The leader of Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah said Wednesday that he is willing to ask Iran to supply the Lebanese military with weapons and aerial defense systems to confront Israeli warplanes and called on Beirut to accept the offer.
“Will the Lebanese government dare to accept the Iranian proposals? Why should Lebanon remain afraid to cooperate with Iran?” Nasrallah said in a televised address marking the 40th anniversary of the Iranian revolution and the overthrow of the Shah.
“I’m a friend of Iran and I’m willing to bring the Lebanese Army air defense systems from Iran to confront Israel,” Nasrallah said according to Lebanon’s Naharnet news site.
Nasrallah spent over an hour extolling Iran and the Islamic revolution’s political and economic accomplishments.
The Shiite group was formed in 1982 under the guidance of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard to combat Israel. It has been Iran’s most successful investment abroad, serving as the Islamic Republic’s arm at Israel’s doorstep.
The group dominates the political and military landscape of Lebanon and possesses tens of thousands of trained fighters as well as an array of sophisticated armaments. Its intervention in Syria on the side of President Bashar Assad also expanded its influence and reach in the region.
At home, the group remains the unrivalled armed force, also making significant political gains along with allies in the last parliamentary elections. This positioned the group to secure three ministerial posts in the new government, sworn in last week, including the powerful Health Ministry, which has one of the country’s largest budgets.
Nasrallah also vowed that the organization would defend Iran in the event of war, saying the Islamic Republic would not be alone in a confrontation with America.
Nasrallah said the Islamic Republic is currently the strongest state in the region, and the so-called axis of resistance led by Iran is the strongest it has ever been. The axis groups Assad with Shiite militias in Iraq and Hezbollah.
“If America launches war on Iran, it will not be alone in the confrontation, because the fate of our region is tied to the Islamic Republic,” he said.
Speaking via a large screen, Nasrallah said America is set to retreat from the region and has no real option to squeeze Iran except with sanctions.
“We see the struggle in the region may escalate and may take different forms but in all cases, today the Islamic Republic is the strongest state in the region … and America is headed for more withdrawals and retreats from the region,” he said.
He admitted that Hezbollah was “affected” by the US sanctions on Iran, but vowed the terrorist group would “overcome the difficulties” through its “firmness, will and resolve.”