Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah
Hezbollah chief Hassan NasrallahAFP photo

The head of the Lebanon-based Hezbollah terror group, Hassan Nasrallah, on Wednesday warned that the Middle East would be plunged into war if no agreement is reached between world powers and Iran over its nuclear program.

As usual, he blamed Israel for the lack of progress in talks with Iran, saying that the Jewish state was trying to push the Middle East into a war.

“The alternative to an agreement [on Iran’s nuclear program] is a regional war,” Nasrallah said in a speech delivered in a rare public appearance in Beirut’s Dahiyeh district, reported the NOW Lebanon website.

“[Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu is angry and is attempting everything in his power to prevent a deal from taking place… he even called for the help of his Arab partners," Nasrallah said, referring to several warnings by Netanyahu that a deal allowing some sanction relief for Iran would be a mistake.

“Israel wants a war in the region… it wants the U.S. to strike Syria and attack Iran,” he charged, according to NOW Lebanon.

Nasrallah also condemned Arab powers, a reference to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states aligned against Hezbollah, for backing Israel’s diplomatic efforts to stymie a deal over Iran’s nuclear program.

“Unfortunately, Netanyahu has become a spokesperson for some Arab states,” he said, referring to Netanyahu’s statement this week that “when you have the Arabs and Israelis speaking in one voice…  I think it is worth paying attention to.”

Saudi Arabia supports the rebels trying to oust Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad while Hezbollah has been heavily involved in the Syrian civil on the side of Assad’s troops.

Nasrallah also denied that any nuclear agreement between Tehran and the P5+1 powers would lead Iran to abandon Hezbollah in a quid-pro-quo deal, reiterating that his group has full trust in the backing of both its Iranian and Syrian allies.

Hezbollah has faced heavy criticism from within and without over its involvement in Syria, where it has sustained heavy losses in fighting alongside Assad’s army.

The group has also faced recent challenges in southern Lebanon. In September, Christian villagers successfully protested an attempt by Hezbollah to wiretap their town. Later that month the Lebanese government announced that it would send the national army to secure Hezbollah-dominated suburbs – effectively limiting Hezbollah’s power in its traditional strongholds.