January 19, 2007
Former Hizbullah Sec-Gen: Hizbullah is an Integral Part of Iranian Intelligence; The Abduction of the Israeli Soldiers Was an "Unsuccessful Adventure"
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In an interview with the Kuwaiti daily Al-Siyassa, former Hizbullah secretary-general Sheikh Subhi Al-Tufeili said that Hizbullah was part of Iranian intelligence, and called the July 12, 2006 abduction of two Israeli soldiers, which sparked the July-August 2006 war with Israel, an "unsuccessful adventure."
The following are excerpts from the interview.(1)
Hizbullah is an Integral Part of the Iranian Intelligence Apparatus
Question: "You were formerly Hizbullah secretary-general. Is the [situation in Lebanon] within the strategic framework of Hizbullah? Does Hizbullah have an outlined and prepared plan that is being implemented today? Why do you think Hizbullah has become a source of anxiety for the Lebanese? "
Al-Tufeili: "It wasn't like this in the beginning. Hizbullah's activity was limited to resistance [operations]... But, unfortunately, the problem has developed today to the point where they have succeeded in changing Hizbullah from a resistance force into a tool to be used in [whatever] direction they want."
Question: "Does this mean that Hizbullah does not make its own decisions, and that its orders come from outside [Lebanon]?"
Al-Tufeili: "Yes, Hizbullah is a tool, and it is an integral part of the Iranian intelligence apparatus. Unfortunately, all the elements in the [Lebanese] arena have become tools, and take orders from outside [Lebanon]..."
Abducting the Soldiers Was "An Unsuccessful Adventure"
Question: "Can you see any justification for the July  war after southern Lebanon was liberated in 2000?"
Al-Tufeili: "Following the abduction of the Israeli soldier [Gilad Shalit] in Gaza, and the enemy's response to that operation, [i.e.] the shelling, and the abduction of Palestinian ministers and MPs... I was amazed when Hizbullah announced that it had abducted two Israeli soldiers...
"[Israel is] an enemy we know. It has plundered our land, murdered our people, and slaughtered our children. [Was it reasonable] for us to carry out an operation like this after we have seen the response to it in Gaza and in occupied Palestine? [Was it reasonable for us to carry out such an operation] when we know that Israel attacks us, murders our children, and destroys our country [even] without us giving it excuses to do so...? I think that any sensible person could have assessed the enemy's possible response to the abduction operation... On the one hand, they [Hizbullah] are saying, 'Had we known what the reaction would be, we would not have abducted the soldiers.' On the other hand, they are giving the Israeli enemy a pretext to launch aggression against us...
"When we look at the causes of the war, there is no choice but to [admit] this. If [the war] had gotten worse, it could have led to the loss of the [entire] country... Are we allowed to destroy our country [just] so we can say that we abducted two soldiers - when we all knew what the magnitude of the Israeli response [would be]? What happened was an unsuccessful adventure, and there is no escaping the fact that those who carried it out will bear the responsibility for it..."
Iran Must Stop Using Hizbullah for Its Own Aims in Its Struggle with the West
Al-Tufeili: "[Furthermore], why was... the South [Lebanese] front the only one left burning, and why was Lebanon the only arena of bloodshed? Why weren't all fronts opened?... Why has Hizbullah become a tool [serving] individual interests that have nothing to do with the resistance? In my opinion, the issue is broader than the local [context], and is connected to the regional struggle - but it is being carried out by a local tool [i.e. Hizbullah]...
"After all that has happened, I hope that Iran will change from an element seeking its political interests in the region [into an element acting for the] liberation of Jerusalem - if Iran indeed wants to liberate Jerusalem as it claims. [It must stop] using the resistance [i.e. Hizbullah] for its own aims in its struggle with the West..."
Hizbullah is Leading the Country to Civil War
Al-Tufeili continued: "Until not long ago, the March 8 Group [a term for the Lebanese opposition] was a partner in the government, and participated in parliamentary elections.
"The March 14 [Forces] did not mislead [the Lebanese opposition]... They are openly allied with of the U.S. and France; they say openly 'We do not agree to weapons in Lebanon, except for those of the military.' They are demanding that Hizbullah hand over its arms, but in the framework of [internal Lebanese] dialogue, not by force. [They are also saying] that they want an [international] court [for the Al-Hariri assassination]. All this they said prior to the elections as well as after the elections, before they became ministers and after they became ministers.
"So where is their treason? Whom have they betrayed? Their position is clear; this is their plan, and [Hizbullah] entered into [an alliance] with them [just] for the election campaign... Yesterday, [Hizbullah] had an alliance with them, and gave the March 14 Forces a majority in parliament and in the government, and had no dispute or problems with them. [Hizbullah considered this alliance] to be for the good of the homeland.
"Today, [Hizbullah] is leading the country to civil war, in order to obtain a third [of the government]... If this third is so important, then [Hizbullah] must be punished, because it itself was the one who gave it to the [March 14 Forces in the first place]. If it is not important, then Hizbullah is leading us to civil war, to destruction and to the ruin of the country, for no good reason..."
I Do Not Believe Those Who Say They Are Against Civil War Yet Behave in a Way that Will Lead to Civil War
"I find no [justification] for us having reached such a situation... This is how wars begin. What we are seeing today in Lebanon is the preparation of an emotional, popular, military, media, and security climate [leading] towards a war that might break out at any moment. I don't believe anyone who says he is not interested in [civil] war, [yet] behaves in this manner. This is the behavior of someone who wants war."
"Iran is the Main Nerve in the Activity Today in Lebanon"
Referring to Syria's role in the events in Lebanon, Al-Tufeili said: "Syria is undoubtedly Iran's ally. It has undoubtedly been harmed by the March 14 Forces, and by the establishment of the [international] court. Thus, it is part of this battle; but it is not the most influential factor...
"Iran is the main nerve in the activity today in Lebanon. All Hizbullah activity [is financed] by Iranian funds. Syria has an important role, but Iran is the main and primary support of [the Lebanese opposition]. On the other side, the U.S. is supporting the March 14 Forces."
(1) Al-Siyassa (Kuwait), December 14, 2006.
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