Hezbollah Chief Nasrallah Reassures Supporters on Health After Shaky Speech

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Hassan Nasrallah delivering a televised speech on Hezbollah's al-Manar TV on Tuesday.
Hassan Nasrallah delivering a televised speech on Hezbollah's al-Manar TV on Tuesday.Credit: Al-Manar TV / AFP

Lebanon's Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said his health was good and thanked all who had asked after him in a televised speech on Tuesday.

"A human being is a human being, you get sick or tired sometimes," Nasrallah said, thanking all those who prayed for him and asked about him.

Nasrallah had appeared unwell in his last speech on May 25, when he coughed throughout, but had then said he was suffering from allergies and nothing serious. 

Rumors of Nasrallah’s deteriorating health condition began circulating after Nasrallah's speech, during which he appeared to have trouble breathing and coughed repeatedly, but multiple sources denied reports that his health had deteriorated.

His son, Jawad, tweeted in late May that his father feels good. Moreover, a Lebanese media personality close to Hezbollah circles in Beirut said the organization has repeatedly denied reports on this issue.

"Some people killed us off and some started looking for a successor, I reassure them," Nasrallah said, referring to social media rumors after his last appearance that hinted at a grave illness.

Nasrallah has led the Iran-backed armed Hezbollah movement for nearly three decades turning it from one of Lebanon's many civil war militias into a group of regional influence.

"There are some people who expressed their love and distributed bread and salt, and wrote and called, and I reassure these, some sent some remedies and honey," Nasrallah said.

"I cherish their love and thank all."

As Lebanon makes efforts to form a new government amid an economic crisis, Nasrallah’s associates claim the rumors are being spread by Hezbollah’s opponents in an effort to divert the attention from the internal political developments.

Moreover, the secretary general’s associates maintained that the rumors originated in Israel, as last month Israeli officials said they believe that Nasrallah has contracted COVID-19 and that his ill health is the reason he has refrained from speaking publicly or giving interviews in recent months.

Nasrallah also said on Tuesday that it was ready to go to Iran to seek fuel to help Lebanon deal with a shortage.

"We, Hezbollah, can go to Iran and negotiate with the Iranian government and buy shipments of fuel," Nasrallah said.

Lebanon is in the throes of a deep financial crisis, and shortages in essential goods such as fuel and medicine have been worsening.

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