update deskIsrael at War

Hezbollah terror chief congratulates Iranian president-elect

Hassan Nasrallah thanks the Islamic Republic for its "strong, stable and permanent support.”

Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah in Beirut on May 8, 2023. Credit: Mohammad Kassir/Shutterstock.
Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah in Beirut on May 8, 2023. Credit: Mohammad Kassir/Shutterstock.

Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah on Saturday congratulated Iranian president-elect Masoud Pezeshkian on his “blessed” victory, noting Tehran’s ongoing support for “resistance” groups.

“We in Hezbollah and in all the resistance groups in the region … always look to the Islamic Republic of Iran as a strong, stable and permanent support,” the letter read, according to Agence France-Presse.

Pezeshkian won Iran’s second-round presidential vote on Friday, receiving more than 16 million votes compared to former nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili’s more than 13 million.

Pezeshkian, a supposed reformer, has called for outreach to the West, drawing the ire of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. However, he is not expected to produce any major policy shift in the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program or support for terrorist groups across the Middle East, including Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza, the Houthis in Yemen and militias in Iraq and Syria.

Pezeshkian, a former heart surgeon born in 1954 to an Iranian Azerbaijani father and Iranian Kurdish mother, said on Friday that should he win the presidency, he would “try to have friendly relations with all countries except Israel.”

The runoff followed a June 28 snap election called in the aftermath of President Ebrahim Raisi‘s death in a May 19 helicopter crash.

Subsequently, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani said Tehran’s support for “the oppressed people of Palestine and resistance groups [pursuing] the unalienable rights of the Palestinians to the liberation of their land and standing against the usurping Zionist regime” would carry on unchanged.

Iranian terror proxy Hezbollah has attacked Israel’s north nearly every day since Oct. 8, firing thousands of UAVs, rockets and anti-tank missiles at Israeli towns, killing more than 20 people and causing widespread damage. Tens of thousands of Israeli civilians remain displaced due to the violence.

Last month, the IDF formally “authorized and validated” operational plans for a campaign aimed at pushing Hezbollah north of the Litani, in accordance with 2006’s U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701 that ended the Second Lebanon War.

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