August 11, 2006 Special Dispatch No. 1244

Russian, Iranian, and Syrian Reactions to the War in Lebanon – August 11, 2006

August 11, 2006
Syria, Lebanon, Iran | Special Dispatch No. 1244

The following are Russian, Iranian, and Syrian reactions to the crisis in the Middle East:

Russian Reactions

On August 10, 2006, the website of the U.S.-based Al-Watan newspaper quoted the head of the Middle East Research Institute in Moscow, Dr. Yevgeny Satanovsky, as saying: "What is happening now in Lebanon is the beginning of the first Iran-Israel war. The events in Lebanon are only a test of Iranian strength by means of its proxy, Hizbullah, before [Iran] becomes a superpower in the region... Iran will, in the near future, attain great political achievements from this crisis, and therefore it will continue to support Hizbullah."

Iranian Reactions

*Ayatollah Nasser Makarem-Shirazi: "Clerics Will Consider Declaring Defensive Jihad Against Israel"

The Iranian weekly Sobh-e Sadeq, which serves as the mouthpiece of Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and is affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards, published a statement by Ayatollah Nasser Makarem-Shirazi that "if the oppression and isolation of the Lebanese people and of the Palestinian people continue, in light of Israel's savage attacks, the senior clerics will consider declaring defensive jihad against Israel."

Ayatollah Nasser Makarem-Shirazi further suggested that "in light of the sharp increase in the price of oil during this time, the Islamic governments must allocate their extra oil revenues for compensation for the damages of the war." [1]

*Iranian President Ahmadinejad: "The First Action That Must Be Taken is to Establish a Ceasefire"

In an interview with the Indian daily The Hindu, Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad said: "...The first action that must be taken is to establish a ceasefire. But they were thinking that if they oppose a ceasefire and help the war to continue in Lebanon, that in turn will help them secure their goals and interests. And as we speak, they are still killing time, dragging their feet, to buy the Zionists some time so that they can have some military victories..." [2]

Syrian Reactions

*Syrian Government Daily Teshreen Attacks Arab Countries: "Death Sentence by Impalement for Supporters of the Enemy's Plans"

The Syrian government daily Teshreen published an article discussing three types of spies - alluding to the Arab countries, and particularly the Arab rulers who had criticized Hizbullah and were "supporting the enemy's plans." The article suggested that these spies should be punished by "death by impalement."

The article also referred to another kind of spy - which it defines as those "who harm the people's national domestic unity... and act out of ethnic or sectarian fanaticism." As an example of this kind of person it mentions the fatwa issued by Saudi Sheikh 'Abdallah Ibn Jebreen forbidding giving aid to Hizbullah or even praying for it. The paper said this fatwa was "wrong and leads [others] astray" and said it was "against the spirit of Islam." The article concludes: "I still have not found a suitable punishment for [Ibn Jebreen's] infidel filth, so choose for him a death that will suit such minds which are rife with putrefaction." [3]

*Teshreen: "The Lebanese Asked France for Salvation - And Got its Traitorous Arrow"

Another Teshreen editorial read: "The Lebanese thought that a curative drug would come from Paris. Their faces lit up, and they held high hopes for a 'new' French position that would be distant from the American position and even in disagreement with it. But these hopes evaporated all at once, when the positions were revealed...

"France, which is declaring its phony concern for its ally in the region - Lebanon - has not forgotten its past, in the region in general, and in Lebanon in particular, as it leaned [in its position] to the side of Israel and the U.S....

"Whoever thinks that France loves Lebanon strong, free, and sovereign is wrong, because [France] wants Lebanon as it left it six decades ago - weak and doing what it is ordered to do. France wants to see Lebanon like Israel and the U.S. want it - as a phase in an old-new plan. So along came the Franco-American draft proposal, in order to snatch Hizbullah's victory and hand it over to Israel, and in order to obtain, through the abject politics and diplomacy of devils, what the so-called Israeli war has not managed to obtain by force of arms, terrorism, massacre, and destruction...

"The Lebanese asked France for salvation and got its traitorous arrow - proving the historical facts that we mentioned [and proving] that... the West wants to revive the ancient imperialist plans in a way that is even more abhorrent than the previous [way]..." [4]

*Fatwa in Syrian Government Daily: "It is Incumbent on Every Muslim to Aid the Hizbullah Jihad Fighters"

The religion supplement of the Syrian government daily Al-Thawra published a fatwa in its fatwa column on the issue of aiding Hizbullah. The author of the fatwa was not specified:

"Question: What does the shari'a say about aiding and helping the Hizbullah jihad fighters in Lebanon who are standing up to the oppressive Zionist aggression? And what about the opinion [expressed in some] fatwas that forbids this [an allusion to Sheikh 'Abdallah Ibn Jebreen's fatwa cited above]?

"Answer: There can be no doubt that it is incumbent on every Muslim to aid the Hizbullah jihad fighters, who are putting up resistance to the oppressive, criminal, and abominable Israeli aggression, and it is incumbent on every Muslim to aid those jihad fighters as much as they can, even if only verbally. It is not permitted under any circumstances to refrain from [fulfilling] this obligation, as the Prophet [Muhammad] said: '[Every] Muslim is a brother to [his fellow] Muslim. He must not oppress him or hand him over [to the enemy] or abandon him.' Muslims in all corners of the world are one single nation, despite the differences in skin color and race. [The Prophet] said: 'The blood [i.e. the lives] of all Muslims is of the same value, and they make common cause against others, and [even] the lowest among them can grant protection [to others] in the name of them all.' [The Prophet] said: 'You see the believers - in their love for one another, in their mercy for one another, and in their tenderness toward one another - as a single body. If one of its limbs hurts, the whole body reacts with sleeplessness and fever.'

"How could it be permitted to refrain from aiding these jihad fighters, when Allah said: 'Hold fast to Allah, all of you, and do not divide up'; and 'This, your nation, is a single nation.' How can we not aid them and not stand by their side when they are defending the country and the people, and are standing on the [front lines] of the confrontation with this oppressive enemy that murders women, children, and the elderly, destroys houses with their residents still in them, burns everything down, destroys bridges, blocks roads, and tries to rip this [Islamic] nation apart through various methods of deceit and tyranny. It is forbidden that a certain disagreement with Hizbullah over some issues should divert us from this obligation - a disagreement that is being stirred up by some [people] who are not expert in [religious] learning and are not aware of what is going on, and are not aware of the treachery and tyranny that have been planned against this nation. Indeed, the Muslim nation is united by the belief in one God, unity concerning the kibla [the direction of prayer, i.e. towards Mecca], dedication to the Koran, and fastidiousness [in following] the right path of Allah's Messenger.

"The disagreement [with Hizbullah] on some issues is natural. The Prophet's companions had their differences, but these differences of opinion did not prevent them from standing united against the tyranny of the polytheists - this together with the knowledge that those who are fighting against the Zionist tyranny in Lebanon and are driving back sin and evil from upon this nation, under the leadership of the jihad fighter Hassan Nasrallah, have never strayed from the right path. They have always raised the slogan of God's unity, and embody Islamic values in the full sense of the term. [The Hizbullah fighters] have revived in the nation the meanings of jihad, after these had become worn, as a result of having been dragged in by [the temptations] of this world, the disposition for leisure, and reliance on those who have oppressed…

"Aiding these jihad fighters is an honor and a duty, and one should not pay heed to these fatwas that lead astray and sow division in the [Islamic] nation, by calling for abandoning these jihad fighters and weakening their cause." [5]

[1] Sobh-e Sadeq (Iran), August 7, 2006.


[3] Teshreen (Syria), August 8, 2006.

[4] Teshreen (Syria), August 8, 2006.

[5] Al-Thawra (Syria), August 11, 2006.

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