Nasrallah appears on TV to dispel health rumors
Hezbollah chief makes televised appearance to refute reports of health deteriorating since being diagnosed with cancer.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah Photo: REUTERS/ Ahmad Shalha
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah gave a speech Wednesday night on the
organization’s TV channel, Al-Manar, denying rumors that he has fallen
“The rumors spread in the previous days made me hold an urgent media
appearance to show you that I am in good health,” said Nasrallah, according to
the text of his speech on the news portal Now Lebanon. “There is a media
campaign against Hezbollah,” he added.
Nasrallah went on to deny a claim
by the US ambassador to Lebanon, who said Hezbollah and Syria are trying to
control Sunni Lebanese towns and link Shi’ite towns in Lebanon to Alawite ones
“I confirm that what has been said is all lies and unfounded,”
he said. In fact, he said, the Syrian opposition had taken Shi’ite Lebanese
towns and burned some of them. People in border towns have started to carry
weapons to defend themselves, he said, claiming the Syrian rebels are following
the orders of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the US.
Nasrallah also warned
against sectarian strife between Sunnis and Shi’ites, and said that some Sunni
politicians and clerics were instigating violence.
The Lebanese paper
Al-Akhbar reported that Nasrallah also denied rumors that his deputy, Naim
Qassem, was killed in an attack. Syrian rebels made the claim of Qassem’s death
through Twitter early Wednesday, according to another report by Now Lebanon. He
also warned Sunnis not to “push us too far,” according to the paper.
new rumors go around, you’ll see me again,” Nasrallah concluded his speech
according to al-Akhbar.
Meanwhile, Radio Sawt Beirut International, which
is reported to have connections with Hezbollah’s opposition, claimed that
Nasrallah’s speech was actually filmed in Iran.
The report said he is
visiting Qom for cancer treatment and that in addition to a joint Iranian-
Venezuelan team of doctors, he is being treated by physicians from Egypt,
Bahrain and Jordan.
The station had reported on Monday, citing
unidentified sources, that Nasrallah was transferred over the weekend to Iran
“aboard an Iranian presidential plane,” which left from the Beirut-Rafic Hariri