudi Arabia are going to start flights after their peace deal? How does Hezbollah react to that?

Ibrahim Al Moussawi: Well we have, actually this is not the first time that an Arab country has done what the UAE did. Egypt has done this. It is of 1980s.

Also, Jordan, we know about it, yet the Jordanians are not immune to the Israeli aggression, now they are talking about annexing parts of Jordan or if they are talking about a kind of exodus of the Palestinians to go to Jordan. Up till now there is a B plan in the Israeli agenda, in case they want the Palestinians to evacuate from Palestine from the remaining part of Palestine they want to send them to Jordan, as a second country or alternative country for them.

So here you talk about an Israeli occupation, an Israeli entity that we never recognized. We will never recognise [Israel] at any time because this is Palestine first. After this it can be about UAE or Saudi Arabia or Bahrain, Oman or any other country. You're talking about things that came to the public but it has always been there. We have never been surprised at all with the new ties between UAE...

[WION: Do you think how were they publicized is it really just the way..you..]

Ibrahim Al Moussawi: I would say it's a combination of so many different things, we know now that .... Netanyahu now is in a political dilemma and so is Trump. They want to have more points in their record to go to the race. For Trump, it is about the presidential race next November and for the Israeli entity, it is the problem of the political stalemate. So its there in the internal politics there but it has always been a fixed part of their agenda when it comes to the Palestinians and the Arabs.

WION: Having spoken about that, about the presidential race, about how this would affect or give them like I have delivered something to give to their voters. I want to ask you we have witnessed.. change in Europe, after the Syrian uprising and the Syrian war, the Europeans were affected, and they changed many.. many actions from the voters...

Today, as Hezbollah do you see that you really have effect (read influence) from West Asia to the world in the Presidential race. Because Syria did have effect in the Presidential races in Europe. Do you see Hezbollah's activities in the Syria, Iraq, Yemen and the GCC even countries as a strategic force in  the West Asia. How does Hezbollah affect the elections in the United States?

Ibrahim Al Moussawi: We do not work or function on all of the places that you mentioned specially you said GCC or other places but if you mean the clout, the influence, the sympathy of the people, here in the Arab world we have to make a complete dichotomy between the regimes, the governments and the people,  because if you go to the peoples opinion and you have rightful public opinion, pollsters will have complete leader-front results. The people hearts, the people minds are with Palestine, are against the normalisation of relations with Israel. They support the rightful case or cause of the Palestinians, of the resistance and this is very important if there were any kind of poll that would tell you and reflect the genuine, the real opinion of the people with a completely different regimes and governments, in this sense they are imposed from above, they are being supported by the Western colonialist powers in order to continue to perpetuate the interest of the West in out areas and you can see this.

The great arms deals that take place funnel billions of dollars to the West perpetuating their economy. And they are happy about the wars in our area. Now when you talk about West Asia, this is very important question from your side that I appreciate, when you talk about west Asia, those people all together and the resistance movement and the elites, those people who are sober enough, are aware enough, are conscious enough of the western American agenda in our area, they have to collaborate their efforts and co-ordinate and be whistle-blower, if we have something in Beirut, all of the people, all of the masses, all over the Arab world or the Islamic world or the West Asia they should be able to reflect their support to the cause of the oppressed people.

After all, if you want to make a differentiation, what's happening, you are talking here about right and wrong, you are talking about just and peace & oppression and war, we are to the side of peace and the resistance and liberty and the independence away from the intervention of the expansionist, colonialist powers like United States or parts of Europe.

WION: But my question was..in the sense to make it as simple as possible. Does Hezbollah & the prevailing of Hezbollah, the survival of Hezbollah in Lebanon & Syria and the survival of Iran against the sanctions. Does this power in the West Asia affect the Presidential race in the United States?

Ibrahim Al Moussawi: To a certain extent, you know there are many, so many files in the department, we represent one or two .. in it. When the United States wants to prevail in Iraq and then the resistance in Iraq fails it and make it a complete failure, this is going to put a bad record, a bad remark for Trump

WION: Is this what's happening?

Ibrahim Al Moussawi: This is what's happening, absolutely. Withdrawn their troops from there, this has reshuffled the papers in the area and I would say that, the kind of rising resistance in the region is going to put an end to this colonialist expansionist American trend in the area, if this was not the case, I would say many of the powers in the West Asia would crumble and would collapse, even if you talk about governments.

Absolutely, I mean, even if you take this aside.  Take India for example. It is a rising and important power.

India is not like United States or America. India is the country of Mahatma Gandhi. It's has history of revolution of peaceful people against British colonial power for centuries.

Had it not been for the will and determination of Indian people and leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, India would still be under the mandate of a Western power.

That's why people's movement is important in putting an end to colonial power and in raising hope for real independence.

That's why we want to collaborate as people. We are an organisation, we are a party, but we do represent millions of people all over the region & we have to convince them.. the problem is that, here in this part of the world they used to say that the Israeli army is the invincible army, you can do nothing about it. It is supported by the United States, that it is going to guarantee their supremacy..supremacy of the Israeli forces, so you can do nothing about it.

Because we are the people who have determination, resolve, will, faith in our culture, our civilization. This is the same that is there in India & in West Asia, for different cultures & people, they have this patience, they have this perseverance, they have this faith in their culture.. then we will win & we will prevail & they will definitely fail.

If we are going to surrender, and say we are going to nothing about it, they are going to perpetuate & make their colonial power survive.

Now this is not what we want to see.

WION: What kind of.. What kind of industrial or.. What kind of aspirations do you all have ----

Ibrahim Al Moussawi: There are many levels, we can coordinate our efforts together what they lack, we can give they have..  for example when you talk about India you think about a high-tech country. Even those who are making America prosper are Indians and not Americans. When you talk about talk about talent in in Silicon Valley, when you talk about those who are earning or those who have a high PhD per capita in America, you consider Indian-Americans. They are basically Indians or they come from Asia, not only from Pakistan..other countries.

And they were able to create the system that could serve as a magnetic absorb all of the capabilities & creative power of people of all over the world.

We have to have this determination, we have to have this decision that we want to get with this brain drain. There is a brain drain happening in these areas & they go to America & they make more & more perpetuation for the American glory per say.

That's why I believe we have huge opportunity in building..in high-tech, in technology.. in different areas weather industry or economy or agriculture, different areas of co-operation can work here


WION: And one more question because I didn't have .. this, one more which is the typical we are gonna ask.... being said its the 3rd biggest explosion in the world [Ibrahim Al Moussawi: True, 3rd or 4th we are not sure] Maybe, Beirut explosion, what happened afterwards..a lot of media is trying to deliver the message that  Hezbollah has to do with the cargoes & everything.

What do you have to say or to comment about the tremendous explosion that happened in Beirut, where does Hezbollah stand regarding that?

Ibrahim Al Moussawi: First of all, there is an organized campaign from the West, from America, from different mouthpieces in Europe like Der Spiegel, Le Figaro and other media outlets. They want to portray that Hezbollah was behind Beirut blast.

We have UNIFIL.. their ships..monitoring ships, monitoring  systems in the Mediterranean. And they can watch every single thing that happened.

Hezbollah has categorically refused & denied any responsibility or  any connection with this explosion. We have never used the port of Beirut for any kind of military or security action.

It's under the supervision of the Lebanese state, Lebanese Army, the Lebanese security forces.

All of what you hear here of there by the Western media is the kind of agenda that they want to put Hezbollah name there, so it can do other actions and they can..if you want  ..mislead people about our identity, of our true figure.

We were in a complete shock after what happened. This is one of the result of huge corruption in the Lebanese state. [WION: They think the...] and we support investigation.  Look when you talk about the investigation we have never done anything to jump to conclusions.

The investigation is underway. We have to wait till the investigation is concluded and then we will all see what happens.

WION: Okay, because anyone who is watching can see the port of Haifa is the.. most...

Ibrahim Al Moussawi: If you are alluding.. If you are alluding that the Israelis have interest, that they have keen interest, and they do serve many of their great interests in having an alternative place rather than the port of Beirut, this is one option.

But if we want to hold others responsible, we have to have a full evidence about it.

WION: There is one more question; Everyone in Lebanon will hear the lobby..intelligentia you are speaking about resolution that would happen ..or the talks that would happen with Iran, between United States & Iran, once they are resumed many things would change, maybe after the Presidential race & even say Nasrallah and President Bashar al-Assad have said many times that this kind of President is better than others, that Trump would serve better because he is bluntly stupid actually this what has been said. But regardless, what do you have to say about the Iranian-American talks and how would they affect. Do you really like look forward to that.. it would set peace..

Ibrahim Al Moussawi: I would say, look you are talking about very fluctuating issue that has to do with the Republicans & the Democrats in America. Now with Trump would going to the Presidential race in next November, everybody is waiting. And he has said that he is going to finalize a deal with Iran within one week or whatever. But here you are talking about ab locate.  Part of our.. we here in Lebanon are suffering from a very complicated manifold crisis that has to do with economy, monetary issues, financial issues, economic issues, social issues and there is a blockade against Lebanon by United States America, by part of its Arab countries that support United States America. We would rather depend on ourselves, we should not be waiting for anything.
I would say if a deal has been concluded between Iran & America, I believe this is going to help all over the region. But we do not pin hopes on what our enemies will do or wouldn't do. We have to depend on ourselves & continue.

Patience, Perseverance & Determination will help.

WION: This is something, I do not know if you are free to it answer or not, because you are speaking like that. We know that Hezbollah is a part of the Parliament, part of society in Lebanon and its not like [Ibrahim Al MOussawi: part of the govt, yes]. But still, you have a big percentage of Lebanese society that would say all the crisis, all the sanctions, all these issues are Hezbollah's fault and they are Lebanese & they are perpetuating their points of views in Western media. So what do you have to say about Lebanon, are these...

Ibrahim Al Moussawi: They are not big percentage to tell you the truth ... We have a political division in the country, simply. Actually, sometimes people are being misled, certain are being misled.

I would say up till now, I would say ..and you have the right to go and see, as a party, as a political party we enjoy wider public support in the country.

Here you are talking about the wider public support in the country.

Though there is a political campaign against us from the Western media, there is a blockade & they are pin-pointing against us. We know very well that Feltman said we have spent 500 million dollars in order to tarnish the image of Hezbollah in order to distort the image of Hezbollah.

Now they are doing the same, they are subduing, they are subjugating the Lebanese into kind of blockade & say we are doing this because of Hezbollah. So they are trying to plant a wedge between Hezbollah & Public. This is not going to happen.

the people are smart and keen enough to understand, others who are like serving .... as mouthpeice to the West and saying they are doing it because of the Hazebollah, you are talking keen about collaborative with, or represting the western view of the politics, while if you talk about the Lebanese, real Lebanese all over the factions they wouldn't agree with this description.

WION: Would you like to tell us about how strong is Hezbollah?

Ibrahim Al Moussawi: Look.. look we're strong and we are determined, we have resolve, we have determination, we have the voted people, dedicated people because we have this faith. It is not a matter of how many people do you have, it's not matter of how many arms and what kind of arms do you have. Look, those who have been supported by the Western part, we know very well that the west has the hi-tech, they have the best arms all over the world, they have the best intelligence all over, they have people who are fighting with them.

I believe this is something to do with the soul or the spirit of the West Asia or the Asians, here you talk about, we in this part of the world have spirit, have a different spirit, not a materialistic spirit. In India, you have this kind of homage and devotion for certain spiritual forces, that they define it. Here we believe in Allah, we believe in God, even the region here, it's the place of the heavenly religions you know,

Christianity, Judaism, Islam came to this part. The prophets, the messengers came here, we have this link with God, we have this link with heaven, we have this link with the divine and I believe when you talk about divinity, no matter how much you talk about materialistic things, it falls down.

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