US State Department spokesperson addresses 'Hezbollah's destabilizing role,' affirms 'no negotiations with Iran'

Press Highlights
2024-02-17 | 01:43
High views
US State Department spokesperson addresses 'Hezbollah's destabilizing role,' affirms 'no negotiations with Iran'
US State Department spokesperson addresses 'Hezbollah's destabilizing role,' affirms 'no negotiations with Iran'

The United States intensified its stance regarding the situation in southern Lebanon and the implementation of Resolution 1701, emphasizing that: "The return of calm along the Blue Line is paramount. Israeli and Lebanese citizens should be able to return to their homes and live in peace and security." 

This article was originally published in, translated from Lebanese newspaper Nidaa al-Watan.

Sam Werberg, the Regional Spokesperson for the US Department of State, in an interview with Nidaa al-Watan, stated, regarding Washington's proposed solution to halt the war between Israel and Hezbollah: 

"We continue to urge the Lebanese leadership to address the destabilizing role that Hezbollah plays in the country and the region, ensuring Lebanon is not used as a launching pad for the operations of foreign terrorist organizations."

Hezbollah considers that when the war stops in Gaza, the war between Lebanon and Israel will also cease, while the Israeli government asserts a separation between the two fronts. 

When asked: "What is the US administration's opinion on this matter, and can the United States provide guarantees to Lebanon against an Israeli war on the country after the cessation of hostilities in Gaza?"

Werberg answered, "We continue to explore all diplomatic options with our Israeli and Lebanese partners to restore calm and avoid escalation. We have made it clear that we do not want to see this conflict spread." 

Responding to a question about the possibility of a deal with Hezbollah involving issues in the south and the presidency, he emphasized that the "United States has designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization and has no direct contact with it."

Regarding Washington's readiness to provide financial assistance to the Lebanese army to increase its strength and enhance its capabilities for deployment along the southern borders, the future steps the US administration may take are not yet clear. 

However, Werberg affirmed that "the United States will remain a strong partner for the Lebanese army, and we will continue our long-term cooperation."

On the Palestinian-Israeli front, despite US opposition, Israel has initiated a military operation in Rafah, the southernmost part of the Gaza Strip. 

When asked: "Will the US administration take steps in this regard, and how will it prevent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from executing this plan in Rafah?"

Werberg told Nidaa al-Watan, "Our position remains that the military operation in Rafah should not continue without a credible and implementable plan to ensure the safety and support of over a million people who have sought refuge there." 

He noted that this was clarified from the White House last week, discussed by Secretary of State Antony Blinken during his visit to Israel, and affirmed by President Joe Biden in his recent call with Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Regarding Washington's efforts to solidify a permanent ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, Werberg said, "Negotiations are ongoing, so we cannot share any details at the moment." 

Concerning the US vision for the "day after" in Gaza, he stated that the US continues "to engage in discussions with our partners and allies in the region on this issue." 

He emphasized via Nidaa al-Watan that "the important thing is that there is a reliable mechanism after this war to provide basic services to the Palestinian people in Gaza."

He added: "It is also important that we continue to work hard towards achieving lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians and towards establishing a Palestinian state."

On the threats posed by the Houthis to navigation in the Red Sea and the international coalition against Houthi targeting of ships, the spokesperson for the US State Department stressed that "the United States will not hesitate to take further action to defend against the Houthis' unlawful and reckless attacks on American ships and international merchant ships." 

Noting "the mobilization of a global coalition to condemn the Houthis and hold them accountable for their ongoing illegal and sabotage attacks against American military and naval vessels linked to more than 50 different countries in the Red Sea," he asserted that "we will continue to work with our partners to ensure maritime security in this important region."

Finally, Werberg denied that the United States is engaging in any negotiations with Iran regarding the situations in the Middle East, from Gaza to southern Lebanon and into the Red Sea. 

He affirmed to Nidaa al-Watan that Washington "will continue to use all available tools and collaborate with our partners and allies to counter Iran's attempts to destabilize the region."

Lebanon News

Press Highlights

Middle East News

Israel-Gaza War Updates



State Department


Southern Lebanon

Resolution 1701

Blue Line

Sam Werberg






Red Sea


Lebanon rejects Israel's 'intensifying attacks' to drag it into war
Information Technology Committee: Airport systems breach may remain a mystery
LBCI Previous
Download now the LBCI mobile app
To see the latest news, the latest daily programs in Lebanon and the world
Google Play
App Store
We use
We use cookies to make
your experience on this
website better.
Learn More