memri

July 16, 2019
Clip No.
7376

Former Lebanese Minister Wiam Wahhab: Turkey Is an Occupier and an Enemy

Former Lebanese Minister Wiam Wahhab said in a July 16, 2019 interview on OTV (Lebanon) that Turkey is an enemy because it is occupying Arab land in Syria and Iraq. Wahhab explained that, by contrast, Iran is not an enemy because it would leave these territories if it was asked to leave. He also claimed that Turkey is "Turkifying" Afrin, Syria and parts of northern Lebanon. In addition, Wahhab said that the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon have effectively been resettled in Lebanon because they have nowhere to return to and because nobody is willing to kick them out of Lebanon. He added that the only circumstance in which they will return to Palestine is "if Hassan Nasrallah's dream comes true."

Reporter: "Is Turkey an enemy?"

Wiam Wahhab: "Yes, of course. It is occupying my land. If someone asked me why I don't consider Iran [to be an enemy], I'd say that if Syria told Iran to leave, it would leave. Iran is not occupying Syria. It is there in order to help Syria. If tomorrow Syria tells Iran to leave, it will leave. But would Turkey leave if it was told to do so? If Iraq told [Turkey] to leave, would it do so? Turkey is occupying my land. In Afrin, Turkey has now started rapid Turkification. Did you know this?"

Reporter: "Are you talking about schools or language?"

Wiam Wahhab: "Schools, hospitals, institutions... All the Turkification activity has advanced significantly in Afrin, and now they will move on to other places. Turkey has now started to operate in Lebanon."

Reporter: "Where?"

Wiam Wahhab: "In the north.

[...]

"We cannot treat the Palestinians like this. They are our brothers. They live with us. We all oppose the resettlement of the Palestinians in Lebanon, but what do these words mean? Would we put them on buses and drive them out? The resettlement has become a reality."

Reporter: "Reality?"

Wiam Wahhab: "Of course. Who are we kidding?"

Reporter: "How can that be?"

Wiam Wahhab: "Of course it is. Everybody is lying and making up stories. They all know it. Who will let them back there?"

Reporter: "In what framework? You're telling me that the Deal of the Century is a reality."

Wiam Wahhab: "They will go back only if Hassan Nasrallah's dream comes true."