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“Hezbollah chief poisoned; Iranian doctors saved his life”

In a report posted this morning on the Iraqi news website Almalaf, diplomatic sources in Beirut are quoted as saying that Hezbollah supreme leader Hassan Nasrallah was poisoned with a deadly chemical last week and that his life was saved by Iranian doctors who were rushed to Lebanon to treat him.

Nasrallah’s medical condition was apparently critical for a number of days, according to the report, but he is now stable.

Bear Hug Hezbollah leader

Almalaf claimed that the sources believed it was “highly likely that the poisoning was an Israeli assassination attempt.” In fact Hezbollah is more hated in Lebanon than in Israel, and any assassination attempt could have stemmed from the many enemies Nasrallah has in Lebanon.

Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shia militia which is under the de facto control of the Iranian regime, has denied the report. (In Arabic here; in English here.) But that would not explain why on Monday, the Iranian newspaper Khoursid suddenly reported that Nasrallah’s cousin, Safi al-Din, had been elected to take over Hezbollah in the event that “the Zionists succeed in assassinating Hassan Nasrallah.”

FBI file photo

Nasrallah’s second-in-command Imad Mughniyah (above, in an FBI file photo) was assassinated in February in a bomb blast in Damascus, shortly after he had left Syrian intelligence headquarters. (See: He’s not quite Osama Bin Laden… But he almost is ; and Robert Fisk compares master terrorist Mughniyeh with President Bush.)

Tom GrossTom Gross is a former Middle East correspondent for the London Sunday Telegraph and the New York Daily News.


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