Exclusive: US instructed IMF not to loan Lebanon for energy - Qassem
Hezbollah deputy chief Naim Qassem tells Al Mayadeen that the US embassy in Lebanon tried to use the country's protests as a tool to target Hezbollah and that Washington is sure the election would not change the status quo.
Some parties have a scheme to hurt the resistance in Lebanon, mainly Hezbollah, Deputy Secretary-General of Hezbollah Naim Qassem told Al Mayadeen on Monday.
"The US Embassy in Lebanon tried to use the October 17 protests to achieve its goals," Sheikh Naim Qassem added while stressing that the civil society forces in Lebanon have diverse political alignments, "therefore, we are before [different] civil societies."
The official touched on the upcoming Lebanese elections that will be held on May 15, stressing that they would be held on time, as there is no reason to postpone them. He also underlined that Washington came to terms with the fact that "the upcoming Lebanese elections will neither turn the table nor change the status quo."
Hezbollah Deputy Secretary-General Sheikh Naim Qassem to #AlMayadeen: "The #US embassy has reached the conclusion that the upcoming #Lebanese elections will neither turn the table nor change the status quo."#Lebanon #لبنان_انتخابات_الخيارات https://t.co/gyfIuMn2yE— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) April 25, 2022
Sheikh Qassem underlined that the United States was conspiring with various political movements in Lebanon to target the resistance and strip it of its arms.
"It is practically impossible for the other parties to win the majority [in the upcoming election]," he said, clarifying that his party was not aiming for the majority, "what matters to us is garnering representation significant enough to be able to have an impact."
Speaking on foreign influence on the Lebanese political arena, he indicated that it was "obvious that Saudi Arabia is fully taking the Lebanese Forces (LF) party under its wing."
Regarding the upcoming presidential election, the Hezbollah official stressed that his party had not yet made any commitment toward anyone regarding who they would back as president.
"We have reached a settlement between the election with the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) and the Amal Movement with consent from both parties," he said, stressing that Hezbollah and FPM had agreed that the accord between the two must be upheld.
On Lebanon's maritime borders, Sheikh Naim Qassem underlined that a consensus from the Lebanese government regarding the demarcation would determine the country's maritime borders, underscoring that Hezbollah was "against normalization on land, sea, and air."
"The real decision about demarcating our borders will be made in the cabinet, and that is where we will voice our opinion," Hezbollah's Deputy Chief highlighted.
In a similar vein, he revealed that the United States instructed the International Monetary Fund not to give Lebanon a loan to import electricity from Jordan and natural gas from Egypt. "The US administration does not have a problem with the Lebanese populace starving to achieve its plan, which serves 'Israel.'"
Sheikh Qassem also touched on the Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon, underlining that Beirut must resume normal relations with Damascus while stressing that it was "time the refugees go back to their country."
The deputy chief of Hezbollah concluded by telling Al Mayadeen that talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran were "positive. We encourage this, and we hope it continues."