Hezbollah chief terms Iran as ‘strong fortress of resistance’ against oppressors, colonialists

Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has described Iran as the “strong fortress of resistance” against oppressors, stressing the Islamic establishment serves as a role model.

Nasrallah addressed via video link from Beirut a ceremony in Tehran Thursday to mark the 40th day since the passing of President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash, hailing the country for taking the upheaval in its stride with fortitude and composure.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran emerged proudly and admirably from this tragic incident and presented an advanced and lofty model that is strong in facing all challenges,” he said.

Nasrallah added the incident, in which President Raisi lost his life along with Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and six others in mountainous terrain in northwest Iran, was “very painful and historic” which left Iran faced with threats.

“However, the rule is that we must turn threats into opportunities, as always emphasized by Eminent Leader of the Revolution” Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, he said.

“We have faced similar big and dangerous incidents in recent years. As an example, we can point to the assassination of two dear commanders, Hajj Qassem Soleimani and Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, that was a huge damage and at the same time a threat,” he added.

Lieutenant General Soleimani, head of Iran’s Quds Force, and Abu Mahdi, an Iraqi commander of the Popular Mobilization Forces, were assassinated in a US airstrike ordered by then-president Donald Trump at Baghdad airport in January 2020.

“But this threat turned into an opportunity. These bloodsheds marked the breakout of the uprising and a new life for the resistance and the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran and all the resistance movements in the region,” Nasrallah continued.

Iran responded to the assassination by launching a barrage of missiles at US bases in Iraq, causing brain concussion injuries among at least 110 American soldiers stationed there. Iranian officials have repeatedly vowed to take further steps and imposed sanctions on individuals taking part in the crime.

In April, Iran responded with its first-ever direct operation against Israel, launching over 300 missiles and attack drones from its territory at targets in the occupied territories, after an Israeli airstrike destroyed the consular section of Iran’s embassy in Damascus, killing 12 people.

The operation left Israel, still reeling from coordinated armed incursions from the Gaza Strip into the Gaza envelope of southern territories under Israeli occupation, further shell-shocked.

“All this was thanks to wise leadership [of Ayatollah Khamenei] and management and responsibility [of Iranian officials] in Iran and the region,” Nasrallah said.

He added the tragic loss of President Raisi and his companions is “also an example, the outcome of which depends on our behavior”.

“Thank God, the people of Iran became a model for the whole world through their direct presence and the way they dealt with the incident with general peace and stability.”

Nasrallah said, “Enemies who were lying in wait and talking about riots happening here and there saw with their own eyes that despite all the difficult conditions it faced due to this incident, Iran was calm, stable, unified and united.”

He touched on millions of mourners who took to the streets in Iranian cities to pay their respects to the president and his companions and take part in their funeral processions, saying their huge presence carried a strong message for both friends and foes.

“The friends who were worried when they saw the presence of millions gained confidence and trust, and the enemies who were happy realized that they were facing a nation that was aware and present, that had great insight and loyalty. The funeral was an expression of this great and enormous loyalty,” he added.

Nasrallah said in any similar incident, there is always the possibility of unrest and dangerous political, economic and psychological threats, but “thank God, with the blessing of the Leadership and officials and the people of Iran, the Islamic Republic came out of this trepidation proud and honorable”.

Today, Nasrallah stated, “the Islamic Republic and its holy system do not only determine the path of the Iranian nation, but they also decide the destiny of nations and governments and the future of the developments and other events with all honesty, openness and transparency”.

“The system of the Islamic Republic of Iran is not only the path and future of the Iranian nation; it is also the future and path of all the nations of the region and a strong fortress against the oppressors, robbers, colonialists and domination seekers who have filled our land and region with cruelty, oppression and corruption.”

“After God, we have great hope in this blessed Islamic country, its leadership, nation, authorities, religious sources to follow, scientists and seminaries, and we ask God Almighty to protect them all,” he added.

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