Geagea: Hezbollah, ISIS ‘two sides of the same coin’
The Daily Star/Feb. 15, 2015
BEIRUT: Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea told a Saudi daily that Hezbollah and ISIS are “two sides of the same coin,” and criticized Iran for spreading Islamism and preventing his election as president. “Hezbollah is one face of political Islam, and its mere existence has pushed many to adopt terrorism,” Geagea told the Saudi newspaper Al-Arab in comments published Sunday. “Hezbollah and ISIS are two sides of the same coin, which is political Islam. The existence of one of them nurtures the other… even if the two are at war.”
Geagea also slammed Iran for being “one of the largest symbols of political Islam,” blaming the country for the rise of Islamism and fundamentalism. “It inspired others to adopt Islamism, and its behavior in the region has pushed all kinds of radicalism and extremism to the maximum,” he said, referring to Iran. “And this is what led to the emergence of ISIS and other extremist groups.”
The Maronite leader also criticized Iran for working against his presidential candidacy. He said Iran did not want him to become president, as that would weaken the country’s influence in Lebanon.
Geagea, on the other hand, praised Saudi Arabia for its constructive role in Lebanon, saying the kingdom’s only goal is to protect Lebanon’s political institutions, economy and stability.
He said the gulf country “does not interfere in Lebanese politics, especially in the presidential elections matter” despite the help it provides to Lebanon.
“The kingdom also considers me a fundamentally patriotic Lebanese politician who does whatever he can to move Lebanon from where it is to a more stable situation,” he said.
Lebanon has been without president since May 2014, when former President Michel Sleiman left office at the end of his term.