Nasrallah: Iran will gladly give us arms

Hizbullah chief says group cannot be disarmed by force, calls support for organization "patriotic."

nasrallah 248.88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
nasrallah 248.88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Leading up to Lebanon's June 7 elections, Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah called Friday for unity in the country and asserted that the group "cannot be disarmed by force." Speaking at the "Resistance and Liberation Festival" marking nine years since the IDF withdrawal from southern Lebanon, Nasrallah said that were Hizbullah to win next Sunday's legislative election, it would "strengthen and arm the [Lebanese] army, and empower it with defense of Lebanon." Iran would "gladly supply it," he added. In a speech that was broadcast on local television stations and attracted crowds in the hundreds of thousands at video screens across Beirut, he called for "a national unity government, with cooperation based on lessons from the past." Nasrallah went on to say that Agriculture Minister Silvan Shalom had "said that [Israel] would turn the international community against Hizbullah... and place us on their list of terror organizations." Though Israel remains a "dangerous challenge" for the group, he said, "the option of another conflict is still far off... though it does exist."