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Nasrallah: Seizure of resistance websites exposed falsehood of US free speech claims

A file photo of Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the head of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement

The secretary-general of Lebanon’s Hezbollah has rejected as a “bunch of lies” accusations by some political parties that the resistance movement is obstructing efforts to form a new government and end the months-long deadlock gripping the country’s political scene.

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah made the remarks in a televised speech on Friday, in which he discussed the latest political developments in Lebanon as well as the region.

“These parties seek to use any incident to tarnish others’ reputation and to settle political scores,” said Nasrallah. “They put their own interests above those of the nation.”

He further said Lebanon’s main parties should join hands to facilitate government formation and end the power vacuum in the Arab country.

Hezbollah, he said, had been seeking to pave the way for government formation since the day Prime Minister Saad Hariri was tasked with setting up a cabinet.

He also noted that the United States is seeking to link Lebanon’s case to the negotiations over the 2015 nuclear deal.

“Certain sides are bent on pinning the blame for the failure to form a government on Iran and Hezbollah,” said Nasrallah. “The US is after tying Lebanon’s case to the negotiations with Iran, while Iran opposes that.”

Nasrallah said the accusations that Hezbollah is blocking the formation of a new government in Lebanon are a bunch of lies.”

Lebanon plunged into a political vacuum in August 2020, when the previous administration, led by former Prime Minister Hassan Diab, resigned following a devastating explosion at the port in Beirut that destroyed swathes of the capital and left more than 200 people dead.

Hariri has visited the Lebanese president multiple times since his designation to form a new government, but the pair has reached no agreement on the make-up of the cabinet to date.

Compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, Lebanon is experiencing its worst economic crisis in decades as prices are skyrocketing and more than half of the population is now living below the poverty line.

The United States has also taken Lebanon under sanctions, taking issue with the prominent status and popularity of the Hezbollah resistance movement in the country. The US has blacklisted the group, which has fought off several Israeli wars and is part of the country’s defense power against any potential recurrence of aggression.

‘Seizure of pro-resistance websites exposed America’

Elsewhere in his remarks, Nasrallah pointed to the United States’ seizure of website domains tied to pro-resistance media, saying these outlets play an important role in supporting the Palestinian cause against Israeli occupation and take a stand against US domination, sedition and Takfiris.

He also stressed that the seizure of these sites exposed the US administration’s false claims about democracy and freedom of speech.

On Tuesday, the US seized 36 websites affiliated with the anti-Israel resistance front, including Iran’s Press TV and al-Alam newscasters, as well as al-Masirah TV of Yemen.

Other web domains, including Palestine al-Youm, a Palestinian-directed broadcaster, Karbala TV — the official television of the Imam Hussein (PBUH) shrine in the holy Iraqi city of Karbala, Iraqi Afaq TV, Asia TV and al-Naeem TV satellite television channels, as well as Nabaa TV which reports the latest stories about Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf countries, were also seized.

Bahrain’s LuaLua TV, a channel run by opposition groups with offices in London and Beirut, was also closed.

The US Justice Department said Wednesday it had seized 33 media websites used by the Iranian Islamic Radio and Television Union (IRTVU), as well as three of the Iraqi anti-terror Kata’ib Hezbollah group, which it said were hosted on US-owned domains in violation of sanctions.

Over the past years, the United States has for several times taken similar measures against Iranian media outlets.

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