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US can’t impose its will on Lebanon to elect new president, Hezbollah official says

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)
Vice President of the Executive Council of Hezbollah Sheikh Ali Damoush (Photo by Lebanon's al-Ahed news website)

A high-ranking official from the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement says the United States cannot impose its will on Lebanon to elect a new president, as politicians have failed for the 11th time to name a successor to former President Michel Aoun.

“The only issue that matters to Washington is to secure the interests and goals of the Tel Aviv regime,” Vice President of the Executive Council of Hezbollah Sheikh Ali Damoush said at a ceremony in the Lebanese capital city of Beirut on Friday.

“Even though the US has slapped sanctions against Lebanon, obstructs financial aid to the country in some way, abuses its privilege of veto power and employs mercenaries to sow seeds of sedition and provoke crises in Lebanon, it cannot impose its demands on the Arab nation and do whatever it wishes," he said. 

“Washington mistakenly thinks it can impose its will on Lebanon and install its favorable candidate as the new president if it intensifies pressures on the country and foments internal strife,” Sheikh Damoush added. 

“It would be insane to pin hopes on foreign countries, particularly the United States, in order to work out a feasible solution to Lebanon’s crisis. Such a mechanism would not be in the best interests of the country at all, as Washington is not concerned with the Lebanese nation’s prosperity and does not want the next Lebanese president to be strong, brave and patriotic,” the top Hezbollah official said.

Top Lebanese MP urges pro-West politicians to shed illusions of seeking US help

Meanwhile, Deputy Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament Elias Bou Saab called on pro-West politicians and political factions in the country to drop the notion that Western governments can break the country’s presidential deadlock.

“American officials have informed us that they do not have a candidate to be elected as Lebanon’s next president. US officials have stated that they would not listen to those who would approach them to complain about their rivals or settle political scores,” he said.

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has called for the election of “a brave [Lebanese] president who is willing to sacrifice.”

“We want the election of a president, the formation of a government and the salvation of the country,” the Hezbollah leader said.

“We want a brave president who is willing to sacrifice and does not care about the threats of the Americans. There are such examples and we must look for a government of this type and ministers of this type.”

Lebanon’s presidency has seen stalemate several times since the 1975-1990 civil war. The country has also had only a caretaker government since May 2022.

The Arab country has been mired in an economic crisis that the World Bank has dubbed one of the worst in recent history, which comes amid crippling sanctions imposed by the US and its allies.

The Lebanese pound has lost more than 95 percent of its value on the black market since 2019.

According to the United Nations, the ongoing financial crisis in Lebanon has caused poverty rates to reach more than 80 percent of the population, and food prices have risen by an astonishing 2,000 percent.

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