Nasrallah Says Hezbollah Has Precision Missiles That Could Strike Targets Throughout Israel

The Lebanese group's leader warned that if a war ensues as a result of the U.S.-Iran tensions, it could 'set the whole region ablaze'

Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah addresses his supporters via a screen during a rally marking al-Quds Day, (Jerusalem Day) in Beirut, Lebanon May 31, 2019.
Aziz Taher / Reuters

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said on Friday that his Shi'ite organization has enough precision missiles to hit all the targets it has marked throughout the State of Israel.

Speaking at a nightttime rally in Beirut to mark Quds, or Jerusalem day, the leader of the Lebanese group said that the missiles could "change the face of the region."

The Islamic Republic initiated Jerusalem Day in 1979, and it marks it annually on the last Friday of the month of Ramadan. The day's goal is to express solidarity with Palestinians as well as resistance to Zionism and to Israel. 

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Nasrallah claimed that Israel does not attack his group's missile arsenal because it knows Hezbollah will react forcefully. "We will respond directly and forcefully to any Israeli attack on sites or facilities of the organization in Lebanese territory," he threatened. 

He denied that the group has facilities to build precision missiles in Lebanon, and said that if he had such facilities he would declare it openly, "because we have a right to defend ourselves, and the forces of the resistance have a right to have rockets and missiles." 

Nonetheless, he stressed that Hezbollah has the ability to set up such factories and clarified that the group will do it in the future. He also noted that he could sell the precision missiles to the Lebanese military. He then called on the United States to stop threatening Lebanon in relation to this issue."The Americans have no business with this. It is our right to have weapons to defend our countries and it is our right to manufacture any weapons."

Addressing tensions between the U.S. and Iran, the Hezbollah leader said the rhetoric and threats of a war against Iran have ebbed because Washington realized that any war against Tehran would spread to engulf the whole region and endanger U.S. interests.

President Donald Trump, his administration and intelligence agencies have learned "that a war against Iran will not stop at Iran's borders," he added.

A war "would mean the whole region will be set ablaze. All U.S. forces and interests in the region will be exterminated and those who conspired (with them) will pay the price; first Israel, then al-Saud," in reference to the ruling family in Saudi Arabia.

In addition, Nasrallah rejected what he called U.S. conditions for mediating a border and maritime dispute with Israel.

Nasrallah said Washington is "using the talks" to discuss, and even make threats over, degrading his group's capabilities, bringing up an Israeli claim that Hezbollah has precision missile factories.

A U.S. official has been shuttling between Israel and Lebanon, technically still at war, to settle the dispute.

Lebanon's foreign ministry said earlier this week that it and Israel are close to establishing a framework for negotiations under United Nations auspices and overseen by Washington on demarcating the borders. The demarcation is essential for Lebanon to access oil and gas resources.

Israel said it's willing to engage in the U.S.-mediated talks.
Israel and Lebanon each claim some 860 square kilometers (330 square miles) of sea as within their own exclusive economic zones. Nasrallah said he is supportive of the Lebanese government's positions in the talks.

Tension has been running high between Iran and the U.S. over the last weeks. Hezbollah, considered a terrorist organization by the U.S., is Iran's strongest ally in the region.

'Summits are a call for help'

Nasrallah's comments came as Saudi Arabia hosts a summit of the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Mecca to rally a unified Arab position to further isolate Iran internationally.

Nasrallah told supporters in Lebanon the Mecca summit is a Saudi call for help from Arab countries after Saudi Arabia failed to win in Yemen, where the kingdom and its allies have been at war since 2015 against Iranian-allied Yemeni rebels.

"It is a sign of failure," he said. "These summits are calls for help ...that express the failure and the inabilities in confronting the Yemeni army, popular resistance and people."

Shortly before the summit was set to begin, Saudi Arabia's King Salman said Muslim heads of state are gathering in Islam's holiest city to build the "future of our peoples and confronting aggressive threats to stability."

The OIC meeting took places amid a spike in tensions between the Sunni-led kingdom and Shiite-led Iran. Middle Eastern leaders met for separate emergency summits in Mecca late Thursday as Saudi Arabia seeks to project a unified front against Iran.

"We meet in Mecca to build the future of our peoples, to achieve security and stability for our Arab and Islamic countries, and to resolutely confront aggressive threats and subversive activities," King Salman wrote on Twitter.

The Palestinian cause represents a core issue for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Salman said in his speech on Saturday, adding the kingdom "refuse any measures that touch on the historical and legal position of East Jerusalem".

King Salman told OIC leaders that the rights of Palestinians remains a cornerstone issue of the organization, which was formed 50 years ago in response to an extremist arson attack on the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem, one of Islam's most sacred sites.

He said the mosque remains under occupation and threat.

"We reiterate with emphasis the rejection of any measures that infringe upon the legal status of Al-Quds Al-Sharif," King Salman said, referring to East Jerusalem and the mosque compound.

The summit condemned any position adopted by an international body that supports U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The summit urged member countries to take "appropriate measures" against countries that move their embassies to Jerusalem. 

Addressing the drone strike on two oil pumping stations for the East-West pipeline two weeks ago, Salman said: "The drone attacks on Saudi oil pumping stations carried by groups supported by Iran do not only threaten the security of the kingdom and the Gulf but also threaten maritime safety and global oil supplies". 

He also added that the "sabotage" operations against four vessels which included two Saudi oil tankers near the territorial waters of the United Arab Emirates represent a dangerous threat against maritime safety, as well as regional and international security.

Iran, which had a representative present at the Mecca summit, denies being involved in the incidents.

Iran's President Hassan Rohani had his own message for OIC leaders ahead of the summit, urging them to stay focused on the rights of Palestinians.

In a letter published online Friday, Rohani said Muslim leaders should not let the importance of Palestinian statehood be "marginalized" in the face of the Trump administration's forthcoming peace plan.

Rouhani also complained in the letter about not being invited to the Islamic summit, but expressed his country's readiness to work with all Muslim leaders to confront the White House's so-called "deal of the century."

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said Tehran regrets "Saudi Arabia's abuse of its privilege as the host" of the OIC "to sow division between Islamic and regional countries."