Skip to comments.Hezbollah chief refuses to confirm Scud build-up
Posted on 05/02/2010 1:00:42 AM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld
The chief of Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah movement said on Saturday it had a "legal" right to own any weapon it wishes, but would not confirm or deny Israeli allegations it was stockpiling Scud missiles.
"The Scud (issue) emerged a while ago... and it created a lot of fuss," Hassan Nasrallah said in his first public reaction to the controversy, according to a statement from Hezbollah's press office.
"We do not confirm or deny if we have received weapons or not, so we do not comment and we will not comment," he told a committee in charge of security, financial and logistical backing for Hezbollah, adding: "This is our position."
Hezbollah has a "legal and humanitarian right to own any weapon it wants to protect people oppressed and threatened by Israel's cancerous presence."
The controversy erupted in April when Israeli President Shimon Peres accused Syria of supplying its Lebanese ally Hezbollah with the missiles, a charge Damascus denied.
Washington, which has sought a rapprochement with Damascus, further fed the controversy as Defence Secretary Robert Gates accused Iran and Syria of arming Hezbollah with sophisticated weaponry, without specifying they were Scuds.
Gates warned at a joint news conference Tuesday with Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak that Hezbollah has "far more rockets and missiles than most governments in the world."
On Saturday Nasrallah dismissed talk that the controversy about Hezbollah weaponry was a prelude to a new armed conflict.
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I wish I had that right -- but I'm just a US citizen. My right to keep and bear arms is seriously infringed.
ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS.com - ARUTZ SHEVA: "HIZBULLAH SCUD MISSILES ARE 'JUST THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG'" by Gil Ronen (SNIPPET: "Syria has a very prominent role in enlarging the arsenal of rockets in Hizbullah's hands," he said. "Weapons transfers to Hizbullah from Syria are carried out in a regular manner and are arranged by the Syrian and Iranian regimes. Therefore this should not be termed 'weapons smuggling to Lebanon' -- it is an organized, officially sanctioned process." Even without the recent Scud transfers, Baidatz said, "Hizbullah possesses an arsenal of thousands of rockets of all types and ranges including solid-fuel missiles with a longer range and more accuracy [than the Scuds].") (Published May 4, 2010, 11:17 pm; Last update: May 4, 2010, 11:18 pm)