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LEBANON: Hezbollah strays from Iranian line on WikiLeaks, praises its disclosures

Picture 4 Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah appears to have acknowledged the credibility of WikiLeaks, breaking with the official stance of the group's patron, Iran, that the leaked diplomatic cables are part of some American and Israeli-backed conspiracy.

By supporting WikiLeaks, Nasrallah now finds himself in the same camp as an unlikely figure: Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, who said in comments published Saturday that the documents expose Iran's "vulnerability."

In a speech late Friday night, the Hezbollah leader said the resistance would be targeted by conspiracies even greater than those already revealed in the leaked United States diplomatic cables, hinting mysteriously at more to come.

During the July 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, the party and its supporters "faced serious threats and conspiracies" from many sides, Nasrallah said, adding: "This is what we see in WikiLeaks day after day, and which we will see on a greater [scale]" (Arabic link).

Was Nasrallah's ominious prediction a rhetorical flourish, or does he have knowledge of sensitive cables on Lebanon that have yet to be published?

Some figures at the leftist Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar, which obtained advance copies of some cables, are said to be close to Hezbollah, but the paper already appears to have published all the documents in its possession.

It is more likely Hezbollah simply couldn't pass up the opportunity to capitalize on the exposure of its political rivals in some of the WikiLeaks documents, even if it meant coming out in support of the watchdog site after Iranian officials had publicly dismissed it as a "Zionist plot."

The leaked cables quoted several Lebanese politicians, including the defense minister and former telecommunications minister, passing sensitive information about Hezbollah's telecommunications networks and military strongholds to American officials.

America is a close ally of Israel, which Lebanon considers an enemy state. Many Lebanese have accused the politicians of knowingly providing assistance to Israel through a proxy. Hezbollah has so far refrained from making personal attacks, but the scandal has been seen as a vindication of the group, which has justified many of its actions by citing plots against it.

WikiLeaks documents also provided evidence that the international tribunal investigating the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, which is expected to issue indictments against Hezbollah members, sought technical assistance from the U.S. Hezbollah has used these documents to bolster its claim that the tribunal is politicized and part of a plan to target the group's weapons.

Hezbollah has made it clear that it will not accept the indictments, attempting -- awkwardly --to draw a red line without leaving itself open to accusations of bullying.

"When we warn of unrest, we are not threatening or intimidating," Hezbollah official Mahmoud Qmati said Saturday. "When we say that the issuance of the indictment might cause unrest or civil strife, that does not mean, as they are interpreting, that Hezbollah and the opposition are plotting a coup."

Of course, Hezbollah is nothing if not an extremely effective security force, and civil unrest could not take place in those areas under the group's control without top-down approval. Qmati and other officials have said that the group would be open to an agreement with its rivals who support the tribunal, but so far the two sides have not publicly come to a consensus.

-- Meris Lutz in Beirut

Photo: Sheik Hassan Nasrallah said important conspiracies against Hezbollah had been revealed in WikiLeaks documents. Credit: Screenshot by Meris Lutz via Al Manar

Comments () | Archives (10)

All the leaks did was expose what Hezb already knows and what all Shia know.

Duh.

The Sunnis in Saudi Arabia are not their friends and you know...at the end of the day who cares because with friends like those you don't really need Israel.

"neither syria nor hezbolla killed hariri. israel did."

The mantra of radical islam...

neither syria nor hezbolla killed hariri. israel did.

which israeli composed the released cables.

Wikileaks has caused everyone to focus more on security.

So many questions arise:
How did these leaks occur? Were systems hacked or did people do the leaking? How do we prevent this from happening to us?

Governments and corporations need to consider information security training or perhaps IT Security certification for those in the weeds.

Sorry ordoney, but your post is quite simply false. There are NO wikileaks cables that incriminate "the group and its prime partner in the crime".

Also, it's hilarious that the LAT reporters find it surprising that Hezbollah thinks for itself. American hubris.

Thanks to wikileaks the whole world can now see what some of us have seen for years, tne hatred of democracy of the US and its love of dictators.

Wikileaks is merely a conduit for documents generated by others. It is a means by which we can eavesdrop on the conversations between governments. It is not a matter of believing Wikileaks or not, it is a matter of believing what the government speakers say or not.
There is no gap between saying Syria assassinated Hariri, and saying Hezbollah did. Syria ordered it, and Hezbollah carried it out. Really, it is unfair that only Hezbollah will carry the weight, and not Syria too, but that is how State Politics works. If they got help from Iranians, too bad.
I expect that there will be civil unrest, and an attempt by Hezbollah to take over the Lebanese government, or at least control it completely. It better not spill over into Israel.

The whole world approves and applauds the Wikileaks volunteer organization's Democratic efforts, over 95% of the world's citizens who express an opinion are in favor of the tremendous work that Wikileaks has been doing.

The world's right wing terrorists and traitors, of course, are condemning the exposure of their war crmie atrocities and treason, but it's too late: Democracy, truth, and freedom are on the march thanks to Wikileaks.

@lebguy
i agree with what you mentioned .Hezbollah is trying to have it both ways using the wiki leaks cable as a proof of "march 14" treachery while discrediting the leaked cables incriminating the group and its prime partner in the crime (killing hariri)
that's the definition of cherry picking

I am having some trouble believing the WikiLeaks. It's just too convenient, too many wild turns. I don't think that the U.S is gonna be so careless with the secret documents.

I think the information presented in this article is not very accurate. It is true that Hezbollah has tried to make use of the Wikileaks cables, but it cast doubt on them at the same time saying they were a US-Zionist conspiracy. More precisely, they said the "plots" against the "resistance" (i.e hezbollah) revealed by the leaked US cables truly existed, but the cables were released on purpose by the United States and Israel in order to embarrass and pressure some of their allies ("knaves" and "stoodges") in the world because those allies had not been obedient enough.
It is important to note that Hezbollah cannot admit that the leaked cables represent the true view of the United States and the other parties involved, because it would be then forced, at the very least, to admit that Israel and the United States did not kill Hariri, since, in one of the cables, Meir Dagan, the head of the Mossad, is saying to his US interlocutor that Syria killed Hariri.
In other cables, it is very clearly implied that Chirac , the former French president, considered it certain that Syria had ordered the killing of Hariri.

Hezbollah is extremely anxious to promote the theory that Israel and United States conspired to kill Hariri, and it will never consider wikileaks entirely credible. It will only consider credible only those leaks that it believes can be used in its favor.


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