Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has been transferred from Beirut to Iran for cancer treatment, Lebanon’s Sawt Beirut International radio station, which is affiliated with political factions opposed to Hezbollah, reported late Monday. There was no independent confirmation of the claim.
The report said the Shi’ite Lebanese leader, who is 52, traveled to Tehran in a plane sent by the Iranian presidency. Nasrallah’s health was said to have deteriorated after the cancer was discovered.
In related news, the radio station reported that Hezbollah was forced to cancel a number of meetings to choose Nasrallah’s heir due to “deep disagreements” relating to his deputy, Naim Qassem. It did not elaborate.
Nasrallah gave a televised speech 10 days ago in which he declared that Israel’s infrastructure and electricity stations “need only a few rockets” to leave the country paralyzed.
Speaking to hundreds of supporters via video link on February 16, Nasrallah warned Israel not to attack Lebanon, saying Hezbollah’s response would be harsh.
“The Islamic resistance won’t keep mum on any Israeli attack on Lebanon,” he warned, adding that Hezbollah would not need to transfer any weapons from Syria to retaliate.
“The resistance in Lebanon possesses all the necessary equipment,” he said.
The screening of Nasrallah’s speech was preceded by an address given by the son of Imad Mughniyeh, a Hezbollah terror chief whose February 2008 death was attributed to Israel.
Also during his speech, Nasrallah denied allegations that Hezbollah was responsible for the July 2012 bombing of a tour bus in Bulgaria that killed five Israeli tourists and their local driver.