Abdollahian's reassurances to Hezbollah: Absorb strikes as we negotiate with Washington

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2024-02-12 | 00:38
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Abdollahian's reassurances to Hezbollah: Absorb strikes as we negotiate with Washington
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Abdollahian's reassurances to Hezbollah: Absorb strikes as we negotiate with Washington

The "reassurances" conveyed to Beirut by Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian did not achieve their intended purpose. 

This article was originally published in and translated from the Lebanese newspaper Nidaa Al-Watan.
Following the official and partisan meetings he held in the Lebanese capital last Friday and Saturday, "Nidaa Al Watan" learned that senior officials expressed their concerns about the war threatened by Israel, with its possibilities still looming. 

According to one official, "We must not overlook that we are facing a power in Israel led by Benjamin Netanyahu, who is tough on both Gaza and Lebanon together." 

As one security official said, "There are those who promote that the option of no war is 100 percent guaranteed. Does that make sense? Logic dictates that we must prepare for the possibility of war even if its likelihood is only 10 percent."

In this context, a well-informed source clarified to "Nidaa Al Watan" that "the main objective of Abdollahian's visit to Beirut is to 'meet with the Secretary-General of Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah to convey an Iranian message from the top leadership in Iran, namely Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei."

"Then he met with Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri for two hours, with Berri being the most involved in the conversation," the source continued.

In addition, the source revealed that "the essence of the Iranian message is that Tehran's affairs are 'progressing' with Washington, and we agree with the US administration not to expand the war and not to turn it into a regional war."

"Hezbollah must continue to 'absorb' the painful Israeli strikes and refrain from responding as Netanyahu wishes to initiate a comprehensive war. At that point, the United States would be forced to stand with him," the source added.

The source said that "the Iranian wants Hezbollah to bear the losses no matter how heavy they are, and the American guarantee is that if Netanyahu gets involved in a wide war, this will quickly mean the downfall of his government, and thus his downfall."

"In this situation, there is a radical shift in Iranian orientations, which used to raise the slogan of the disappearance of Israel but now raises the slogan of the fall of Netanyahu," the source stated.

Furthermore, the source explained that "the talks at Ain el-Tineh focused on a central point, which is the significant destruction in villages and towns on the edge of the strip, with estimates ranging from $500 million to $1.2 billion so far."

"This is a major concern for Berri, who wants to return quickly and start the reconstruction process, taking into account that no countries will step forward to help Lebanon, as happened after the 2006 war, so it is up to Iran to fulfill its obligations in this regard," the source said.

The source continued, "Abdollahian was very positive about the reconstruction issue, without making an explicit announcement, awaiting the outcome of the situation when the war, which is being worked on to end with a ceasefire before entering Ramadan, comes to an end."

On the other hand, "Nidaa Al Watan" learned that "a high-level leadership delegation from Hamas visited Beirut last week and met with Nasrallah, aiming to align their views on the mutual papers regarding the ceasefire deal in Gaza."

"Nasrallah's answer was clear, saying, 'Decide what you find in your interest, and we are with you in any decision you make.'" The source pointed out the convergence between the two sides on the priority of a ceasefire, even if it requires some concessions.

In a related context, visitors to Army Commander General Joseph Aoun said, "The Israeli penetration into Lebanon is significant. The latest example is Hezbollah field commander Wissam Al-Tawil, who was killed by planting an explosive device near his house in Kherbet Selem, which was then detonated from the air upon his exit."

The visitors also conveyed that US envoy Amos Hochstein informed Lebanese officials "that the withdrawal from Shebaa Farms is not included in the offer presented to Lebanon" and "that UNIFIL forces recently informed Lebanon, citing Israelis, that the city of Nabatieh is now within the target range." 

The army commander does not deny "the existence of security coordination with Hezbollah and continuous discussions between them on how to prevent the expansion of the war area."
 

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