NNA - Progressive Socialist Party leader, Walid Jumblatt, on Tuesday reiterated his post-Beirut Port blast accusation that the 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrates were brought to Beirut to be used in striking Syrian cities and villages instead of chemical weapons, which in 2014, were forbidden to be used by the Assad regime after an agreement between former US President, Barack Obama, and Russian President, Vladimir Putin.
“Ammonium nitrates were believed to be an alternative to chemical weapons’ destruction, and they were brought to Lebanon from an unknown source,” Jumblatt said. “That is why we demand the continuation of Beirut Port blast’s probe,” he insisted.
In an interview with "LBC", Jumlatt added, “I still accuse the Syrian regime, which is what I did after the assassination of Rafik Hariri. I accused the regime, and I still do," he said.
“I want to know who brought these materials that have caused this massive destruction to Beirut and caused the death of hundreds. Some could say that Israel or others did it, but we want to investigate the matter and find out who had brought these materials, as well as the involvement of Lebanese allies to the Syrian regime,” Jumblatt said.
Commenting on the Lebanese judiciary’s integrity, Jumblatt said, “It is not permissible for Hassan Nasrallah - with all my love for him - to dictate upon us in his latest speech to shift from the explosion investigation phase to the compensation phase; as if he was trying to say that Beirut has been destroyed and the victims have been killed, so we might as well move on to the compensation phase through insurance companies. This stance will not do Sayyed Nasrallah any good on the moralistic level. It’s only an advice.”
As for resorting to the international judiciary to investigate Beirut blast, Jumblatt pointed out that this was an "available" option. “But what’s required most is to lift the threat and guardianship away from the Lebanese judiciary. It is not permissible for the Lebanese judiciary to be destroyed for the interests of some politicians.”
Moreover, Jumblatt went on to wonder whether Lebanon’s entity was still recognized. “Has Lebanon become a mere geographical area that carries missiles for the Islamic Republic? This is the biggest and most important question.”
Touching on the simmering cabinet formation talks, Jumblatt said that PM-designate Saad Hariri was still the leader of Muslim Sunnis, “whether people liked it or not.”
He continued to say that if Lebanon had a sovereign decision, it could remedy the situation.
“But we do not have anything. On the post blast agenda was the topic of reform, and it was about one main point: The Ministry of Energy; however, we haven’t been able to make any progress for the last three years. Then came French President Emmanuel Macron and proposed restructuring Lebanese banks, but we remain in our place without any progress. It is not proposed to reform the political system at this moment, but to form a government that can implement the minimum level of reform,” he explained.
Jumblatt went on to say that FPM Leader, Gebran Bassil, “has taken over the entire country (...) his party is an abolitionist political one that aims to annul Nabih Berri, Walid Jumblatt, Saad Hariri, Samir Geagea, and everyone else.”
Regarding parliamentary elections, Jumblatt ruled out any attempt to postpone them, but expected each political team to try to improve its conditions to garner the biggest number of votes.
On the internationalization of the Lebanese situation, the PSP leader said, “Since Iran is present, Russia is present, Turkey is present, the US is present, France is present, and we can add Saudi Arabia and Qatar; the only question remains is whether the Lebanese entity is still viable or has become a thing of the past — a hundred years after the establishment of the Greater Lebanon?”
Whether he was afraid that Lebanon would be a victim of the US enthusiasm to open a new page with Iran, he saw that US President Joe Biden's team looked at the bigger picture in the region. “For the sake of major countries, states and smaller entities are sometimes erased, faded, or forgotten, and here we ask, is there an agreement among the US and surrounding countries to preserve the 100-year-old entity of Lebanon?”
As for Patriarch Bechara Al-Rahi’s increasing calls for neutrality, Jumblatt said: “Rahi has been calling for neutrality for the sake of the Lebanese entity; he did not call for neutrality for the sake of the Lebanese Christians, thus, we meet the Patriarch at an almost equal distance. But, we do not want to wind up being a bargaining chip for negotiations at the table of superpower countries like Iran, the US, and others,” the PSP leader added.
Jumblatt finally asserted that he was ready and willing to undergo any trial, but not by a political team.
“I have conducted a self-review, and I am ready to undertake a public one, but are others willing to do the same?” he concluded.