Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah says the United States under President George W Bush offered his group reconciliation and money on the condition the Lebanese movement relinquish its resistance to Israel.
In a televised speech on Sunday, Nasrallah said the offer, made by former Vice President Dick Cheney, also included removing the group from international terror watch lists and funding to help rebuild southern Lebanon.
He added that the offer was made through George Nader, a controversy-stricken US businessman of Lebanese origin.
“We thought he was a Lebanese journalist, but he turned out to be an American citizen with a message from Dick Cheney”, Nasrallah said.
The Hezbollah leader said the offer came on the condition that his movement enhances security cooperation with the US and cease its resistance to Israel.
Nasrallah at first did not mention Nader by name but insisted his identity be revealed so as to prove the veracity of his claim.
“The reason why I want to give the name is to give credibility to my statement because with all the scandals and investigations taking place in America nowadays, this name’s being cited in the media over what’s happening between Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, the Americans and Trump.
“It is the American journalist of Lebanese origin living in America, George Nader,” Nasrallah said.
An adviser to the UAE’s crown prince Mohamed bin Zayed (or MBZ by his initials), Nader has been caught in a media sandstorm following reports he had sought to buy influence in President Donald Trump’s White House to advance the Emirati foreign policy agenda, notably in the ongoing Gulf crisis.
Nader, who has been interrogated by investigators as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, was allegedly present at a December 2016 meeting between MBZ and senior Trump advisers Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner.