Nasrallah vows Hezbollah will never recognize Israel
In televised speech, Hezbollah chief said Israel is a 'rapacious, racist entity that we can destroy.'
Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah vowed on Friday that his organization will never recognize Israel.
In a speech delivered from his secret hiding place and beamed via video to thousands of Hezbollah followers in Lebanon, Nasrallah said his organization will never officially accept Israel, which in his words represents "a rapacious, racist, and illegal entity."
"We are strong and we are capable," Nasrallah said. "If we will stand on our feet, we can destroy this entity."
"As long as this rapacious entity exists, then resistance is our honor and our lives," Nasrallah added, imploring all Arabs and Muslims to adhere to the same path.
The Hezbollah chief also commented on the possibility of future talks with the United States in light of recent reports that Britain plans on reaching out to the political wing of the Lebanon-based Shi'ite movement.
"The United States is ready now to talk with any party, not out of a sense of morality, but because it failed in its attempts to implement its plans in the region," Nasrallah said. "It failed in its plan to conduct regime change in Syria and it failed in stopping Iran."
"The American plan to liquidate the resistance will fail in the same way," Nasrallah continued. "Generally speaking, before the U.S. lists its conditions for negotiations, we must ask ourselves if we want to hold contacts with it."
The Hezbollah chief also said he was supportive of Palestinian efforts to reach inter-factional consensus as part of the reconciliation talks currently being held in Egypt.
"The inner-Palestinian dialogue in Cairo is deserving of widespread support," Nasrallah said. "We in Hezbollah are joining all those who are calling on the Palestinian to make every effort to arrive at unity and cooperation."
Nasrallah also criticized voices in the moderate camp of Arab states that accuse Iran of sowing division in the region and for contributing to the plight of the Palestinians through its support for Hamas.
"We as Arabs must reach out with support and friendship and not accuse states like Iran and Turkey in harming the rights of Arabs," he said.
Report: U.S. slams renewed ties between Britain, Hezbollah
A senior official in the Obama administration said the United States disagrees with Britain's decision to renew contact with the Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah.
The New York Times reported on Friday that the official, who spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity, said the British government had informed the "previous administration" of its decision.
Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office last Thursday said it was re-establishing contact with the political wing of the Lebanese militant group,as part of an effort to press the militant organization to disarm.
The official also said that the U.S. would like Britain to explain "the difference between the political, social and military wings of Hezbollah because we don't see the difference between the integrated leadership that they see."
Britain ceased contact with members of Hezbollah in 2005, and listed Hezbollah's military wing as a proscribed terrorist organization last year.
However, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said last week that it had reconsidered its position following political developments in Lebanon.
"We have reconsidered the position...in light of more positive developments within Lebanon," Foreign Office Minister Bill Rammell told a parliamentary committee last week. "For that reason we have explored establishing contacts."
Rammell said he was referring to the formation in July last year of a unity government in which Hezbollah and its allies hold effective veto power, as agreed under a deal that ended a paralyzing political conflict in the country.
"We will look to have further discussions and our overriding objective within that is to press Hezbollah to play a more constructive role, particularly to move away from violence," Rammell said.
The move could be significant because Britain, the United States and other powers are locked in a dispute with Iran, Hezbollah's backers, over its nuclear program.
The U.S. State Department said last Friday that it has not changed its stance regarding Hezbollah, and that it feels the time is not right for renewed contacts with the Lebanon-based militant group.
The U.S. also said it would closely follow developments between Britain and Hezbollah.