Hezbollah leader says Saudi-Iran reconciliation is ‘good development’

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The head of Lebanon’s armed group Hezbollah said on Friday the resumption of ties between its backer Iran and longtime rival Saudi Arabia was a “good development.”

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Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed on Friday to re-establish relations after years of severed ties.

“This is a good development,” said Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah in a televised address on Friday. “We have complete confidence that this will not come at our expense.”

Nasrallah cautioned that the full implications of the step were not yet known but said it was “happy.”

“It’s an important development, of course, and if it proceeds in its natural course it could open up horizons in the entire region, including in Lebanon,” he added.

Hezbollah was established in Lebanon by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in 1982 and is a key part of Tehran’s regional alliance.

Last year, Nasrallah accused Saudi Arabia and its leadership of supporting terrorists. Meanwhile, the Kingdom had called on Lebanon to end “terrorist Hebzollah’s” influence over the state.

Saudi Arabia and a number of other Gulf Arab states withdrew their ambassadors and expelled Lebanese envoys in late 2021 over what the Kingdom later said was arch-foe Hezbollah’s dominance of the Lebanese state.

The ambassadors returned in the spring of 2022.

Nasrallah said on Friday his party was also happy to see increased Arab engagement with Syria’s government following the devastating February 6 earthquakes that left thousands dead in neighboring Syria.

Syria has been largely isolated by the Arab world following its crackdown against protests more than a decade ago but its President Bashar al-Assad has seen an outpouring of support from Arab states following the quakes.

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