Hezbollah hails Iran deal as victory for ‘axis of resistance’

Senior official in terror group praises nuclear framework agreement as a ‘triumph’ for Tehran and its regional allies

Hezbollah deputy secretary general Naim Qassem (photo credit: AP/Grace Kassab)
Hezbollah deputy secretary general Naim Qassem (photo credit: AP/Grace Kassab)

A senior Hezbollah official congratulated Iran on Saturday for a framework deal reached with the six world powers over its nuclear program, hailing it a victory for the “axis of resistance.”

Deputy Secretary-General Naim Qassem said the deal cements Tehran’s position in the world, and dominance in the region, the Lebanese al-Manar TV reported.

“The Lausanne nuclear understanding is the triumph of right, stability and will of free nations as well as the axis of resistance under the leadership of the Islamic Iran,” Qassem was quoted as saying, referencing the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah alliance.

Under an agreement reached Thursday between the Islamic Republic and the six world powers, known as the P5+1, economic sanctions on Tehran will be relaxed in exchange for a partial curtailment of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. The world powers and Iran have until June 30 to hammer out a final accord.

Funded and backed by Tehran, Hezbollah is currently fighting alongside Assad regime forces in Syria against rebel groups and Sunni militants.

Qassem also lambasted Saudi Arabia for its military involvement in Yemen as well as for harboring the country’s US-backed leader, who fled to Riyadh amid an Iran-backed rebel takeover of his stronghold in the southern port city of Aden.

“Saudi [Arabia] claims it is protecting the legitimacy of Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, the fugitive president,” Qassem said, referring to Yemen’s exiled leader.

“Why didn’t you do the same thing in Syria with President Bashar Assad, who is legitimate and [enjoys the support] of the people (of his country)?” he asked.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif on Saturday hailed the political framework of a nuclear agreement reached with US-led world powers as a great victory for Iran and vowed that Tehran would abide by the deal if the P5+1 keep up their end of the bargain.

In a televised address on state TV, Zarif said that Iran “stood up to the six powers who call themselves the international community,” proving that the people of Iran cannot be spoken to “with the language of force and sanctions.”

“They didn’t design sanctions to bring us to the negotiating table, but to force us to surrender,” Zarif said, adding that the world now recognized that Iran cannot be cowed.

Zarif claimed that under the deal, Iran would have “full nuclear rights, [and] only limited certain restrictions for a specified number of years; we have enrichment and we will continue to enrich uranium.”

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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