After a lengthy absence from public gaze, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah appeared in a TV interview on January 26, with the key message: I am alive and well. This followed weeks of rumors about his health. More worryingly, the head of the Iranian-backed terror organization warned of the extremely accurate missiles in Hezbollah’s hands.
Hezbollah is Lebanese based and its so-called political wing is a major player in the country’s politics, ensuring Tehran has a say in the affairs of state of Lebanon and Syria, alongside Iran’s growing influence in Iraq and Yemen, completing its Shi’ite crescent across the Middle East.
Nasrallah’s TV appearance sought to do two things; show his is still fully functioning as the organization’s secretary-general and make his usual threats toward Israel.
His boast of extremely accurate missiles is not new but its timing is significant, as is his warning that Syria could attack Israel at any juncture.
The Iranian cabal, which includes the Assad regime in Damascus and Hezbollah, is concerned by Jerusalem’s recent muscle flexing in their direction. For the first time, Israel has not denied it carried attacks on Iranian interests in Syria, as it has taken out numerous arms convoys.
This led Nasrallah in his interview with the ever-supportive al-Mayadeen TV, to warn Israel that any attack on Lebanese soil would come at a heavy price.
He also mocked Israel’s recent operation to uncover tunnels dug under the border with Lebanon, although he was not brave enough to claim them as Hezbollah-dug tunnels, which they almost certainly are.
On his health report, Nasrallah said he is extremely fit for a 60-year old. He explained his absence on his being a man of few words. Given the length of most of his speeches, this seems an unlikely explanation.
His 10-week disappearance was unusual – and led to the inevitable rumors of cancer. It is likely it was health related but given the complexities of affairs of state between Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, there may be additional forces at play.
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