Iran

In Attempt to Boost Declining Support, Hezbollah’s Chief Increases Public Appearances

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah has increased his public appearances and interviews in a step that reflects the crisis confronting his terror organization. During his most recent interview, Nasrallah discussed Hezbollah’s arsenal in an attempt to calm his supporters, some of whom have already begun to demand the withdrawal from Syria of troops belonging to the Iran-backed militia.

During his last television interview on the Al-Mayadeen news network, Nasrallah highlighted Hezbollah’s military capabilities. Nasrallah said in the interview that his organization possesses many weapons:

The resistance in Lebanon has everything the enemy [Israel] can imagine and not imagine. We have weapons of all types; whatever [weapons] comes to mind.

Lebanese politicians and analysts said (Arabic link) that Nasrallah was attempting a show of strength. This interview was part of a series of interviews and public appearances Nasrallah has made in recent weeks. Commentators and politicians believe these performances reflect outwardly the crisis within Hezbollah, both in Lebanon and abroad.

According to the Al-Arab newspaper (Arabic link), Hezbollah’s speech on its arsenal was not intended for Israeli ears, because Israeli intelligence knows all about the abilities of the Lebanese organization. Moreover, Hezbollah recently claimed to reveal a Mossad spy in its ranks.

According to Lebanese analysts, the last interview was aimed at an internal Lebanese audience, in particular to the organization’s supporters and Christians allies, hoping to raise their shaky morale and to divert attention from the calls for an end to Hezbollah’s involvement in the Syrian conflict amid claims that this conflict has begun to spill over into Lebanon directly due to Hezbollah’s actions.

Several terrorist attacks indeed occurred recently in Lebanon, the latest on January 10 in Jabal Mohsen, an Alawite-dominated neighborhood in Tripoli. The Jabal Mohsen suicide bombing, which killed nine people, has been viewed as a warning to Hezbollah to withdraw its fighters from Syria.

In addition, analysts believe that Nasrallah’s speech about his organization’s arsenal was also aimed at Arab states, especially given the fact that Hezbollah is one of the most important proxies of Iran in the Middle East. Recently, the Hezbollah chief has made considerable verbal attacks on several Arab countries, including Bahrain. The attack on Bahrain aroused the anger of the Gulf states.

[Photo: hAwrA حـوراء / Flickr]