Report: Nasrallah demoted by Khamenei

'Asharq Alawsat' says Iran furious over his conduct during war; military wing led by Na'im Kassem.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
December 13, 2007 17:31
1 minute read.
Report: Nasrallah demoted by Khamenei

Nasrallah 224.88. (photo credit: Channel 1 [file])

 
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Some of Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah's responsibilities have been taken away by the organization's backer Iran, the pan-Arabic daily Asharq Alawsat claimed Thursday. Reportedly, Nasrallah is no longer in control of the organization's military wing, which is now headed by Nasrallah's deputy Sheikh Na'im Kassem. The Iranian official Asharq Alawsat cites as the one who demoted Nasrallah is none other than Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The report follows a similar report by Israeli daily Ma'ariv Wednesday, but none of the reports have been officially confirmed by Iran. Western intelligence sources cited by Asharq reported that Teheran was furious over Nasrallah's conduct during the Second Lebanon War and that was the reasoning behind the decision to diminish Nasrallah's authority. Sources close to Iran's Revolutionary Guards quoted an officer in the Iranian elite force as saying Kassem was chosen after he and Nasrallah had disagreements regarding the organization of Hizbullah's military wing. Khamenei's representative in Lebanon. "Kassem isn't only Hizbullah's second-in-command but also Khamenei's representative in Lebanon and Palestine." Hizbullah's budget in the last 18 months has been $1 billion, to compensate the organization for the losses it suffered during the war. Hizbullah's yearly Iranian budget stands on $400 million, the officer added. Reportedly, Khamenei appointed a committee of top Revolutionary Guards commanders and entrusted them with restructuring Hizbullah's military and intelligence wings. Among the commanders in the committee is the Kuds Brigade commander Kassem Suleimani and the former head of Hizbullah's intelligence wing Imad Mughnia, who is one of the top names on the US's most wanted terrorists list

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