Clinton Warns Against Syria-Hezbollah Arms Smuggling

Secretary of State also says Hezbollah's use of violence in bid to stop Hariri inquiry will not be tolerated.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has warned that weapons and technology must not be transferred to the Hezbollah movement, responding to reports of continued arms smuggling from Syria.

In an interview published Friday in the Lebanese daily Al-Nahar, Clinton also said that Hezbollah must halt its violent attempts to thwart an international inquiry into the 2005 assassination of Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri.

Hezbollah youth holding Katyushas near Nasrallah portrait

Hezbollah' leader Hassan Nasrallah declared Thursday said his group will cut the hand of anyone who tries to arrest its members over the assignation. The Netherlands-based tribunal is expected to issue indictments soon. Nasrallah, who claims the court is biased, has said he expects members of his group to be indicted.

Clinton said intimidation or threats from Hezbollah should not be tolerated.

Syria, which alongside Iran is Hezbollah's major backer in the region, is also deeply worried by the prospect of an indictment. In late October, the country's president, Bashar Assad, said indictments against Hezbollah could "rip Lebanon apart".

Hariri and 21 others were killed when a massive bomb tore into his convoy as it drove through central Beirut. A later United Nations report suggested the explosion may have been the work of a suicide bomber.

Initial investigations appeared to point to Syrian involvement and while the tribunal has not ruled this out, four Syrian generals detained in 2005 were released last year for lack of evidence against them.