Despite reports to the contrary, Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah appeared in fair health on Tuesday as he delivered a live televised address marking the third anniversary of the assassination of Iranian Quds Force general Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi militant commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
Last week international media reported the head of Iran’s terrorist proxy in Lebanon was seriously ill and hospitalized in the intensive care unit of a Beirut medical center. A speech scheduled for last Friday was cancelled and Hezbollah announced its chief had the flu. There was, however, speculation that Nasrallah had had a stroke.
“I apologize for making you worry,” he told his supporters during the speech broadcast on Lebanon’s Alahed News site. “After what was said in the Israeli and Gulf media, I would like to reassure you that there is no need to worry at all.”
Nasrallah, who coughed and had a hoarse voice throughout his speech, noted that he has had “trachea allergy” for the past 30 years.
During Tuesday’s address, Nasrallah urged Lebanese leaders to reach an agreement on a new president, emphasizing that it was Hezbollah’s “natural right” to call for a president who “would not stab the resistance in its back.
“A president who would not stab the resistance would mean a president who would not take the country to civil war,” he said.
Nasrallah also commented on the return of Benjamin Netanyahu for a sixth term as Israel’s prime minister, saying “We tried Netanyahu for a long time, and we do not fear him.” He described Israel’s new government, comprised of mostly religious Jewish parties, as a group of “corrupts, criminals and extremists.”
The Hezbollah chief also weighed in on a visit to the Temple Mount earlier in the day by Israel’s new National Security Minister, Itamar Ben Gvir.
“I want to add the voice of the resistance in Lebanon to the voice of the resistance in Palestine to say that harm against al-Aqsa might blow up the entire region, he said.
“If you do not want another war in the region, you must rein in those crazy officials in Israel,” Nasrallah added in a note to the international community.