Nasrallah: We'll never recognize Israel

Hizbullah leader rejects US preconditions for dialogue; stresses group has "no faction in Gaza."

nasrallah al-manar 248 88 (photo credit: AP [file])
nasrallah al-manar 248 88
(photo credit: AP [file])
In a recorded speech aired Friday evening in Beirut in honor of the Prophet Muhammad's birthday, Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah rejected a US condition for talks and stressed that his group will not recognize Israel, "even in 1,000 years." "Today, the United States comes and says to us: You are terrorists and we are willing to forgive you for what has been, under the condition that you recognize Israel," Agence France-Press quoted Nasrallah as saying. Nasrallah stressed that the Lebanese people are "capable of defeating this entity [Israel] and can make it disappear," and therefore, Hizbullah will not recognize Israel, "not today, not tomorrow, not even in 1,000 years." According to AFP, after harshly rejecting the Obama administration's conditions for dialogue, according to which the group must denounce terrorism and recognize the Jewish state, Nasrallah touched on Hizbullah's ties with the Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip. Addressing the possibility of a dialogue with the US in light of Britain's decision to hold contacts with Hizbullah's political wing, Nasrallah said: "The United States is ready now to talk with any party - not out of a sense of morality, but because it failed in its attempts to implement its plans in the region. It failed in its plan for a regime change in Syria and it failed to stop Iran." He added that "before the US lists its conditions for negotiations, we must ask ourselves if we want to hold contacts with it." The new US administration's readiness to reach out to adversary regimes, such as Syria and Iran, has been a hallmark of its foreign policy, but has so far not been extended to groups on its official terrorist registry, such as Hizbullah and Hamas. Nasrallah emphasized that while there was much good faith and support between the terrorist groups, "Hizbullah has no faction or organization in Gaza." "Our status is that of a brother helping his brother, and we will help anything decided by the leadership of the Palestinian resistance," he said. In Jerusalem, the Foreign Ministry said in response to Nasrallah's comments that Hizbullah was and remains a terrorist group.