Beirut: Iran will not abandon Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement after reaching a nuclear deal with world powers, the group’s leader Hassan Nasrallah said Saturday.
“Did Iran sell its allies down the river during the nuclear talks? No, there was no bargaining” between Iran and the United States, he said in a speech broadcast on a large screen to supporters in Beirut’s southern suburbs, a party stronghold.
Supreme leader “Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reiterated Iran’s position on the resistance movements and its allies, and Hezbollah occupies a special place among them,” Nasrallah added.
“The United States remains the ‘Great Satan’, both before and after the nuclear accord” reached last week after tough negotiations between Iran and permanent UN Security Council members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, plus Germany.
On July 18, Khamenei warned that, despite the deal, Iran would continue its policy towards the “arrogant” United States and also its support for its friends in the region.
Founded in the 1980s by Iran’s Guardians of the Revolution and financed and armed by Tehran, Hezbollah has become a powerful armed party advocating armed struggle against Israel.
The party, which the United States classifies as a terrorist organisation, is also fighting alongside President Bashar Al Assad’s forces against rebels in Syria, itself an ally of Iran.
On Friday, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Mu’allem also said the nuclear deal would not affect Iranian support for the Damascus government.
Iran “has ideological relations with its allies that prevail over political interests”, Nasrallah said.
“We say this loud and clear: we receive material and financial support from the Islamic republic, and we are proud of that fact.”
He indicated that such aid was enough for Hezbollah, dismissing allegations of money-laundering activities in several countries.
On June 10, the US Treasury placed on its sanctions blacklist three Lebanese men and companies they are tied to, calling them part of a “key Hezbollah support network”.