Head of Iran-backed Hezbollah group, Hassan Nasrallah, made provocative comments in which he said that Saudi Arabia’s bid to be an influential power in the region will fail, adding it is not in the position to decide about the future of the region.
“What happened recently in Aleppo is related to the collapse of regional agendas and imperial dreams,” said Nasrallah in a speech in Nabatieh, Lebanon on Friday according to Assafir newspaper.
“Your project has no future and you have an opportunity to negotiate in Yemen, Bahrain, Syria otherwise you will be defeated,” he warned Riyadh.
Nasrallah described the recent Arab League summit as a lean Arab show and said “this will increase our commitment to resist in the case of Palestine.”
He considered recent connections between Saudi Arabia and Israel as a move from a secret to an open relationship between the two states.
“The visit of the retired Saudi major general [Anwar Eshki] to Israel is not the beginning of relations and coordination, this exists already. But it’s a move from secret to open relations. Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal’s communication and relation with Israel does not contradict Saudi policy, it’s the beginning of moving forward in opening up relations with the enemy,” he said.
Nasrallah even alleged that the Saudis will draft a fatwa to legitimize its relations with Israel in the future.
“For Saudi Arabia to communicate and normalize relations and then recognize and coordinate with Israel, they are issuing fatwas for that,” adding, “We are facing a doctrinal and cultural disaster, because this require religious acceptance and recognition of Israel.”
Nasrallah accused Saudi Arabia of perpetrating atrocities in Yemen and across the region. “Saudi Arabia insists on continuing wars in all corners of the region, and it rejects dialogue in Bahrain, Yemen and Syria. They only make initiatives towards the Israelis without paying any price for their actions. They commit murder against the Yemeni people and ISIS commits atrocities under Saudi cover in Sarari village in Yemen, because this is Saudi culture and Wahabism.”
He told Saudi Arabia that they are not in the position to impose their ideas and terms on other countries in the region.
“The Saudi foreign minister appointed himself as crown and ruler of the Syrian people. The proposal that Adel al-Jubair, Saudi foreign minister, submitted to Russia is a farce and laughable. Saudi Arabia is not in the position to distribute shares, make deals, compromise and impose terms. Saudi rulers are leading an effort to remedy every position in the region,” he said.
Nasrallah referred to an offer of economic incentives that the Saudis offered Russia in return for the Kremlin ceasing its support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The Hezbollah leader’s speech provoked angry reactions from Lebanese leaders and communities, particularly Sunnis.
Former Prime Minister of Lebanon, Saad Al-Hariri, defended the position of Saudi Arabia.
“There are people that distort the facts and make accusations against others when they are themselves engaging in sectarian wars,” said Hariri on his twitter on Friday.
Hariri also implied that Nasrallah is the one trying to sow sedition among Arab communities and has the blood of Arabs on his hands.
“Someone whose hands are stained with Arab blood in Syria, Yemen and Iraq does not have right to offend the Saudi people and leadership from his pulpit,” he tweeted.
“Someone who permits his party and armed men to become an Iranian proxy to create sedition in the Arab communities won’t get clearance,” Hariri continued. Edit?
A Lebanese lawmaker believes that Nasrallah’s attack on Saudi Arabia is part of an Iranian plot. Khaled Zahraman, an MP of the Al-Mustaqbal bloc, said the Lebanese people do not agree with the Hezbollah leader’s words because Saudi Arabia has stood with Lebanon more than any other Arab country in the region.
“Nasrallah’s speech on Saudi Arabia is part of the Iranian plot and this is proof and an indication of increasing Iranian attacks on the Saudi role in the region. This can only be described as a distortion of the facts as he is accusing the countries who are working for peace in the region, and who stand with Lebanon and the Lebanese people,” said Zahraman, according to Saudi paper Okaz on Sunday.
“He forgot that the atrocities perpetrated against the Syrian people were based on and according to Iranian orders,” Zahraman added.
“The Lebanese people condemn his speech. Saudi Arabia stands with Lebanon and its people more than any other country. Saudi Arabia translates its words into practice on the ground, but other countries overflow with words but not action or result.”