Nasrallah: If Israel could beat Hezbollah, it would've attacked already

Nasrallah stated in an interview that Israel would need to conduct a full war if it wanted to eliminate Hezbollah's missile program.

A POSTER of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah in living color in Nakoura, near the Lebanese-Israeli border, last month. (photo credit: AZIZ TAHER/REUTERS)
A POSTER of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah in living color in Nakoura, near the Lebanese-Israeli border, last month.
(photo credit: AZIZ TAHER/REUTERS)

Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah wrote-off Israeli threats against the movement's precision missile program during an interview with the Al-Alam channel on Tuesday evening, saying that Israel would need a full war to eliminate the missile program.

"If the Israeli entity was certain of victory over Hezbollah through the war, it would not have hesitated for one moment," added the Hezbollah leader.

Nasrallah questioned whether Israel knows how many precision missiles the movement has and where they are located. He additionally warned that Hezbollah would respond to any military operation by Israel.

"We do not seek or dislike war, and we understand its dangers and challenges, but we do not fear it," said Nasrallah. "There are surprises we hide for any war, and for the first time, we are using the air defense systems for the resistance, but the goal is not to bring down the drones, but to eliminate their danger."

Nasrallah added that the movement has been using air defense systems for the past two years.

Hezbollah members carry mock missile during procession held to celebrate Ashura in south Lebanon, 2009 (credit: ALI HASHISHO/REUTERS)Hezbollah members carry mock missile during procession held to celebrate Ashura in south Lebanon, 2009 (credit: ALI HASHISHO/REUTERS)

His comments about the precision missile program come just days after Defense Minister Benny Gantz issued an administrative seizure order against three Lebanese companies for allegedly providing raw materials to Hezbollah for its precision missile project.

Nasrallah also acknowledged that some of the targets being targeted by alleged Israeli airstrikes in Syria belong to Hezbollah, adding that Hezbollah still "owes" Israel a response for two operatives Israel killed in Syria and along the border.

Nasrallah additionally referred to the assassination of three Palestinian terrorists on Tuesday, saying it was "very painful." He added that there was no place for new Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and that the option of "resistance" and confrontation must be strengthened.

Nasrallah added that there has been an "escalating movement" in the West Bank since Operation Guardian of the Walls, saying that this worried Israel.

Nasrallah also referred to recent attacks by the Iran-backed Houthis against the United Arab Emirates, saying "the UAE cried out and asked for the protection of the United States, Britain and France."

The Hezbollah leader also referred to Israeli and American threats to conduct a military strike against Iran's nuclear program, saying that such a strike would be "futile," during the interview with Al-Alam.

"This current American administration is very unlikely to go to war and talk about war is to intimidate and pressure Iran," said Nasrallah, adding that the US's priorities are with Russia and China, not with Iran.

"I tend to assume that what the Israelis say about Iran is intimidation, and most of the security and military levels contradict the implementation of a military strike on Iran because such a strike is useless," added Nasrallah 

The Hezbollah leader warned that any Israeli strike could accelerate the military nuclear program, seemingly acknowledging the existence of such a program, but added that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has said many times that Iran is not interested in a nuclear weapon. Iranian officials in the past have denied the existence of a nuclear weapons program.

Nasrallah also warned that Iran would respond directly if Israel attacks it, saying such a strike would be a "folly."

Responding to accusations that Hezbollah is working for Iran and not Lebanon, Nasrallah stressed that "Hezbollah, from head to toe, is Lebanese, and it is from the Lebanese."

"The resistance in Lebanon is a major national interest, and what they accuse him of is more Lebanese than any other cause," added Nasrallah, saying that Iran is not interfering in internal affairs in Lebanon.

Nasrallah warned against American influence in Lebanon and the region, saying that the US interferes in Lebanon's military establishment. The Hezbollah leader accused the US of supporting Israel and acting as a spy for Israel in Lebanon.

Nasrallah claimed in the interview with Al-Alam that after the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000, the US offered to remove Hezbollah from the terrorism list, allow it to keep most of its weapons, recognize it as a political party and give it $1 billion if it stops everything related to the Palestinian cause and committed not to attack Israel and to work for the US in the fight against Al-Qaeda.

Referring to ongoing negotiations between Israel and Lebanon concerning the maritime border between the two countries, Nasrallah stated that Hezbollah is not concerned with the issue and will abide by whatever the Lebanese government decides.

Nasrallah warned, however, that Hezbollah would not tolerate any attempt at normalizing with Israel, saying that the movement would not interfere as long as Lebanon does not try to normalize with Israel.