Official: Hezbollah Committed to Creating Islamic Republic in Lebanon Modeled After Iran
A senior Hezbollah official said last week that his organization remains committed to transforming Lebanon into an Islamic republic, modeled after the regime in Tehran.
In an interview with pro-Iranian Al-Mayadeen News, Deputy Secretary-General Naim Qassem called it a “doctrinal and cultural imperative” to replace the secular Lebanese state with the Shiite Islamic system envisioned and created by Iran’s late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, since “Islam is the solution to all of man’s problems, in all places and at all times.”
Hezbollah first declared this as a goal in its 1985 manifesto (also referred to as the “open letter), which detailed the organization’s ideology and objectives. But its subsequent participation in Lebanon’s political system – and a lack of Islamist rhetoric in its updated manifesto of 2009 — caused speculation as to whether the group had moderated.
Commenting on the later document, Qassem told Al-Mayadeen that it was merely an appendix to the “Open Letter,” with updates in minor details, and did not constitute a shift in Hezbollah’s beliefs or positions, including its commitment to an Islamic Lebanon.