Lebanon: Hassan Nasrallah's son rejects reports Hezbollah chief is severely unwell

Leader of Iran-backed group cancelled speech last Friday after contracting the flu

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The son of Hassan Nasrallah, the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, has rubbished reports that his father is severely unwell amid claims he had suffered a stroke or was on a ventilator.

A speech due to be given by the head of the Iran-backed armed group and political party, which holds significant power in Lebanon, was cancelled last Friday.

Mr Nasrallah had the flu, but would next speak on Tuesday to commemorate the third anniversary of the assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, Hezbollah said at the time.

Citing Lebanese and Saudi media, the Jerusalem Post had reported on Sunday that Mr Nasrallah, 62, had suffered a stroke and was in intensive care.

But on Sunday, Jawad Nasrallah said he had spoken to his father half an hour ago. He was responding to a separate Israeli media report that said Hassan Nasrallah was in a critical health situation with the flu or Covid-19 and was unconscious and on a respirator.

Israel and Hezbollah are sworn enemies who have engaged in conflict before, including a month-long war in 2006.

IRNA, Iran’s state news agency, reported that Mr Nasrallah “enjoys good health conditions and passing through the post-Influenza recovery procedure”.

“The voice of Secretary General was not appropriate for giving a lecture on Friday night,” IRNA reported, citing an anonymous source.

Lebanon and Israel remain technically in a state of war, and do not recognise each other.

Soleimani was the highly influential leader of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force, and was assassinated by a US drone strike in Baghdad.

He had close ties with Hezbollah, and a statue of Soleimani was erected in south Beirut in his honour after his death.

Updated: January 02, 2023, 1:50 PM
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