This live interview commemorated the 13th anniversary of the ‘Truthful Promise’ operation and the outbreak of the 2006 war. It lasted more than 3 hours.The first part is dedicated to the prospect of an Israeli war against Lebanon and the ‘Deal of the Century’. The videos feature only the main parts of the interview, but the transcript below is full.
Journalist: Good evening, Eminent Sayed. I thank you for granting us this interview, which is (closely) followed by both your opponents and your friends. Allow me to begin by addressing you and our listeners with my congratulations on this commemoration of the divine victory (of 2006).
From July 2006 to July 2019, did the balances and equations that were imposed by the 2006 victory remain valid, or have the events and developments in the region imposed new realities?
Hassan Nasrallah: In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. First of all, I must also congratulate you on this occasion. We are beginning this commemoration with this interview with Al-Manar TV, and we will also celebrate the Victory Festival on August 14, after 33 days. I must also address all those who shaped this victory and participated in shaping it, and in the first place the families of the martyrs, the fighters, the wounded and all the elements of the golden equation, ‘The Army, the People and the Resistance’, as well as all the forces, all the actors, and all those who assisted us, helped us and supported us (if only) by taking a stance, by saying a word (of support) or uttering a prayer (for our victory). To all of you, I extend my congratulations on this day of commemoration of this great victory.
As far as your question is concerned, the equations are still valid. All the new equations that we achieved and obtained during the July (2006) war in the (Arab-Israeli) conflict are still valid and have even been confirmed and strengthened further over the days and years. And that is why we can (all) bear witness to one of the fruits of these achievements and victories, namely that Lebanon, since 2006 to this day, is protected and safe, a security that nobody granted to him, neither the Americans, nor the United Nations, nor the UN Security Council, nor any international authority. Lebanon is absolutely safe, in southern Lebanon, at the border, and everywhere throughout Lebanon, with the exception of a few incidents that we will discuss later.
This security has been shaped by the Lebanese, by their unity, by their Resistance, by their people, by their army, by their will, by the blood of their martyrs. And today, against Israel, the most important point is that there is a real deterrent, the so-called balance of deterrence. Between who and who? Between Lebanon and the Zionist entity, that is between a (mere) Popular Resistance movement and a State that considers itself a great power in the region. (Such a balance between two actors so unequal) is a considerable thing. And it is this very deterrence that, until now, has prevented Israel from attacking Lebanon, from 2006 to the present. The Israelis themselves acknowledge (this situation of deterrence): their military and political leaders acknowledge this, as well as the leaders of their (political) parties, their analysts and their media. Similarly, (we can clearly see that Israel is deterred) when we read the statements of the Generals, especially after they leave their position, because they become more free to express themselves and they reveal things previously kept secret. We see that (this balance of deterrence) is something accepted and acknowledged by all (in Israel and elsewhere).
That is why we keep repeating that after the 2006 war and the equations that this war imposed, the enemy thinks about it a thousand times before considering any aggression against Lebanon, (and this balance of deterrence and dissuasion) is confirmed and more deeply rooted day after day, as I will show you with precise data.
Journalist: And what about the Resistance, what has changed after 13 years separating us from the victory (of 2006)? You’ve talked about this several times, but after all the pressure, sanctions and state of siege (imposed on the Resistance by Trump), can we still say that the Resistance is (today) stronger than ever, and that this equation has not changed?
Hassan Nasrallah: For 13 years (since 2006), we made considerable progress regarding the number of our fighters –and this is the most important element for us, the human element, the resistant, the fighter ready to sacrifice in the way of God Almighty and Exalted. The development of our strength was absolutely huge and cannot be compared to any previous stage.
Journalist: The number of Hezbollah fighters increased?
Hassan Nasrallah: It was multiplied several times. And likewise, through our actions meant to develop our capabilities and also through our field experience, on the battlefield –I speak of what happened in Syria–, we have gained a real ground offensive capability. In the past, in 2006 (and before), our offensive capability was limited, and most of our capacity was a defensive capacity, even in what is called the infantry forces. But today, we have a real offensive capability at the level of our ground troops, with modern, powerful and excellent weaponry at all levels, and a real qualitative force in every sense of the term: at the levels of faith, motivation, commitment, courage, expertise, training, experience and also the accumulation of (fighting) experience. (These forces are capable of liberating vast swathes of territory, as they have demonstrated in Syria against forces that are far more motivated than the Israeli army).
In addition to our conventional military units, I can mention in particular our two special (elite) units, the Al-Redwan forces and Al-Abbas cohorts, where the number of fighters is very high. We have (thousands) of such experienced fighters, constantly ready (for anything), highly specialized in offensive battles, and they have a great experience in offensive operations. This is something we did not have in 2006.
I can also talk about the development of our ballistic capability, the ballistic capacity of the Resistance today, which has considerably increased both in quantity –the number of missiles we have is incomparable with what we had in 2006– and also qualitatively, and I speak here of precision missiles, which are an obsession for Israel, and that is why the US is trying to intervene to help resolve this problem.
I can also speak of another military asset in our capacity, the drones or UAVs, which are now a major force in the equation of any confrontation.
Journalist: You now have an air force?
Hassan Nasrallah: In 2006 we only had a few drones, and we tried to do something with them, but we were at the beginning of the foundation of this new type of weapon. But today, this type of weapon is very advanced, available in large numbers and fully operational, and it must be taken into consideration because of its significant offensive capabilities (demonstrated by the Resistance in Yemen, where Hezbollah is likely involved).
About the other aspects (of our) strength –I am not going to mention them all one by one–, I can also mention the fact that at the level of the quality and exhaustivity of our intelligence services, our capacity is greater than ever. We also have a number of weapons for which a huge qualitative development has been achieved. And of course, there are other things that I will not mention and that I keep as surprises (for the enemy).
In short, whether on land, sea or in the air, in all areas, this Resistance has considerably developed and made huge steps forward, both in quantity and quality, both in numbers, strength, equipment, expertise, experience, training, capacity, and, more importantly, in faith and certainty in God’s victory, trust in God and disposition to sacrifice.
And that is why it is evident today, as I sit with you, if we consider the current state of mind of all the Israeli leaders (at the political and military levels), they all fear the Resistance and they are greatly afraid of it, and they will think a million times before doing anything against us, much more than was previously the case, even in 2006.
Journalist: Eminent Sayed, maybe there only remains one weakness (for Hezbollah), the fact that you still don’t have air defenses capable of shooting down Israeli planes who continue to constantly violate our airspace.
Hassan Nasrallah: Who says we do not have them? Maybe we do, maybe we don’t. To say absolutely that we don’t have them is not accurate. But I will not say that we have them, because the time has not come yet to reveal whether we have them or not. Leave that in the area of our hidden abilities (about which we maintain uncertainty).
Journalist: But on the other hand, Eminent Sayed, the Israeli enemy has also developed its capacities and has benefited from the lessons of its failures during the July 2006 war. Don’t you take into consideration the fact that Israel has also done lots of work on itself, working (relentlessly) to remedy its shortcomings, to develop and strengthen its capacity, and therefore became stronger that it was in 2006?
Hassan Nasrallah: It is true that Israel has been working to develop and strengthen its capacity, and has analyzed and worked to address its weaknesses, flaws, breaches and shortcomings. Beyond the Winograd Commission, whose conclusions were damning (for the Israeli army), they also commissioned special studies within the Israeli army and in other institutions, in order to resolve their technical failures.
But what struck Israel, this usurper entity, –each time I say ‘Israel’, it is merely for convenience, but we do not recognize the usurper Zionist entity as a (legitimate) State–, what struck this entity was something very deep. The entity was struck in depth, at a level that is not easily remediable, namely its mind and soul. I speak of the (entity’s) confidence and trust in the (capabilities of its) army, the trust of the leaders in their forces, the officers’ trust in their soldiers, the soldiers’ trust in their officers, the people’s trust in the army, the politicians’ trust in the military leadership, the military leaders’ trust in the political leadership. Restoring this (shattered) trust is not something easy. It is extremely difficult to achieve a level of trust and confidence which means certainty, absolute assurance, determination, that allows everyone to move forward with confidence (in wartime). This was shaken at a very high point. And everything the Israeli enemy did since the 2006 war to restore this trust failed. And this is also one of the benefits of the endurance of Gaza, the Resistance in Gaza. Israel attacked Gaza in 2014 and on other occasions, and until the last confrontation with Gaza (on May 2019), we all could see Israel’s (powerlessness), which failed to restore the trust that has been struck in depth. That’s the first aspect.
There is another problem that Israel has failed to solve, and that’s something very important which is part of the consequences of the 2006 war. I mean the weakness and impotence of the Israeli home front, the internal front of the enemy entity, which was exposed (in 2006). (In previous wars), the home front was always preserved and spared. Where did wars happen (before 2006)? On our land, in Lebanon, in the Syrian territory, or the Egyptian territory, or in the other (Arab) territories. It was not on Palestinian territory –because there is no such thing as Israeli territory–, it was not in the territory on which the Zionists erected the usurper entity (that the battles took place or that the missiles were falling). But the war of 2006 carried the battle inside the land of the enemy –if we can consider this land as ‘theirs’–, on the home front of the enemy, (which was hit daily by the missiles of the Resistance). And now the Resistance is stronger than ever in terms of its ability to target and shake the enemy’s home front (by a barrage of missiles or even a ground offensive in Galilee).
Israel has failed to address this issue so far. They have been vainly striving to resolve it since 2006 to date. They began to try to solve this problem in 2007, organizing maneuvers at the level of the home front, dubbed ‘Turning Point 1’. The year 2008 saw the maneuvers ‘Turning Point 2’, then the year after ‘Turning Point 3’, then ‘Turning Point 4’, ‘Turning Point 5’, and so on and so forth. Each year, they organize large maneuvers on their whole territory (involving both the military and civilians, to assess the preparedness of) their home front. And so far, the main Israeli Generals say that the home front is still not ready for war. And it’s been 13 years that they are trying to remedy this issue. But they will never be ready for war, they will never be ready to bear the burden of a war. It is also a major problem that remains.
Yet another problem (for Israel) is the land forces. Since 2006 to date, although they claim to have dealt with this issue, we can see, with the admission of the Israeli leadership, a sharp decline in the strength, capacity and reliability of the Israeli infantry, as acknowledged by the Israelis themselves, I’m not the (only) one who says so. Israel and the whole world know that the air force is not capable of winning a war without ground support, without land forces. Without a large ground offensive, nothing in the equations can be changed. Everything the air force can achieve is some destruction (and massacres of civilians) here or there. Therefore, this is also one of the negative developments for Israel, that they have not managed to solve for 13 years. Rather, this problem has become more serious, it became deeper. The trust crisis caused by the failure against Gaza –after the Lebanese experience in 2006– became deeper. The weakness and impotence of the ground force (worsened, just like) the weakness and impotence of the home front.
Yesterday, I was reading an (Israeli) paper saying that despite all that was done (to face this threat), if the territory of the Israeli entity was attacked from several locations (simultaneous invasions from Gaza, Lebanon, Syria…), Israel does not have the capacity to absorb 2 million internal refugees, inside occupied Palestine. We’re talking about a population of 9 million people. What will they do with the remaining 7 million Israelis? Where will they flee (if Israel is already struggling to cope with 2 million)?
Journalist: But Eminent Sayed …
Hassan Nasrallah: Of course, on the other hand, we do not deny the fact that for 13 years, Israel has intensified its training and maneuvers, either in Cyprus, Greece, Europe or elsewhere. We do not deny the fact that they got more sophisticated technologies and new weapons from the United States, at the aviation level (F-35), etc., etc., etc., etc. . But for us, the main issue against the Israeli enemy is not the military arsenal. Their military arsenal during the July (2006) War was absolutely huge and unparalleled, but despite this, (we won).
Journalist: Within the Israeli entity, in their statements, they constantly threaten to return Lebanon to the Stone Age in case of war, referring to a comprehensive list of targets (whose destruction would paralyze the country). But if we consider the situation from the other side, if a war occurs, God forbid, what will happen to the situation of the (Zionist) entity? And I do not know if I can ask, but how many targets will find themselves within reach of your missiles?
Hassan Nasrallah: Today, after what I will expose, I advise the Israelis not to repeat this kind of threat, that they will return Lebanon to the Stone Age. Some of them said they would send Lebanon 50 years back, but you know, for the Lebanese, this is a joke, because they say ‘We’d like that, because 50 years ago (before the civil war in Lebanon), there was (functional) electricity, water, streets were clean, etc.’ Implying that Lebanon can be sent back to the Stone Age is a gross underestimation (of our capabilities).
Let us consider what we, on our part, can do with Israel (in case of war). I do not say ‘To what Age we will send them back’, because before 1948, they did not even exist. What can we do with this entity and the people of this entity, the settlers? I’m not talking about civilians in the strict sense, but about occupants, colonists, invaders. I say this so that no one says that I threaten the civilians of the entity (in Israel, only the Arab population can be deemed civilian).
(In May 25), 2000, in Bint Jbeil, I said that Israel was weaker than a spider web. During the last 13 years, my certainty about this has strengthened, and it occurred to me that even the expression ‘weaker than a spider web’ is not strong enough to describe the weakness of this entity. I’m going to show it in a scientific way, with accurate data.
As (Israel) was to be the essential topic of our meeting this evening (dedicated to the 2006 victory), I brought a map with me. On this map… Normally, the expert in this area is Netanyahu at the UN (where he often shows diagrams or maps to incriminate Iran) or Trump, when he wants to sell his weapons (to Saudi Arabia), right? But today, it is I who am forced to resort to this method.
Let’s look at this map that I hold in my hands, Professor Imad. Here is occupied Palestine, the entity usurping Palestinian land that they currently denominate ‘Israel’. What we see here in white, it is the West Bank, and down here, the Gaza Strip. If we look at the whole region, the North is here… Here, we can see the Golan, we represented it in Syria, because for us it will never be part of the (Zionist) entity. Here is the North, and here is the South. We see that the largest area (of Israel) is the South, the South of occupied Palestine. The South is between Beersheva here and Eilat there, the most notable cities. Everywhere else (in the South), there’s nothing important. There are small towns, small settlements. And we find the same thing near the Gaza Strip. Therefore, consider that operationally, the South is beyond our line of sight. Of course, the Resistance is able to hit all the ‘Israeli’ territory, up to Eilat at the very South. (In 2006), I said that (we could hit) ‘beyond, way beyond Haifa’, and I meant Tel Aviv. But today, I say that I can hit beyond Tel Aviv and beyond Eilat: if they have something after Eilat, we can also hit this location with the grace of God. But let’s leave the South aside, (because there is no valuable target there).
The whole North is in our line of sight. We can hit the North from anywhere in Lebanon, and for as long as it takes. And we have the coordinates of all the Northern targets, whether military, security, technological, economic, industrial, etc., etc., etc. All the data is in our hands. But the most important point I want to talk about is this coastal strip (in central Israel). I want to expose this to the public so that they understand how Israel is weaker than a spider web.
If you look at the coastal strip of Israel, here on this greater map, the narrowest part of the whole (Zionist) entity, of which we have an enlargement here. In this rectangle from (the city of) Netanya to Ashdod, we have a length of 60 or 70 kilometers. In some places, the width of this area is (only) 14 kilometers, and elsewhere, it is up to 20 kilometers. We also see another problem with Israel, which is the lack of strategic depth. Looking at the heart of this area, it gets narrower, and we have a length of 40 kilometers and width of 20 kilometers. But let us consider the broader area, from Netanya to Ashdod. We cut a territorial strip –we made this map ourselves, I am not merely showing (an existing map) on TV; this is one of the maps that we have in our room of operations–, we have a strip from Netanya to Ashdod, about 20 kilometers wide and 60 to 70 kilometers long. Let’s see what targets we have in this area.
First, the bulk of the Israeli settlers (all Jewish Israelis are settlers, whether they live in 1948 or 1967 occupied Palestine) lives in this area. Half of the population, or just over half of Israel’s (Jewish) population, according to different surveys, lives there. Just look at the targets we have in this area, which in the best case, is 1200 square kilometers, an insignificant area (from the military point of view). It’s a confined area. We are not engaged in a war with a huge State with vast spaces, which would lead us to wonder how we can reach all the (strategic) targets in its territory. In this small rectangle, are located all the main bodies of the (Israeli) State, be it the government, the Ministries, the Ministry of War, the Command and General Staff of the Army, Ben-Gurion International Airport, the national airports, the Air Force bases, military bases with unconventional weapons (chemical and nuclear), petrochemical plants, nuclear power plants… All this is in this small area. We should also mention the ports of Tel Aviv and Ashdod, the military armament factories, civil and industrial complexes, major trade and finance hubs, the Israeli Stock Exchange, the main plants for generation and distribution of electricity, refineries and suppliers of gas, centers for treatment and distribution of water, oil refineries, etc. 90% of these (targets) are in this area.
Journalist: What does this mean?
Hassan Nasrallah: Imagine, therefore, that there is a Resistance with a ballistic capability, meaning thousands, tens of thousands of missiles or even more –I will not give a more precise order of magnitude (of what we have)–, all able to reach this area. For it is not necessary for us to hit Southern Palestine or any other area, (we can focus on this strategic central area). We can hit the North with some type of missiles (our smaller range rockets), and the rest of our missiles, instead of wasting them on the North, we will focus them on this coastal strip. Can this entity hold on and endure (such devastation)? Here is the Stone Age! Who will return the other to the Stone Age?
Even in the North, we have already spoken of the ammonia storage in Haifa, a problem that they have not resolved despite their attempts to do so. They tried to move the storage to the South, but in vain. Similarly, it is difficult to store it at sea. They confess themselves that if the ammonia reserves were hit… One day, in one of my speeches, I said that we had a nuclear weapon, and the whole audience laughed, but I told them I was not joking. They thought I was joking. I told them that a single missile targeting the ammonia warehouses in Haifa, two missiles at most, the Israelis themselves say that if that happened, there would be tens of thousands of deaths and tens of thousands of casualties, and that the whole area would become unlivable. And I do not even talk about the operation (to liberate) Galilee, about our land force, about our entry into the dear beloved land of Palestine, I speak only of our firepower. Is that day (where Israel will burn under thousands of missiles) coming? Yes, this day will come, and we are ready for it.
Journalist: And Hezbollah is capable of…
Hassan Nasrallah: Israel knows just as we do that this area harbors many chemical and petrochemical plants, nuclear power plants, and all this is within range of our missiles, and we can strike them. This entity is now deterred in every sense of the word to get into a war against Lebanon, even though it’s been 13 years (they are doing their best to prepare for such a war).
Didn’t they say… I do not seek to provoke them, but it’s the truth. They have been saying for 13 years that Hezbollah is forbidden to develop its ballistic capability. But we have (considerably) developed our ballistic capability. Hezbollah is forbidden to possess precision missiles. But we have them. Hezbollah is forbidden to possess game-changing weapons. But we have them. It is forbidden, it is forbidden… (All the so-called Israeli red lines have been violated, and Israel did nothing.)
They try to resort to other ways (to impede our growth, for instance by supporting terrorists in Syria), but the choice of war against Lebanon, or even the choice to hit any military target in Lebanon, to launch any air raid against Lebanon, they forbid themselves to do it. Why? From who Israel is afraid? From Trump? From Europe ? From the Arab League? From who Israel is afraid? Israel is afraid of the Hezbollah Resistance, which is able to do all the things I just mentioned.
Journalist: So the new equation, Eminent Sayed, is that Hezbollah is now capable of inflicting massive destruction in central Israel and into the depth of Israeli territory?
Hassan Nasrallah: You can use the language of your choice. I do not know exactly what terms would accurately describe (what we’ll inflict on Israel in the next war).
Journalist: What are the words closest to reality, according to your estimation?
Hassan Nasrallah: The words you used were minimal.
Journalist: “Massive destruction”?
Hassan Nasrallah: Yes. I do not exaggerate. Today, Israel knows that I speak the truth. I do not care if some Arab (leaders) believe me or not. If they believe me, great. Otherwise, it’s not a problem. What matters to me is that the Israelis know (that I’m saying the truth).
Today, in everything I say, there’s no secret. People can be reassured about that. The secrets that the Israelis do not know, I never reveal them before the time comes, it’s part of the (military or psychological) battle. But everything I just said, Israel knows it, and they know what to expect in case of war. And so today, and ever since 2006, all their discussions and all their speeches (revolve around Hezbollah).
A few days ago (from June 30 to July 2, in Israel), was held the annual (security) conference of Herzliya. I advise people to look at what they talked about in their seminars, general statements, etc.: Israel against Hezbollah, Israel against Hezbollah, Israel against Hezbollah, etc. Why is Hezbollah such an obsession? Because Israel knows the data I just mentioned and this equation (of strength and deterrence).
Journalist: The Times of Israel reported that Hezbollah has a major secret plan to invade Galilee which does not require the tunnels that were discovered by the Israeli army. The newspaper said that since the tunnels have been blocked, it is likely that the (elite) Al-Redwan troops plan to bring thousands of fighters in Israel crossing simultaneously from several points, during an intense bombardment of the border area, with the use of surveillance drones to obtain live field data and to hit Israeli positions. Is this your plan?
Hassan Nasrallah: Do you think I’m going to tell you? This is a logical and feasible scenario. But in general, and our brothers (at the operational command of Hezbollah) are now recognized for their competence in this area, thank God, they have significant expertise and founded a real school in this field, and that’s why they are preparing more than one plan and scenario…
Journalist: But the plan to invade Galilee is still relevant?
Hassan Nasrallah: It is part of our war plans. In general, we devise many plans and prepare everything we need to be able to achieve them. But it is only during the war that we decide what part of what plan we will implement.
Journalist: What you tell us is supposed to happen in case of war. But until now, you consider it unlikely that the Great War against the Israeli enemy occur (in the near future)?
Hassan Nasrallah: Yes, because of the situation of deterrence, I still consider it unlikely that Israel initiates a war of this nature. We see this in their analyses during the (Herzliya) conference. None of them has certainty, or even confidence in the fact that a war against Lebanon would lead to a victory for Israel. They know that launching a war against Lebanon, despite their capacity for destruction –they have been destroying for 70 years, this is not new, but what is new is the destruction that will befall on them!–, any new war will not resemble that of July 2006, but will be much worse for Israel and will bring it to the edge of the abyss and to possible extinction, as they know very well, if they fail to win a big, decisive and fast victory. But how could they get such a victory?
Journalist: But on the other hand, Eminent Sayed, we might ask you to what extent Lebanon, which goes through an economic and financial crisis, could bear the burden of a new war against the Israeli enemy, especially as the conditions seem harder today than in 2006. I speak of the general conditions, and not those of Hezbollah in particular. For instance the situation in Iran, which is weaker in a certain extent (due to US sanctions), and in Syria, which has changed dramatically: in 2006, it was a (strong and stable) pillar where (one million) Lebanese could take refuge…
Hassan Nasrallah: This analysis of the situation is wrong. We never had a strategy of classical warfare. We are a Resistance movement that has well-defined objectives and specific ways (of guerrilla). We are talking of a war that would be imposed in Lebanon, and we are fully prepared for it.
Journalist: According to the calculations of the enemy, if they managed to target you personally (and kill you), God forbid, it would deal a fatal blow to Hezbollah. How do you consider this risk, and to what degree does the future of the Resistance and struggle (against Israel) depend on your person, Eminent Sayed?
Hassan Nasrallah: It is confirmed day after day that Hezbollah does not depend on a particular person. Since it was founded, Hezbollah has never rested on a person or the existence of a person. This is why we had leaders who have found martyrdom, who have left Hezbollah or who have remained, without their fate affecting Hezbollah. On the contrary, the blood of the martyrs gives a considerable boost to the (Resistance) path we have adopted, (as was particularly manifest) with Sayed Abbas al-Musawi, our Secretary General and beloved Master, (murdered by Israel with his wife and 5-year-old son in 1992), as well as other martyred leaders: Hajj Imad [Moghniyeh, murdered in 2009], Sayed [Mostafa Badreddine] Zulfiqar, [martyred in Syria in 2016], and all our other brothers. But I repeat, the Party of God and the Resistance do not depend on a personality: it is an entire organization, and it functions as an organization.
And that is why today, one of the reasons for the power of Hezbollah and the increase of its power, of its activities and of its field of intervention (Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, etc.)… If it was me in person who had to follow all the files in which we are involved, it would be humanly impossible! There are bodies, officials, leaders, and I am only one of them. It is natural that trust, affection, love, attachment, obedience and all these positive aspects are attached (to me in particular). But each person has his particular influence.
In my opinion, this calculation of the enemy (is wrong), and he would not achieve a victory (by murdering me). On the contrary, with us, the blood of the martyrs and the blood of the leaders, especially at times of combat, gives an enormous impetus to all the combatants to continue on their way and to all the leaders to remain faithful to the same objectives. We do not fear anything in this regard. Of course, my duty and the duty of Hezbollah is to pay special attention to our security, and to take every precaution to protect Hezbollah leaders (from any assassination attempt), whether it be me or any other cadre. It is our duty not to be an easy prey for our enemy. But we do not base our victory calculations on that.
Journalist: So you are absolutely positive about your ability to win a decisive victory if the Great War was to take place? Is it correct?
Hassan Nasrallah: It is a certainty, with the grace of God, in every respect. That it is from the point of view of faith, because it is the promise of God the Most High and Exalted. God has promised us that “If you help God, He will help you and make you steadfast (in your faith).” (Quran, 47, 7). What does it mean to defend the Cause of God?
1 / If the cause is a just cause –and you can explore the whole world, nowhere will you find a cause more just or clearer than this, as bright as the sun at noon, whether from the perspective of Islam, of religion, of civilization, of morals, from a humanitarian or legal perspective, up to international law and all other criteria, there is nothing more just than the battle against this enemy who occupies our territory and desecrates our holy places, in Palestine and in the region. It is therefore a just cause, and we defend this just cause.
2 / We defend the Lebanese people, the Palestinian people and the peoples of the region, who are oppressed peoples. We defend the oppressed.
3 / We are ready for any sacrifice.
4 / We take all the necessary measures (we do not just pray but we are active, industrious, diligent, etc.).
5 / We plan (carefully) all our actions.
6 / We focus on our strengths and accumulate them.
7 / We have a high sense of sacrifice (of ourselves and of what we hold dearest).
8 / And all this, we do it to please God, the Most High and the Exalted. During the 2006 war, in the history of the Resistance and in the current strength of the Resistance, there is one thing that many people do not understand: it is this aspect of belief, of soul, of doctrine. We do not fight for power, nor for any earthly riches, we compete with no one for power, we do not aspire to be filled with praise, nor to be glorified in poems. Of course, whoever praises or glorifies us, we thank him. But we do all this on the Way of God the Most High and Exalted, in order to gain His pleasure and satisfaction, nothing more. This momentum, what does it mean? It means that we are trying to bond with the Master of Heaven and Earth.
A few days ago, I read a statement that had a great effect on me. We will talk about Yemen later, but I really liked this sentence, so I’m telling it now. I saw a tweet –I do not know if it’s a tweet or a speech excerpt– from our beloved brother Sayed Abd al-Malik Badr al-Din al-Houthi (AnsarAllah leader). He was speaking to Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, saying: “If the United States are with you, if Europe is with you, if the majority of the Arab world is with you, if the countries (of the world) are with you, if the (Western) warships are with you, if the armies (of the world) are with you, if the warplanes are with you, if the (most sophisticated) technologies of the world are with you –perhaps I made it longer than the orinigal[Laughter]–, if the money is with you, if the oil is with you, if the media are with you, against this (Yemeni) fighting and oppressed people, and you are defeated and we are the winners, know that God is with us and not with you.” This is a very beautiful sentence. When I read it, (I was very affected). This religious aspect is something fundamental in our confrontation (against Israel), and this is in our eyes the main element.
Journalist: I don’t know if I can ask this question now, but who will pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Al-Quds (Jerusalem, after the disappearance of Israel)? Is that you, your children or your grandchildren (who will see the complete liberation of Palestine)?
Hassan Nasrallah: First, our life is in the hands of God Almighty and Exalted. He can take back our life at any time. But if you put that aside, I think that considering the logic, the times (we are living) and the evolution of events in the region and in the world, I am one of those who have a very high hope of praying myself at Al-Quds (after its Liberation). I speak here basing myself on logical (analysis), (and considering that I will die a natural death). But I do not know the divine decree, and I do not know how long I will stay alive.
Journalist: But what matters is the logical analysis (as to the life expectancy of Israel).
Hassan Nasrallah: Yes, it is on that basis that I speak. We speak only of Israel, (an artificial entity weaker than a spider web). The problem, Professor Imad, the problem is that there was almost no (involvement) of the Arabs (in favor of Palestine during all these decades). The problem is that in Lebanon, we were hampered by a seat belt, in the person of Antoine Lahd that protected Israel (with his SLA militia). But (in other countries), the seat belts were (directly) at the level of the Arab States, which protected Israel. This (Zionist) entity, if it was left to itself, (it would have no chance to survive).
This entity is based only on two equations, and not on an inner strength (of which it is totally devoid). 1 / The US and Western support; 2 / The treason (of Palestine) by the Arab (regimes). That is all. Israel is not based on any inner strength.
Journalist: These are the only strengths of Israel.
Hassan Nasrallah: If the Arab regimes were content to remain neutral, as I asked them during the July (2006) War… We do not ask them to fight with us, but only to stop stabbing us in the back. Is it not what I asked them (in 2006)? Leave us alone, that’s all (we ask). If the Arab regimes remain neutral and stop plotting against Palestine, against the Palestinians and against the Resistance movements… I call on them again to remain neutral, since they are not neutral. They continue to plot, to incite and impose sanctions (against the Palestinians and anyone who supports them). And I know for a fact that until now, in most Arab countries, if someone collects money not for Hezbollah but for our brothers in Palestine, the Palestinian people, for the factions of the Palestinian Resistance, they do not simply seize the funds but he is thrown in jail. Do not plott against the Resistance, stay neutral (and we will do away with Israel without your help).
Today, Israel exists only thanks to the support and protection of the United States. If the Resistance is prepared enough and decides (to attack Israel), even the US will not be able to cross the seas and oceans to defend an entity devoid of inner strength. If one puts aside external factors, and actives (all the strengths) of the Resistance Axis and the choice of Resistance, this entity has no chance to survive.
Journalist: We will conclude this part with this question. It is well known that the media played a vital role during the 2006 war, as well as during other confrontations against the Israeli enemy, and in particular the Resistance media. Eminent Sayed, what can you tell us about the importance of these media and their role, especially concerning the efforts being made to besiege and censor them, as happened with Al-Manar TV (Hezbollah’s channel)? (Al-Manar (was bombed from the first day of the 2006 war, but continued uninterrupted during the war thanks to secret installations)?
Hassan Nasrallah: I will not talk about truisms, because everyone knows the importance of the media in everything: battles, wars, politics, economics, trade, industry, for absolutely everything. Today, the media is a fundamental and influential player in shaping things: they not only report the facts and cover events, but shape them. The Resistance media, despite their modest financial and equipment capabilities, have a very strong influence because of the sincerity of those who work there, and the truth of the information they report. If someone invests hundreds of millions of dollars each year for a media outlet, but we end up knowing that he reports a lot of false things [laughs], this media will have no weight. The reliability of the Resistance media, for example Al-Manar TV channel, Al-Nour radio and other organizations directly linked to us, made it natural and predictable for this enemy [lying on the lie] to target them. . The important thing is that the brothers and sisters working in these organizations can continue their work and remain convinced that their action has a great influence, regardless of the strength of the seat imposed on them, because we are able to overcome it and to send our voice to the public. This role must continue, and its importance can not be ignored.
Journalist: I now come to the question of the Deal of Century, Eminent Sayed. With the permission of Walid Jumblatt (Druze leader in Lebanon, Hezbollah opponent), where is this agreement heading to? Will Trump’s billions of dollars manage to ensure its success?
Hassan Nasrallah: We believe, me and my brothers, that the Deal of the Century is doomed to fail. We are absolutely certain of that. The reason is that the Deal itself does not contain elements that could ensure its success. Rather, it contains a number of elements that will make it implode from within, and, basically, do not even allow it to stand on its feet.
The most important point which prevents the success of this Deal is the issue of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), without neglecting the importance of the other issues. If one is very pessimistic, we can say that it is possible to find –I do not say that one can find Palestinians who are so inclined, but I consider the worst case–, it is possible to find, among the Palestinians, Arabs or Muslims of the world, or the States, governments or leaders, people who would be willing to accept an unfair solution for the refugees in the diaspora (by renouncing the right of return for Palestinians), or for the territories (by ceding large parts of historic Palestine to Israel), or for (the nature of) the Palestinian state, or for the issue of sovereignty, or for the swathes (of land), for everything, even for (some) East Jerusalem neighborhoods. Even for (some) East Jerusalem neighborhoods. But you will not find any Palestinian, whether Muslim or Christian, you will not find any Arab and you will not find any Muslim in the world who can accept a Deal giving the holy places of Islam and Christianity to Israel.
We all remember that during the last negotiations held with the late President Yasser Arafat, they arrived at a point where Israel offered to give some East Jerusalem neighborhoods to Palestine, but regarding the Al-Aqsa mosque, everything above the earth would be for Palestine, and what was below the earth was meant to be for Israel. It was impossible for Arafat to accept such a thing (despite all his ignominious concessions). And this is the essential weak point (of the Deal of the Century).
The American arrogance, which leads to sheer stupidity, if I may say, has fired a fatal bullet to the Deal of the Century when Trump acknowledged Al-Quds as the eternal capital of Israel and moved the US embassy to Al-Quds. The Deal of Century died from that moment, Professor Imad. All current attempts are attempts to resuscitate a (dead) corpse. To me, the Deal of the Century is stillborn. There are currently attempts to resuscitate this corpse, relying on some Arab leaders, on some Arab governments, on financial enticements, on Palestinians’ fatigue, on the siege imposed on the Palestinians, etc., etc., etc. But in short, I believe that they won’t be able to achieve anything for several reasons:
1 / The unity of the Palestinian stance. All of Palestine, all the Palestinian people, inside and outside (in the Diaspora), whether the Palestinian Authority, the PLO, Fatah, (Resistance) factions, absolutely all, it is impossible for anyone of them to accepts this Deal. If Palestine does not sign this Deal, even if the whole world signs it, it will be null and void, and it will fail.
2 / Iran’s steadfastness against all that was inflicted to it in recent years. And about Iran, the Islamic Republic of Iran, I have to remind that this is almost the only country really supporting Palestine. Politically and morally, I cannot say that this is almost their only support, but if I speak from the perspective of capacity, logistics, military (help), Iran is the sole support of Palestine, or almost the only support if we want to be careful.
3 / The victory in Syria. Although it is not yet complete, (it is clear) that the enemy project in Syria failed. Professor Imad, some leaders of the Syrian opposition, even before the victory, went to Tel Aviv and spoke with the Israelis, speaking in the (Israeli) media and saying it was all over: regarding the Golan, either they were going to give it to Israel, or they were going to rent it to Israel for 99 years. If these people had triumphed in Syria, the Deal of the Century might have worked. The blood that was shed in Syria, the martyrs who have fallen in Syria, those who defended the Resistance Axis, and first and foremost the Syrian Arab Army, prevented the Deal of the Century from succeeding, or at least have been (largely) instrumental in its failure.
4 / The victory in Iraq. Today, Iraq has an active and distinguished position in the fight against this Deal.
5 / Yemen. May the peace of God be upon (the heroic) Yemen. If Mohammad Bin Salman had managed to prevail in Yemen, within a week or two, or one, two or three months (as was announced at the beginning of the war), he would have been extolled by hundreds of Arab satellite TV channels exalting this historic victory and the ‘noble, heroic, historic and courageous Arab prince’. And with the (the weight of) the two holy places (Mecca and Medina) behind him, the Council of Scholars of Saudi Arabia, and hundreds of billions of dollars, Bin Salman would have grabbed the Palestinians (by the neck) and imposed the Deal of the Century on them by pressures, violence, seduction and terror. This is what he promised to Trump. But today Mohammad Bin Salman needs someone to come save him (from the Yemeni quagmire), this poor guy, he is unable to help anyone to enforce the Deal of the Century. And the failure of this Deal is also due to the martyrs of Yemen, to Yemen and the sacrifices of the Resistance in Yemen.
6 / The strength of the Resistance Axis in the region. And here I mean the movements (of Resistance), their peoples, their public opinion, the Palestinian people and its steadfastness. The strength of the Resistance Axis (is an obstacle to the Deal of the Century).
7 / Similarly, the absence of a powerful Arab State capable of carrying on its own the burden of the Deal of the Century and (to) move forward. You see, as regards the Peace Treaty between Egypt and Israel (signed in 1979), Anwar Sadat (dared) to go to the Knesset. A (powerful) Arab State that could boast of a (semi-) military victory (during the 1973 war), representing a large part of the Arab world (with over 40 million inhabitants at the time), the most powerful Arab army in the region, took the burden of the Peace Treaty on his back and moved forward with it, (breaking the Arab consensus against Israel). Now who among the Arab kings, leaders and Presidents will dare to (bear the burden of betraying Palestine and the holy places)? Nobody so far (dares to do so publicly). Behind the scenes, many are supporting the Deal of the Century, but in public, all the Summits of the Arab League (repeat their commitment) to international resolutions, to the Arab Peace Initiative of Beirut in 2002, to the two-state solution, etc. They say what we want to hear, but they do not say what is in their hearts. Because none of them, absolutely no one dares, not even Mohammad Bin Salman, to say that he supports the Deal of the Century put forward by (Jared) Kushner.
There is no obvious Arab support (for this Deal), whereas in the past, with the Egyptian-Israeli Treaty, there was a prominent support in the person of President Anwar Sadat. Between Jordan and Israel, there was a prominent support in the person of King Hussein (who signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994). Even in Oslo, there was a prominent support in the person of President Yasser Arafat, who was supported in his efforts by (several) Arab (countries). But now, where is the prominent Arab support for this Deal? Saudi Arabia could have been the prominent support of this Deal if it had not failed in Yemen and throughout the region. Riyad is not only defeated in Yemen but everywhere, but its main and daily battlefield is Yemen. Therefore, there is no prominent Arab support nor Arab enthusiasm (for the Deal of the Century). There is only an Arab tendency (in favor of this Deal), and there are also countries genuinely concerned (with this Deal). In Jordan, for example, if the Deal of the Century works, will the Hashemite dynasty remain in power? Or will the ruling family be told that it comes from Mecca anyway, and has nothing more to do in Jordan as they have served their purpose, and can now be bade good bye. This fear is very strong in Jordan.
To this I add –I began with Palestine and conclude with Israel– the confusion in Israel. Just see what happened with their elections, the impossibility of forming a government, the corruption charges that catch up with Netanyahu, the crisis at the level of the leaders of the enemy entity, etc.
In short, there are several real and genuine factors, and not mere hopes, which indicate that the Deal of the Century will fail. This is why it has no future, and that’s what Pompeo himself acknowledged in remarks that were reported. And anyway, I saw in the media –I have not heard it directly, but many media reported it– that Kushner himself felt that the Bahrain Conference (supposed to inaugurate the Deal of the Century) was a failure.
Journalist: How much were you surprised by the stance of the President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas, who firmly rejected the Deal of the Century? Do you expect that he will not yield to the pressures exerted on him to force him to accept this Deal?
Hassan Nasrallah: As shown in what I have just stated, this is not a surprising thing. If we want to exaggerate a little, we can say that it is a surprise, but it’s not a big surprise, because it is obvious that no Palestinian can accept such a Deal.
Abbas undergoes pressure, yes, he suffered colossal pressures. Today, Palestinians have suffered and still suffer considerable pressure, all of them: the Palestinian Authority, Fatah, the PLO, all factions of the Resistance in Gaza and all the Palestinian leaders undergo both a campaign of terror and seduction, and enormous pressure is exerted on them. They will continue to suffer such pressure until the Americans despair and realize that this Deal has no hope of success.
Journalist: Let us talk about the danger of the permanent settlement of Palestinian refugees in their host countries through naturalization. How do you assess the danger of naturalization of Palestinians, whether in Lebanon or in the other Arab countries that host them?
Hassan Nasrallah: What happens does not depend on what Trump decides. Some people think that whenever Trump decides something, like the naturalization of Palestinian refugees, there is nothing to be done except resignation and prayers to God. This issue depends neither on Trump nor on Kushner or the United States. This depends primarily on the State and the country hosting the Palestinian refugees, and on the Palestinians themselves.
Here in Lebanon, for example, Palestinians universally reject naturalization, and refuse to give up (their claims on) their 1948 territories, not just those of 1967. And from generation to generation, this unwavering commitment is transmitted, the older ones teach it to their children and their grandchildren, and instill in them the culture and will to return to occupied Palestine. And they still carry the keys to their house around their neck. The Palestinian people, the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are not accused, and I do not think anyone in Lebanon accused them (to aspire to stay permanently in Lebanon). They are opposed to naturalization and to the Deal of the Century, in public and in private, and they are right to do so. This is regarding the Palestinians.
As for the Lebanese, both the Preamble to our Constitution and the unanimous will of the Lebanese (both the people and the political parties) reject, until now –I will explain why I specify until now–, the idea of the naturalization of Palestinians. If we are all unanimous in rejecting the naturalization of the Palestinians in Lebanon, how could it happen?
This does not mean that the Palestinians must continue to live in their current humanitarian and social living conditions (which are deplorable). There is sometimes confusion between these two questions, as if the only alternative was between a miserable life or naturalization. Certainly not ! A proper balance must be struck between the two! We have a duty in Lebanon to resolve this issue (the living conditions of Palestinian refugees).
If the Lebanese are unanimous in rejecting naturalization, who can impose it on them? Theyll never sign any such thing! As for us, we have great confidence in our Presidents (of the Republic, of the Council of Ministers and of the Parliament). The President of the Republic said that the world may be able to topple him, but not to get his signature (for the naturalization of Palestinians). This is an element of strength in our case. If the Lebanese are unanimous on this point, who could impose the naturalization of Palestinians to Lebanon? This question will be decided by the States and by the willingness of the States and governments, and by Palestinians who are refugees. This is why I am not worried about it, at least concerning Lebanon.
But I say we have to do something. A Lebanese-Palestinian dialogue should be held, and I have already referred to this, but it has not been done yet because Lebanese officials are busy with other matters at the moment. I do not accuse them of contempt or disdain for Hezbollah’s position, but I understand they are very busy with pressing issues. They are not indifferent to the words I just mentioned touching on very important issues, which concern the whole region. But this Lebanese-Palestinian debate and dialogue should be held, so that concrete measures be taken to face the danger of naturalization.
I have only one concern which is linked to the will of the Lebanese people, and that’s the fact that we may be intimidated with the risk of collapse of our economic and financial situation, etc., and told that the only way to save our finances, our economy and our (dignified) lives in Lebanon is that we accept naturalization, in exchange for 80 billion dollars, 100 billion or I don’t know what sum. In this respect, I do not know who (in Lebanon) might be tempted by such offers, but some (political forces) will perhaps be interested in this bargain. But even (the possibility of such a break from the Lebanese consensus) would not be a problem.
I listened to the statements of Lebanese officials and political leaders, and they were (very reassuring). The President (of Parliament), Nabih Berri (Hezbollah ally), has a well-known stance, but there are other very positive stances –and you will perhaps be surprised that I quote them– who said they would not accept naturalization even against all the money in the world. It’s excellent.
Journalist: For example the position of the leader of the Lebanese Forces, Samir Geagea (war criminal who collaborated with Israel during the Lebanese civil war)?
Hassan Nasrallah: Yes. Thus, from the Lebanese Forces party (on the far right of the political spectrum) to the other extreme, from the far right to the far left, including the center, there is a Lebanese consensus to reject naturalization. Therefore, nobody in the world can impose it on us.
Journalist: But don’t you think that reality will be stronger than the Lebanese unanimity and than the constitutional veto?
Hassan Nasrallah: No, under no circumstances. If our will is firm, nothing is stronger than our will. If the will of the Lebanese is exercised and if none of us yields to the intimidation and threats (of the enemy) meant to weaken us, the world will bow to our will, as it has during the 2006 war. The whole world then bowed to us. There was an international commitment (to crush us), it was a world war against us. This [Ehud] Olmert was merely executing the US decision to crush Hezbollah in the framework of the New Middle East Project. The 2006 war –I will not repeat what I have stated in many speeches –foiled an American project that encompassed the entire region, with only the Lebanese will. It is we, the Lebanese, who have fought (and won). And therefore, it will be even easier to thwart this naturalization project.
Journalist: Before taking a short break and going to the second part of our interview, devoted to the rest of the Resistance Axis (Iran, Syria, Iraq, Yemen), I have one last question on this point, namely the issue of Syrian refugees. Because some people fear that their naturalization (and permanent settlement in Lebanon) might happen in one way or another. What are the results of the ongoing efforts of Hezbollah to return them to their country, and what is your information on this issue, its progress and its future? What about the true position of President Bashar al-Assad? Because some people doubt him and claim that he does not really want them to return to Syria.
Hassan Nasrallah: Listen, if you want us to talk about Syria, we need to do it in the part of our interview devoted to Syria, (after discussing the overall situation in Syria).
Journalist: All right, we’ll talk about it again after the break. I know that spectators are anxiously waiting for us to talk about the other issues. We will talk about the clash between the United States and Iran, American sanctions against Hezbollah deputies and internal events in Lebanon, from the shooting in the (Druze) mountains to the economic situation. Stay with us.
End of the first part of the interview, that lasted one hour. The second part, lasting one hour and a half, was devoted to the situation in the Middle East (Iran, Syria, Irak, Yemen…), and will be translated soon. The third part, devoted to the internal situation in Lebanon, will not be translated.
Any amount counts, because a little money here and there, it’s like drops of water that can become rivers, seas or oceans…” Hassan Nasrallah