Hezbollah’s Nasrallah Admits Receiving Material Support from Iran

Posted February 7th, 2012 at 6:10 pm (UTC-5)
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Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has acknowledged for the first time that the Lebanese militant group receives financial and material support from Iran, a longtime ally.

He made the admission in a video-link speech to supporters in the Lebanese capital, Beirut. He said Hezbollah previously only confirmed receiving political and moral support from Iran to avoid embarrassing the Islamic state.

The United States considers Hezbollah to be a terrorist organization and has long accused Iran of arming the group by smuggling weapons through Syria, another Hezbollah supporter. The militant group began fighting Israel in 1982, when Israeli forces invaded Lebanon to drive out Palestinian militants who attacked the Jewish state.

Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon in 2000, but Hezbollah vowed to keep pursuing its goal of eliminating the Jewish state. In 2006, Hezbollah and Israel fought a month-long war that killed about 1,200 Lebanese and 160 Israelis.

Some observers have said Hezbollah may strike Israel again if Israeli forces take military action against Iran's nuclear facilities. Israel accuses Iran of secretly developing nuclear weapons to try to destroy the Jewish state and refuses to rule out an attack to stop the program. Iran says its nuclear activities are peaceful.

Nasrallah said in the event of an Israeli strike on Iran, the Iranian government “will not ask Hezbollah to do anything.” He said his group will make its own decision about how to react.