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Sheikh Qassem: Hezbollah enemies take orders from US embassy

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement's deputy secretary-general Sheikh Naim Qassem

Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement says its enemies are instructed by the US embassy, which he said is conspiring to target the Lebanese resistance and render it defenseless.

"Hezbollah enemies gather at the US embassy, ​​take orders to target the resistance, and work to disarm it," Sheikh Naim Qassem, Hezbollah’s deputy secretary general, said late Monday.

Some parties in Lebanon are plotting to sabotage the Lebanese resistance, with Hezbollah on top of their target list, he told Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen television network.

Qassem touched on violent October 17 protests in Lebanon, saying the US embassy tried to use them to achieve its goals.

A series of protests took place in Lebanon on October 17, 2019 over planned taxes on gasoline, tobacco, and VoIP calls on applications such as WhatsApp. The protests further expanded into a country-wide condemnation of economic stagnation, unemployment, and articulation of concerns over social justice and economic inequality.

Qassem further said Lebanon's parliamentary election will be held on time on May 15, adding that there is no reason to postpone it as sought by the US.

The US embassy, Qassem said, has concluded that the upcoming election will “neither turn the table nor change the existing state of affairs.”

It is almost impossible for the other parties to win the majority in the election, he said, adding that his party is not seeking to win the majority of the seats, but rather, “what matters to us to have a balanced presence” within the parliament to “make a noteworthy impact.”

Stabbing resistance in the back

Last week, Sheikh Nabil Qaouk, a member and deputy head of the executive council of Hezbollah, censured the United States and Saudi Arabia for intervening in Lebanon’s parliamentary elections.

Those who allied with Israel in the 1982 [Lebanon War] are now waiting for an opportunity to “stab the resistance in the back” with financial support and encouragement from foreign embassies, Qaouk said, according to a report by Lebanon’s Al Jadeed TV.

“They are on the same side with Israel and share the same goal. Nothing has changed, they have not learned their lessons,” he added.

Qaouk further said that some ambassadors “summon senior Lebanese officials, in violation of diplomatic principles and Lebanon’s sovereignty,” adding that those embassies are unprecedentedly interfering in the upcoming Lebanese election by supporting certain electoral lists.

“We want an election to save the country,” he said. However, he continued, they consider the election as a means to fight the resistance, which amounts to “plunging the country into sedition.”

According to Qaouk, Hezbollah opinion polls across Lebanon showed the results of the election will be close to the make-up of the current parliament, despite the fact that Hezbollah’s adversaries hope to overturn the majority won by the group and allies including President Michel Aoun’s Christian Free Patriotic Movement in 2018.

Since late 2019, Lebanon has been mired in a deep financial crisis that has caused the Lebanese pound to lose around 90 percent of its value to the US dollar and led its banking system to collapse, plunging the bulk of Lebanese into poverty.

The economic and financial crisis is mostly linked to the sanctions that the United States and its allies have imposed on Lebanon and foreign intervention in the Arab nation’s domestic affairs.

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