US/World News

Lebanese journalist blasts Hezbollah leader for coronavirus “advice

As Lebanon takes measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, some in the country have accused Hezbollah of causing the outbreak by refusing for several weeks to halt flights from Iran and close the border with Syria. In a March 13 speech, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah rejected the accusation, calling on citizens not to politicize the pandemic. He also dispensed advice and instructions on how to avoid contracting the virus, while calling on the banks in Lebanon to behave responsibly and on the government to give priority to battling the epidemic. In response to this speech, Leba-nese journalist Khayrallah Khayrallah – known for his opposition to Hezbollah – published a scathing column in the London-based daily Al-Arab, in which he accused Nasrallah of considering himself the “Supreme Leader” of Lebanon (as Khamenei is the Supreme Leader of Iran). Nasrallah’s “empty slogans of resistance,” he said, will not help Lebanon fight the coronavirus. Hezbollah, he added, is nothing more than a battalion in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Lebanon, he wrote, needs to free itself from Tehran, which he said had impeded the efforts to stop the spread of the virus from Iran to Lebanon.

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