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Preparing for War on Hizbullah

By Abdel Bari Atwan  | Raialyoum | May 20, 2017

The US-led war on the Islamic Sate group under the banner of fighting terrorism may be viewed by many, especially by Arab members of the coalition that is waging it, as legitimate. But in our view it increasingly looks like a cover or smokescreen aimed at paving the way, or bestowing legitimacy on, a different war: one aimed at eliminating resistance to Israel in the region, and specifically the Lebanese Hizbullah movement.

The US war for Kuwait in 1991 was fought for the same purpose. A trap was set, after careful planning and precise distribution of roles, for Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. Its aim was to drag him into Kuwait to provide a pretext for destroying Iraq, aborting its scientific progress and military ascendancy and undermining its regional role. It is no exaggeration to say that the proxy war on Syria war has a similar objective – not only to destroy and fragment Syria as an adversary of Israel, but to lure a reluctant Hizbullah into the conflict and thus diminish its enormous popularity and the place it gained in hearts of tens or hundreds of millions of Arabs after its two great victories against Israel: First, when it succeeded in liberating southern Lebanon from Israeli occupation in 2000 after years of persistent resistance, and again in July 2006 when it also fought valiantly and stood fast in epic resistance to an Israeli onslaught that sought to annihilate it.

Most of the regional moves currently being made by the US — including Donald Trump’s upcoming visit to Riyadh and the Eager Lion military exercises in Jordan – have one ultimate objective: to declare all-out war on Hizbullah. This includes drying up its financial resources and criminalizing the organization, in the same way Saddam Hussein was criminalized and the Palestinian resistance movement prior to that: first during the days of the PLO and its factions, and then with the rise of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other groups that continue to fight Israel.

The West has a variety of problems with Iran, and the country’s nuclear ambitions are one of the most prominent. But it is possible to live with, and even contain, these ambitions by various means. However, Iran’s unforgivable sin in the West’s eyes was to support Hizbullah in Lebanon and transform it into a formidable military force that poses a real deterrent and threat to Israel at a time when the Arab states were surrendering to it. Many have stopped referring to it as the enemy and instead begun building bridges of cooperation and normalization with it and treating it as a strategic regional ally.

Hizbullah crossed all American and Israeli red lines by developing a vast missile capability (100,000 missiles according to some estimates) along with fighting skills that most of the region’s armies — including the Israeli army — lack, combining attributes of conventional armies with expertise in guerrilla warfare. Moreover, four years of fighting in Syria has further strengthened, developed, and modernized these skills.

There have been reports in recent days of an unpublicized closed-door meeting in Washington involving a number of Gulf and Arab states aimed at agreeing a strategy for confronting Hizbullah in the coming period. Participants included Saudi Arabia and Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and the UAE. This was intended to prepare for the two multilateral summits (with Arab/Muslim leaders and Gulf rulers respectively) that Trump will attend in Riyadh.

Reports from this meeting indicate that the joint Western-Arab plan for confronting Hizbullah include imposing financial sanctions on the organization’s members, supporters and sympathizers around the world, especially Lebanese expatriates in Africa and Europe who provide financial support for the party or institutions affiliated or close to it. This will involve measures to monitor money transfers and dry up all the party’s external funding sources in order to create difficulties for its leadership in financing its political and military structures and its extensive social institutions and activities.

The war on the hardline jihadi groups such as the Nusra Front and IS is drawing towards a close. Nusra is besieged in Idlib, rural Damascus and a few enclaves in rural Aleppo. The recent Astana agreement delegated the task of liquidating it to the so-called moderate Syrian opposition factions backed by the US, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. As for IS, it has lost most of Mosul, and the war to liberate al-Raqqa by the US-backed Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) is now imminent, and will begin as soon as sufficient supplies of American tanks, armoured vehicles and missiles have been delivered to these forces.

In other words, the destruction of the ‘Islamist’ groups that are internationally designated as terrorist organizations will open the door wide to the more important war on Hizbullah, not only in Syria but in Lebanon too. It is to begin with an economic war and culminate in a military offensive — as, indeed, the wars on Iraq did.

Could this scenario which is being implemented in stages against Hizbullah (and by extension Iran) achieve the same success it did against Iraq – and prior to that against the Palestinian presence in Lebanon, which was ended with the 1982 Israeli invasion? It is hard to give a categorical answer to this hypothetical question. What can be said, however, is that circumstances have changed, and Israel has changed as well. Hizbullah is the pivot of a regional and confessional structure, and has the open and total support of Iran, and of Iraq to a lesser degree. Any war against it will not be easy. If the 1991 scenario succeeded in Iraq, that was due above all to Arab collusion and betrayal, as well as the demise of the Soviet Union which left the US as the world’s unchallenged hegemon.

The wars currently unfolding in the region and the conspiracies being hatched are all for the sake of enhancing Israel’s security and stability and maintaining its military power and supremacy. It is ironic that this is happening around the time of the centenary of the infamous Balfour Declaration and Sykes-Picot agreements. For the task now being undertaken is aimed at consolidating the Zionist presence in Palestine and the region envisaged in that Declaration, while dismembering the states that emerged from the womb of those agreements.

May 20, 2017 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel, Zionism | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Proposed US anti-Hezbollah bill will harm Lebanon

Al-Manar – April 25, 2017

Lebanese President Michel Aoun said yesterday that the new anti-Hezbollah sanctions bill that the US Congress is considering would “greatly harm Lebanon and its people”.

Aoun told a delegation from the American Task Force for Lebanon, an organisation that includes Americans of Lebanese heritage and businessmen, that ”the draft law that is being prepared in Congress to slap new financial sanctions on Lebanese parties, institutions and individuals will greatly harm Lebanon and its people.”

The president pointed out that Lebanon is making the necessary contacts to prevent the issuance of the law and welcomed any effort by the American Task Force for Lebanon in this regard.

US Congress is planning to review additional and tougher sanctions against Hezbollah and all its affiliates and allies, a move that could have negative political and financial ramifications on Lebanon if the proposals pass without amendments.

The proposed law might for the first time target the Amal Movement led by Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri as well as senior Hezbollah officials, headed by its Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, members of his political bureau and parliamentarians.

April 25, 2017 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , | Leave a comment

Fools Rush In: Europe Pursues Israel Gas Deal for Political Not Economic Reasons

Sputnik – April 24, 2017

An Israel-Europe gas pipeline deal elevates Israel to the status of a major Mediterranean energy exporter. However, critics suggest the move is about more than mere economics, and serves a number of greater geopolitical objectives – namely, immunizing Israel from criticism and sanctions, and damaging relations between Europe and Russia further.

Ministers from Israel, Greece, Italy and Cyprus, as well as the European Union Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, signed a joint declaration in April, codifying a commitment to constructing a gas pipeline that will bring newly discovered natural gas in Israel [sic] to Europe.

The pipeline, described by Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz as “the longest and deepest subsea gas pipeline in the world,” is expected to be in operation by 2025.

Designated as a “project of common interest” by the EU, the pipeline has been marketed by both sides as an ideal alternative to the bloc’s continuing dependence on Russian energy — an overt indication the deal is being pursued for political rather than economic purposes. After all, high infrastructure costs coupled with low gas prices will almost by definition make it considerably dearer than the existing energy relationship between Russia and Europe.

The Atlantic Council Global Energy Center has even suggested the proposed project may never come to fruition, once the commercial difficulties inherent in making it operational become reality. Current European energy demands in no way commercially justify an additional gas supply source for the continent.

Furthermore, independent Palestinian human rights advocacy group Al-Haq has said the pipeline agreement will benefit corporations which directly profit from the occupation of Palestine — incentivizing Israel to maintain its current policy of illegal settlement expansion and its blockade of Gaza. If constructed, the pipeline will pump gas from Israel’s giant Leviathan field, the discovery of which in 2010 transformed Israel from a net importer of energy into a potential regional energy player — the field is estimated to hold around 20 trillion cubic feet of gas. Despite Lebanon arguing Leviathan sits partially in Lebanese waters, Israel has pushed ahead with international deals, selling 39.7 percent to US-based Noble Energy.

In March, Jordan became the first country to sign up for Leviathan gas. The move ignited waves of protest, on the basis the agreement would increase Jordan’s dependency on Israel, and potentially finance Israel’s occupation of Palestine.

Such concerns go beyond reflexive prejudice. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has noted the potential of gas deals to insulate the country from international condemnation and action.

“Ensuring the supply of gas is essential not only to the country’s functioning, but also to its existence. I regard the gas supply as a foundation of national security. A country that exports things crucial for other countries has far more power. The ability to export gas makes us more immune to international pressure. We don’t want to be vulnerable to boycotts,” Netanyahu said.

Moreover, in a report, Annexing Energy, Al-Haq noted it was “impossible” to geographically isolate gas fields in mainland Israel and characterize them as separate from the country’s ongoing conflict with Palestine.

“In 2011, Noble Energy, the lead operator of the Leviathan field, unilaterally extracted gas from a joint Palestinian gas field without Palestinian permission as required under customary international law and the Oslo Accords. Israel has also employed a brutal and unlawful naval operation to protect Noble Energy’s gas platforms beside the Gaza Strip, routinely attacking, killing and injuring civilian Palestinian fishermen who fish in the vicinity of Israel’s illegally imposed six-nautical-mile closure of Palestine’s territorial waters,” the report said.

In a perverse twist, the deal also comes at a time when Gaza continues to reel from a major energy crisis, which has seen power cuts lasting as long as 18 hours, and results from Israel blocking the region from developing its own resources.

The Al-Haq report concluded that if Palestinians were permitted to do so, their own energy needs would be satiated, and they would be economically self-sufficient, freed from their current aid dependency.

April 24, 2017 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Russophobia | , , , , , | 1 Comment

PM Hariri: Israel wants new war against Lebanon

Press TV – April 3, 2017

Lebanese Prime Minister Sa’ad Hariri says recent Israeli actions have indicated a desire for a new conflict after Tel Aviv unveiled the latest addition to its missile system.

In an interview with France24 TV station after arriving in Paris on Sunday, Hariri also dismissed concerns that Hezbollah might provoke a conflict with Israel.

“I think that Israel is the one that wants to launch a war against Lebanon, and not Hezbollah,” he said.

“Israel does not want the Arabs to rest. Look at the daily Israeli violations of our airspace, land and territorial waters,” Hariri added.

Hariri’s comments came after Israel unveiled the “David’s Sling” missile system at Hatzor air force base in central occupied Palestinian territories.

The system became operational amid heightened tensions along northern borders with Lebanon and Syria. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the missile system was meant against the “existence” of those who allegedly sought to destroy Israel.

Last month, Israeli warplanes struck several targets in Syria, drawing retaliatory missile fire from Syrian forces, in the most serious incident between the two sides since the start of war in Syria in 2011.

After the retaliation, Israeli minister of military affairs Avigdor Lieberman threatened to destroy Syria’s air defense systems “without the slightest hesitation” if such an incident were to happen again.

Israel has carried out strikes within Syrian borders to stop what it says are deliveries of advanced weapons to Hezbollah which is fighting Takfiri terrorists in the Arab country. The Israeli assaults, however, have often followed Syrian army advances, raising suspicions of Israeli attempts to change the tide in favor of militants.

Last month, Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said Netanyahu had recently met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow to express his deep concern over the likely collapse of Daesh in Syria.

Tel Aviv has also escalated its aggressive rhetoric and military incursions into southern Lebanon, prompting President Michel Aoun to warn that any Israeli attempt to violate his country’s sovereignty would be met with an “appropriate response.”

Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett said last month “life in Lebanon today is not bad” compared to Syria, adding Tel Aviv should target civilians in a future war with the country and send it “back to the Middle Ages.”

Israeli threats forced the Lebanese government to task Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil with preparing a report for the UN Security Council regarding a potential conflict.

Bassil was asked to prepare a “list of Israeli stances in media and a detailed letter to the Security Council to press the international community to uphold its responsibilities in the face of the intentional and public escalation [of the threat] to the region’s stability.”

April 3, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 5 Comments

US charges Lebanese businessman with evading sanctions

Press TV – March 24, 2017

US authorities have charged a Lebanese businessman with dodging sanctions imposed against him over his alleged financial support to the Hezbollah resistance movement, the Department of Justice has announced.

The Justice Department said in a statement that Kassim Tajideen pleaded not guilty in a federal court in Washington, DC, on Friday.

The 62-year-old billionaire businessman will remain in prison until his next hearing, which is scheduled to be held in the coming week, according to the statement.

He was arrested on March 12 in Morocco after an international warrant was issued by Interpol’s office in Washington, Reuters reported earlier this week.

American authorities claimed Tajideen operated a big company that did business in commodities across the Middle East and Africa. The United States Treasury Department sanctioned Tajideen in 2009, accusing him of having contributed “tens of millions of dollars” to Hezbollah, leaving him shut out from banks with no legal redress.

Tajideen had rejected the accusation and said the news of sanctions in 2009 was a shock.

“I was surprised, as I’d thought America was democratic,” Tajideen said. “A friend called me at midnight to tell me, and woke me up. The next day I saw my lawyer [in Belgium], although he didn’t know exactly what it would mean.”

America’s Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) with the help of US Customs and Border Protection led a two-year investigation that resulted in Tajideen’s arrest and indictment, according to the Justice Department.

Raymond Donovan, a DEA special agent, accused Tajideen of acting as a key financier of Hezbollah.

American authorities said Tajideen evaded the Treasury sanctions by restructuring his company and using a complex web of trade names, which allowed him to continue doing business with US companies.

Last year, the US Treasury added two Lebanese men — Mohamad Noureddine and Hamdi Zaher El Dine — to its sanctions blacklist accusing them of laundering money for Hezbollah.

The Treasury claimed that the men had used a network across Asia, Europe, and the Middle East to help Hezbollah.

In 2015, the Barack Obama administration approved a bill which imposed sanctions against banks that do business with Hezbollah.

Washington accuses the resistance movement of condoning terrorism. However, Hezbollah has been involved in fierce fighting against Daesh terrorists in Syria.

Hezbollah was founded in the 1980s following the Israeli invasion and occupation of southern Lebanon.

The movement waged a long resistance campaign against Zionist troops and pushed them out of southern Lebanon in May 2000.

Since then, the group has grown into a powerful military force and has successfully defeated the Zionist regime several times.

Hezbollah has also supported the Syrian army in its fight against the foreign-sponsored terrorists who have been wreaking havoc in the Arab country since March 2011.

Since its inception in 1985, the Islamic resistance movement has been a thorn in the flesh of Israel and its foreign backers, such as the United States.

March 24, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , | 3 Comments

Israel precipitates new tensions in Syria

By M K Bhadrakumar | Indian Punchline | March 20, 2017

The Israeli air attacks on Friday near Palmyra in Syria targeting what Tel Aviv claims to be a convoy ferrying weapons for Hezbollah in Lebanon – and what Damascus alleges was a calculated act directed against the positions of the government forces fighting the Islamic State active in the region – cannot be regarded as a ‘stand-alone’ event.

On the face of it, the Israeli claim lacks credibility since Palmyra is twice removed from the Syrian-Lebanon border in terms of geographical proximity. Possibly, the Syrian government has a point that the Israelis were deliberately targeting its forces. This explains why the Russian Foreign Ministry called in the Israeli ambassador in Moscow on the same day and sought explanation.

Evidently, some ‘ground rule’ as per the unwritten Russian-Israeli understanding over Syrian frontlines has been breached and Moscow took note. In previous instances when Israel attacked Hezbollah – even assassinating its top commanders fighting on Syrian frontlines – Moscow had looked away. But this time around, it promptly signalled displeasure. It stands to reason that Israel crossed some ‘red line’.

At first, Moscow did not publicise its demarche. But then, Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Liberman flew off the handle on Sunday with a belligerent remark that Israel “will not hesitate” to destroy Syria’s air defence systems if that country ever again targeted attacking Israeli jets. It was an illogical statement insofar as Israel insists it can violate Syrian air space but Damascus has no right to defend. Liberman also held a veiled threat saying, “We do not want to clash with the Russians.”

Whereupon, on Monday, Moscow disclosed that it had made a demarche. Curiously, the Israeli ambassador had presented his credentials at the Kremlin only the day before he received the summons. As far as diplomatic practices go – and Russians are seasoned practitioners – Moscow made a strong point.

Interestingly, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu had visited Moscow recently with a focused mission to get Russia to dump its alliance with Iran in Syria. From Russian commentaries, it appears he got a short shrift in the Kremlin. (Read a hilarious piece, here, by Israel Shamir.) One likelihood is that Netanyahu showed irritation over the snub. By the way, Liberman is an ethnic Russian Jew.

By making the demarche, Russia inserted itself into what Israel pretended to be a standoff with Damascus, and has warned Israel not to escalate. On the contrary, Israel may have much to be gained through escalation. Consider the following.

Israel is watching with growing despair that Iran has emerged as the ‘winner’ in the Syrian conflict. Israel’s proxies – al-Qaeda affiliates and other extremist groups – are facing defeat. Its plans to create a ‘buffer zone’ in Syrian territory straddling the Golan Heights are in shambles. Israel’s illegal occupation of Golan Heights may come under challenge if Iranian/Hezbollah militia resort to the politics of ‘resistance’.

Israel anticipates that Iran will establish a permanent presence in Syria. There are reports that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has given go-ahead for an Iranian naval base in Latakia, close to the Russian airbase at Hmeymim. If that happens, Iran will be in an even stronger position than before to build up Hezbollah (and Syria and Lebanon) as the bulwark of ‘resistance’ against Israel.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah is also emerging as a more capable fighting force after the baptism under fire in Syria. Hezbollah has a massive stockpile of tens of thousands of rockets and missiles – some estimates put the number as 100,000 – targeting Israel, which deterred an Israeli attack on Lebanon for the past ten years. Israel has no answer to the missile threat from Hezbollah. As an Israeli commentator put it,

  • Sending special infantry units to search for rocket and missile launch sites on the ground is a lot like looking for a needle in a haystack. Israel tried to do this in the second Lebanon war (2006) with no real results. What this means is that the only option left to Israel is an immediate, dramatic and aggressive attack against all of Lebanon’s vital infrastructure, or as Israeli officers and senior Israeli officials have been describing for the past decade, “sending Lebanon back to the Stone Age.”

The catch here is that Hezbollah is not spoiling for a fight with Israel, but it will hit back if attacked. Israel tried repeatedly to provoke Hezbollah, but the latter kept cool, given the overriding priorities of the Syrian conflict where it plays a major role in the ground fighting. Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah listed recently that targets in Israel include the ammonia plant in Haifa, the nuclear reactors in Dimona and Nahal Sorek, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems weapons development facilities and so on.

The short point is, Israel is desperately keen to somehow get the US directly involved. Israel will not hesitate to precipitate a US-Iranian confrontation. How far President Donald Trump would play ball with Netanyahu is a moot point. Israel may simply create a new fact on the ground whereby US intervention becomes unavoidable. Russia probably senses that.

March 21, 2017 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Israeli minister wants Lebanon ‘sent back to Middle Ages’

Press TV – March 13, 2017

An Israeli minister says “life in Lebanon today is not bad” compared to Syria, adding Tel Aviv should target civilians in a future war with the country and send it “back to the Middle Ages.”

Education Minister Naftali Bennett has said all aspects of life in Lebanon must be targeted in a future war with Hezbollah, because the resistance movement is now an important part of the Lebanese people.

“Today, Hezbollah is embedded in sovereign Lebanon. It is part of the government and, according to the president, also part of its security forces,” Israeli newspaper Haaretz quoted Bennett as saying on Sunday.

The daily referred to statements made a month ago by Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun who ruled out outside pressures to disarm Hezbollah.

“As long as Israel occupies land and covets the natural resources of Lebanon, and as long as the Lebanese military lacks the power to stand up to Israel, [Hezbollah’s] arms are essential,” Aoun said.

“The Lebanese institutions, its infrastructure, airport, power stations, traffic junctions, Lebanese Army bases – they should all be legitimate targets if a war breaks out,” Bennett said.

“Life in Lebanon today is not bad – certainly compared to what’s going on in Syria. Lebanon’s civilians, including the Shia population, will understand that this is what lies in store for them,” he added.

Bennett said heavily targeting civilian infrastructure, along with additional air and ground action by the Israeli troops, will shorten the campaign as it will accelerate international intervention.

“That will lead them to stop it quickly – and we have an interest in the war being as short as possible,” he said.

Bennett’s approach is not new for the Israeli officials. In 2008, the head of the Israeli army’s Northern Command, who currently serves as the army’s chief of staff, Gadi Eisenkot, presented the “Dhahiya doctrine.”

This picture shows the aftermath of Israeli bombing of residential buildings in Dhahiya in southern Beirut in August 2006.

It referred to Israel’s heavy bombardment of the densely-populated Shia quarter in southern Beirut in the 2006 war because buildings in the neighborhood were identified with Hezbollah.

Haaretz said Hezbollah was able to launch more than 1,000 rockets into Israel in a single day of fighting, leaving Tel Aviv with either no or limited solution to confront them.

Bennett said hunting rocket launchers during a war is almost impossible, adding Hezbollah has learned to deploy them in a more sophisticated manner, thus the regime must hit civilian targets.

“If Hezbollah fires missiles at the Israeli home front, this will mean sending Lebanon back to the Middle Ages,” he said.

Bennett served as a reserve officer and commanded an elite unit sent deep into southern Lebanon to find Hezbollah’s rocket-launching squads during the second Israeli war on Lebanon in 2006, which ended after 33 days.

Many Israeli leaders admitted that the war marked a defeat for Tel Aviv, dealing another serious blow to its military’s myth of invincibility.

Last week, Israel’s Minister of Military Affairs Avigdor Lieberman said at a Knesset committee meeting that the Lebanese army was now “a subsidiary unit of Hezbollah.”

Hezbollah fighters are currently helping Syrian troops confront Takfiri terrorists and prevent the conflict from spilling over into Lebanon.

In a series of interviews with Lebanese media last month, President Aoun said Hezbollah operations “complement the actions of the army and do not contradict them.”

“They are a major part of Lebanon’s defense,” he said.

March 13, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , | 3 Comments

‘Any Israeli Attempt to Undermine Lebanese Sovereignty will Meet an Appropriate Response’

Al-Manar – February 18, 2017

Lebanese President General Michel Aoun deemed on Saturday that “the message content of Israel’s Delegate at the United Nations, Danny Danon, poses a threat to Lebanon,” adding that “the international community ought to pay attention to the possible Israeli hostile intentions against Lebanon.”

Speaking before his interlocutors at Baabda Palace this afternoon, Aoun asserted that “any Israeli attempt to undermine the sovereignty of Lebanon shall be confronted with the appropriate response.”

The President stressed that “Israel must comply with Security Council resolutions before any other, yet it still refuses to implement Resolution #1701 and the transition from the cessation of hostilities to a ceasefire stage, despite the fact that more than 11 years have passed since the release of said Resolution.”

“Israel still occupies Lebanese territories in the northern part of Ghajar, Shebaa Farms and Kfar Shouba Hilltops, while effecting daily violations of the Blue Line and Lebanese sovereignty by air and sea,” Aoun went on to indicate.

“In addition, half a million Palestinians are still forced to stay away from their homeland, hosted by Lebanon in the absence of their right to return to their land and property, which constitutes an act of aggression against Lebanon and its people,” he added.

“This act of aggression falls under the content of Article 51 of the UN Charter, which gives Lebanon and its people the natural right to defend their land,” Aoun underscored.

The President concluded that “Lebanon, which has respected all obligations towards the United Nations and its labor force in the South, views the Israeli message to the United Nations as a blatant attempt to threaten the security and stability enjoyed by the southern towns and villages located within the international area of operations, and therefore, bears full responsibility for any aggression against Lebanon.”

Source: NNA

February 19, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Canada court ruling violates international law: Iran

Press TV – February 19, 2017

Tehran has rejected a recent ruling issued by Canada’s Ontario Superior Court of Justice against Iran, saying the verdict violates international law.

“This ruling contravenes the basic principles of the legal impunity of governments and their assets, and is unacceptable,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Sunday.

Justice Glenn Hainey ruled on February 8 that the Islamic Republic had to pay $300,000 in legal costs to those who claim to be victims of Iranian support for resistance groups.

The plaintiffs had sought compensation in the Ontario court under Canada’s Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act. The verdict has given Iran 30 days to pay the sum.

Qassemi said the Islamic Republic has already conveyed its expression of formal protest to the Canadian government and reserved the right to take political and legal measures in that regard.

In June 2016, the same court ordered $13 million in non-diplomatic Iranian assets to be given to three groups of plaintiffs.

The decision was similar to US Supreme Court’s ruling in April 2016 to hand over $2 billion in Iran’s frozen assets to American families of those killed in the 1983 bombing of US Marine Corps barracks in Beirut and other attacks.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani announced at that time that the country had filed a lawsuit against the US with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) – the principal judicial organ of the United Nations.

Earlier this month, Iran’s Presidential Office said in a statement that the lawsuit had been officially put in motion.

Washington’s seizure of Iran’s assets is against the Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations, and Consular Rights which was signed by the two countries in August 1955 – referred to as the 1955 Treaty – and is “still effective,” the statement added.

February 19, 2017 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rifts among Muslim nations serve Israeli interests: Lebanon PM

Press TV – January 8, 2017

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri says Muslim nations should close their ranks in the face of Israeli attempts to take advantage of rifts in the Islamic world and the terror threats facing the Middle East.

Hariri made the remarks in a meeting with Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy, in Beirut on Saturday.

He said divisions in the Muslim world, including those among Palestinian factions, besides the terror activities in the region serve the interests of the Israeli regime, urging Muslims to set aside their rifts and focus, instead, on common goals.

Cooperation among Muslim countries can turn the Islamic world into “a large economic hub” and consequently upgrade its status, the premier added.

Hariri further underlined his resolve to reinforce relations between Tehran and Beirut in all areas, especially in economy and trade, calling for measures to remove the obstacles to the expansion of bilateral ties.

In turn, Boroujerdi described his meeting with the Lebanese prime minister as “constructive and positive,” saying they discussed the restoration of security to the region, Lebanon’s National News Agency quoted him as saying.

He further emphasized that the two countries have a common position on the political settlement of the Syria crisis.

“There is no doubt that stability and security in Syria reflect positively on security and stability in Lebanon, in Iran and the region in general. We agreed that the shameful and heinous acts carried out by terrorist Takfiri extremist groups are not related to the Islamic religion in any way,” the senior Iranian lawmaker said.

Touching on the issue of bilateral ties, Boroujerdi said Iran is ready “to build on the bright, positive and constructive political circumstances that have arisen in Lebanon.”

Hariri became prime minister last December, after the Lebanese parliament elected Michel Aoun as president, ending a 29-month-long political stalemate in the country.

January 8, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel sole beneficiary of Middle East wars: Iran deputy FM

Press TV – December 23, 2016

A senior Iranian diplomat emphasizes the need for a peaceful settlement of regional issues, saying warfare in the Middle East only benefits Israel through undermining the resources of regional nations.

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Jaber Ansari made the remarks during a meeting with Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri in the Lebanese capital Beirut on Thursday.

“The solution to the region’s crises is not a military one. Not only doesn’t war lead to resolution of complications, but it will result in the erosion of the regional countries’ competencies, and has [hence] no winner other than the Zionist regime [of Israel],” the Iranian official asserted.

Addressing reporters after the meeting, Ansari also said the cure to the existent confrontations among the region’s political movements only lies in “serious dialog.”

Ansari described his talks with Hariri as “very favorable and constructive,” saying regional affairs as well as the expansion of Tehran-Beirut ties were discussed in the meeting.

The Iranian official further praised Lebanon’s positive role in the region as well as its “effective and proactive resistance against the Zionist regime’s occupation, expansionism and aggrandizement” over the past two decades.

The Lebanese resistance movement of Hezbollah is credited with defending the country against two wars launched by Israel, in 2000 and 2006. It has also been successfully helping the Syrian army fight Saudi-backed Takfiri militants in order to prevent the Syrian conflict from spilling over to Lebanon.

Hariri likewise said political solutions need the participation of domestic factions and the recognition of their views.

“If it were not for empathy and understanding among all Lebanese sides and political movements, we would not be witnessing their agreement and election of General Michel Aoun as president, the formation of a government, and the introduction of cabinet ministers,” he said.

On October 31, Lebanese legislators elected Aoun as president, ending a 29-month presidential vacuum. The Maronite Christian founder of the Free Patriotic Movement succeeded Michel Sleiman.

On Sunday, the country announced forming a new 30-minister cabinet led by Hariri. The government brought together the country’s whole political spectrum except for the Christian Phalangist party, which did not accept the portfolio it had been offered.

Ansari congratulated the Lebanese premier on the inauguration of the national unity government.

The Iranian official is to meet with other senior Lebanese political officials on Friday.

He arrived in Lebanon via Syria, where he had met separately with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Prime Minister Imad Khamis and Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem.

December 23, 2016 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

UN Demands ‘Israel’ to Pay Lebanon More than $850 Million for 2006 “Oil Slick”

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Al-Manar | December 23, 2016

The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution titled “Oil slick on Lebanese shores” urging the Zionist entity to pay Lebanon some $850 mn compensation to cover the clean-up cost of an oil spill caused by the Zionist July 2006 war on the country.

The UNGA voted 166 in favor of the non-binding resolution to 8 against (Australia, Canada, the Zionist entity, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 7 abstentions (Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Honduras, Papua New Guinea, South Sudan, Tonga, Vanuatu).

Taking into account the 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, which in principle requires the polluter to pay environmental damage costs, the assembly found the Zionist entity guilty of the July 15, 2006 environmental disaster.

The disaster was caused by a Zionist strike on the oil storage tanks in the direct vicinity of the Jiyeh electric power plant in Lebanon. As a result an oil slick covered the Lebanese coastline entirely, stretching all the way to the Syrian coastline.

By that text, the Assembly considered that the oil slick had heavily polluted the shores of Lebanon with 15,000 tons of oil and partially polluted Syrian shores and consequently had serious implications for the Lebanese economy.

The Assembly decision followed the assessment report by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon which stipulated the value of damage to be $856.4 million. Now the Assembly is asking the Zionist entity to provide “prompt and adequate compensation.”

The oil slick made by the spill “has had serious implications for livelihoods and the economy of Lebanon,” the resolution read, accounting for inflation of a October 2007 estimate by the United Nations Secretary General that reported the spill caused $729 million in damage.

Lebanon bore the brunt of the spill, but the Syrian coast and other Mediterranean countries suffered as well, the UN said, asking Lebanon to continue clean-up efforts and the international community to increase funding for its environmental restoration.

The resolution noted that the UN chief expressed “grave concern at the lack of any acknowledgment on the part of the government of Israel of its responsibilities vis-a-vis reparations and compensation” to Lebanon and Syria for the oil spill.

Lebanon’s permanent representative to the UN Nawaf Salam hailed the resolution and called it a “major progress.”

“We affirm that Lebanon will continue to mobilize all resources and resort to all legal means to see that this resolution is fully implemented, and that the specified compensation is paid promptly,” he said.

“This resolution also paves the way for further compensation into other areas of damage (health, ecosystem services as habitat, potential groundwater contamination, and marine diversity), that were not considered in the current calculated amount,” Salam added.

For its part, the Zionist mission to the UN rejected the resolution, expressing wonder that it does not cover the environmental damage which occurred in the northern occupied territories following the attack on Lebanon, claiming that the entity launched the July 2006 war on the country as “a consequence.”

The Zionist entity waged a brutal 33-day war on Lebanon in July 2006, killing hundreds of Lebanese people and leaving serious damage to vital infrastructure. The war ended by a UN 1701 resolution which urged the Zionist entity to halt hostilities and withdraw behind the blue line drawn by UN forces after the liberation of most occupied Lebanese southern territories in May 2006.

December 23, 2016 Posted by | Environmentalism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment