Saturday, February 23, 2008

Jumblat Slams 'Crazy' Ahmadinejad

Druze leader Walid Jumblat has told a British daily that Damascus viewed Lebanon as just a province of Syria and that "crazy" Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was trying to establish a Hizbullah state in the country.
"For Syria, Lebanon is just a province, part of Syria. As for the crazy Iranian Ahmadinejad, Lebanon is a platform to be used against the Israelis and the Americans and he is trying slowly but surely to establish his Hizbullah state in Lebanon. Lebanon is paralyzed ... we won't have stability and peace in Lebanon as long as these bloody butchers are there," Jumblat told The Guardian newspaper in remarks published Thursday.

He said that Hizbullah had helped the Assad regime to carry out assassinations, attempted killings and bombings in Lebanon since Oct. 2004.

"Hizbullah has a formidable security infrastructure and the Syrians couldn't have done all their bloody murders without the facilities offered by Hizbullah and other allies of Syria," he insisted. "All the people who were killed were opponents of the Syrian regime and key figures in the military."

He accused Hizbullah of following Iran's and Syria's orders to paralyze Lebanese life.

"We have a party that is run by remote control by the Iranians and the Syrians, that is very well armed and trained and is paralyzing the whole of life and is not willing to accept the rule of the Lebanese state," Jumblat told the Guardian.

"They are part of the parliament but they want to impose their will to declare war and peace whenever they feel like it. They are using Lebanon as a platform for their own advantage," he said.

President Bashar Assad, Jumblat charged, would "do anything" to sabotage the Special Tribunal for Lebanon that would try suspects in ex-Premier Rafik Hariri's assassination and related crimes.

The Progressive Socialist Party leader also said the Assad regime was allowing Hizbullah to smuggle rockets into Lebanon.

"Lebanon is in an existential crisis," Jumblat concluded. "Either we survive as an independent state and a democracy or we disappear under the killings of the Syrians and the Iranians and their allies. Up to now I've been able to survive, but at a price."


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