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Nasrallah reveals Hezbollah rejected US 'money and power' deal

Nasrallah made the comments in a speech on Saturday [Getty]

Date of publication: 30 August, 2020

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The United States allegedly approached Hezbollah and offered it money and power, the group's leader said on Saturday.
The United States allegedly approached Hezbollah with a deal that offered “money and power”, the head of the Lebanese movement revealed on Saturday, according to a report by Arabi21.

Washington’s move was designed to open channels of communication with Hezbollah, Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah said in a speech delivered on the movement’s Al-Manar TV.

Hezbollah rejected the deal, Nasrallah said in a speech to mark the annual Ashura event that commemorates the killing of Imam Hussain, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, at the Battle of Karbala in 680 AD.

“Neither intimidation nor murder can frighten us, nor can carrots change our stance or discourage us, nor can rumours or psychological warfare harm our will and determination to continue, nor can fraud make us question the validity of our path,” Nasrallah said.

Claims of a US deal have previously been mentioned by the Hezbollah chief, who has on several occasions alleged President Donald Trump’s administration sought to open channels of communication with the group, though failed to disclose further information.

The move comes amid years of increasing criticism of the Lebanese group, which has been embroiled in conflicts across the region in support of its allies.

In Lebanon itself, along with the country’s entire political elite, Hezbollah has received backlash in the aftermath of the devastating Beirut port blast that killed more than 180 people that has been blamed on incompetence.

No direct connection to Hezbollah has emerged in the explosion that wreaked destruction across the city, however the movement is believed to be complicit in the corruption many blame for the blast and for driving the country into near bankruptcy.

The season of discontent against Hezbollah comes as Lebanese suffer under an economic crash that has driven nearly half of the population into poverty.

Rather than push for reform, critics say, Hezbollah has stood by its political allies who resist change. It also denied support to nationwide protests that erupted in October demanding the end of the dysfunctional political structure. US sanctions against Iran and Hezbollah made things harder.

For years, Hezbollah maintained a clean reputation and distance from Lebanon's political elite.

Read also: Lebanon's Hezbollah hit by backlash after Beirut blast

It developed its power and resources as a resistance movement against Israel and became virtually a state within a state, heading a powerful military force and a welfare network for its mainly Shia supporters.

Hezbollah remains Lebanon's only armed force outside the military. It controls the borders and plays a crucial role in Iranian-backed wars in the region, like Syria’s.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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