Britain confirms Iran, Syria continue to arm Hizballah

Sunday, November 12, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett revealed during a discussion in the British Parliament that Iran is continuing to transfer weapons, money, and manpower from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to Hizballah in Lebanon.

Beckett said that Syria is also involved in the transfer of weapons directly to Hizballah and as such is helping to transfer funds and weapons from Iran to Hizballah. According to Beckett, this support encourages extremism, endangers regional stability and the peace process. “Syria and Iran must stop the assistance to Hizballah and the intervention in the internal issues of Lebanon,” the secretary said.

In answer to a question posed by Shadow Foreign Secretary of the Conservative Party, Beckett said that Prime Minister Blair has spoken with Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and discussed the subject of disarming the armed militias in Lebanon. Beckett also said that Britain is committed to fully implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1701.

At the same time, Britain has recently allowed two top Hamas officials to visit London recently despite Hamas being on the EU terror list, but did not meet with any government officials

The two officials, Ahmad Yousef, an advisor to the Palestinian Prime Minister, and Sid Abu Masamkh, a Hamas parliament representative, were invited by a non-governmental organization to speak in London. During the visit, the two promoted the image of Hamas and portrayed it as a moderate, peace-loving movement and also tried to persuade Britain to withdraw the international sanctions against Hamas.

During the visit, Ahmad Yousef gave an interview to the Guardian newspaper and published a column in the New York Times where he suggested a 10-year ceasefire (hudna) with Israel where each side will completely refrain from aggression or provocation against each other. The ceasefire will be given in return for a complete end to the occupation where both sides could live in peace and negotiate important issues such as the right of return for refugees and the release of prisoners.

According to Yousef, if this negotiation will fail to achieve a viable agreement, the next generation will be the one to decide if to renew the ceasefire and the efforts to negotiate for peace.

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