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Put Lebanon ahead of Iran and stop Arab interference, Geagea tells Hezbollah

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Iran-backed Hezbollah must hand over the decision over war and peace to the state, a senior Lebanese politician said Sunday, adding that it must stop unjustified interventions in Arab countries.

“It is time to take the initiative in making a difficult but correct decision to put yourself at the service of Lebanon and its people ... instead of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Lebanese Forces (LF) leader Samir Geagea said.

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Speaking during a memorial ceremony commemorating fighters of the Christian militia-turned-political party, Geagea said Hezbollah needed to follow the suit of all other Lebanese political parties who gave up their weapons and pledged allegiance to the state.

Hezbollah is the only side in Lebanon, other than Palestinian factions, to keep their weapons following the 1975-90 Civil War. Initially supported to fend off Israeli aggressions and invasions, Hezbollah’s weapons have been turned against Lebanese citizens on more than one occasion.

The group, designated as a terrorist organization by the United States and several European and Arab states, continues to fight alongside Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in the neighboring war. It is also providing fighters and intelligence support in Iraq and Yemen against Arab states and interests, including Saudi Arabia.

“It is time to return to Lebanon … Hezbollah must stop its unjustified foreign intervention in more than one Arab country and stop playing the leading role of the Iranian project in the Arab region,” Geagea said.

Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary-general, previously pledged allegiance to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and admitted to receiving funding and weapons from Tehran.

This has dealt a significant blow to Lebanon’s ties with the Gulf and its traditional allies in the international community.

“Are you waiting for complete starvation?” Geagea asked, referring to Hezbollah’s continued intervention in other countries’ affairs.

“Hezbollah must hand off the decision of war and peace to the country,” he said.

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