Hezbollah lawmaker storms Lebanese police station, ‘shoots son-in-law’

Hezbollah MP Nawaf Musawi was once suspended from Parliament for two months due to his erratic behavior. (NNA)
Updated 15 July 2019

Hezbollah lawmaker storms Lebanese police station, ‘shoots son-in-law’

  • Musawi explained that his son-in-law attacked his daughter Ghadeer and shouted insults at her

BEIRUT: Hezbollah Member of Parliament Nawaf Musawi led a group storming an Internal Security Forces (ISF) station in Damour on Saturday night and shot a young man inside the station, the National News Agency (NNA) reported.

The victim, who is from the Mokdad family, is Musawi’s son-in-law and is in dispute with his ex-wife, Musawi’s daughter Ghadeer.
Musawi stormed the police station with 30 people, who included his brother, the director of his bureau, and several other relatives. There were two members of the security forces in the police station and, according to the NNA, Musawi shot the young man with a service revolver, wounding his hand. Musawi’s brother stabbed the young man twice in the thigh. The group intimidated the officers inside the police station, preventing them from intervening.
The incident was caused by former disagreements between Mokdad and his ex-wife over the custody of their children. Mokdad had chased his ex-wife and her sister in Damour and accosted them.
A video taken by Ghadeer’s sister during the chase went viral, and her screams could be heard as she called for her father. The video also showed Mokdad shouting insults at his ex-wife and threatening her and her sister for recording the incident. A telegram sent by the commander of the Damour platoon, Col. Joseph Ghannoum, to the director general of the ISF explained that Musawi’s daughter and her ex-husband quarrelled on the highway between Damour and Sidon over the right to see their children. They were then escorted by a patrol to the Damour police station. The telegram said: “At the beginning of the investigation, four men arrived at the police station and attacked the ex-husband of Musawi’s daughter with a screwdriver, severely injuring his leg and prompting the police to arrest two of them while the others managed to escape.”
“After the station’s main gate was closed, MP Nawaf Musawi arrived with 20 armed men, but a police officer denied them entry and tried to calm Musawi, who was furious.”
According to the telegram, “while first aid was administered to the wounded man, unknown individuals opened fire from outside the station at the chief’s office, wounding Mokdad in the wrist and causing heavy bleeding. After that, MP Musawi left to an unknown destination.” Musawi denied reports that he had shot a man from the Mokdad family and said to the NTV channel: “These are all lies.”
Musawi explained that his son-in-law attacked his daughter Ghadeer and shouted insults at her. He added: “No one hit him with a screwdriver nor shot him. I came to take my daughter from the station’s yard.
“This is my daughter and I want to protect her. She is the world to me. Her ex-husband won’t leave us alone, and we have been patient with him.” He also accused Mokdad of acting aggressively inside the station. The incident sparked reactions on social media.

FASTFACT

Hezbollah MP Nawaf Musawi is known for his irritability. Last February, there had been some tense disagreements between him and MPs Sami and Nadim Gemayel during a public meeting of Parliament.

Former Minister Ashraf Rifi said: “When a Member of Parliament and his guards storm an ISF station by force and attempt to kill someone, does this not undermine the state’s security and require the case to be referred to the judicial council?”
Former MP Faris Saeed said: “MP Musawi’s attack in the police station deserves to be referred to the judicial council because it is an assault against security forces.”
Activist Diana Moukalled said on Twitter: “The daughter of the Hezbollah MP is waging a battle over the custody of her children under unfair personal status laws and in the shadow of a party that stands firmly against the amendment of these laws. Musawi resorted to arms and force to defend his daughter. This tale is filled with amazing paradoxes in relation to the political, legal and security situation in Lebanon.”
Musawi is known for his irritability. Last February, there had been some tense disagreements between him and MPs Sami and Nadim Gemayel during a public meeting of Parliament.
After Sami Gemayel criticized Hezbollah and said “Hezbollah has brought President Michel Aoun to Baabda,” Musawi interjected and said: “It is honorable for Aoun to reach office with the support of the resistance’s rifle, while others had arrived on an Israeli tank,” referring to President Bachir Gemayel.
MP Nadim Gemayel joined the quarrel and said: “You greeted the Israeli army with rice when they entered Lebanon.” Musawi replied: “You are no bigger than an Israeli tank that can be destroyed with a Kornet missile.”
At the time, the Hezbollah leadership decided to suspend Musawi from Parliament for two months.

Journalist Dima Sadek said: “A question for the MP’s parliamentary bloc: Wouldn’t it have been better for you to enact personal status laws that offer adequate redress to women instead of standing—alongside others—against amending them? Are you happy with the alternative law of the jungle that you have contributed to enacting?”
Musawi supporters defended him on Twitter. MP Jamil Al-Sayyed said: “Regardless of the evaluation of MP Musawi’s conduct, he is a father after all. What was done to his daughter on the highway by her ex-husband put her in danger, and no father can bear this.”


Iran threatens to leave global nuclear treaty if Europeans send JCPOA case goes to UN

Updated 23 min 56 sec ago

Iran threatens to leave global nuclear treaty if Europeans send JCPOA case goes to UN

  • The fate of the 2015 pact has been in doubt since US President Donald Trump pulled the United States out
  • The only country ever to declare its withdrawal from the NPT was North Korea

LONDON: Iran said on Monday it could quit the global nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) if European countries refer it to the UN Security Council over a nuclear agreement, a move that would overturn diplomacy in its confrontation with the West.
The 1968 NPT has been the foundation of global nuclear arms control since the Cold War, including a 2015 deal Iran signed with world powers that offered it access to global trade in return for accepting curbs to its atomic program.
Britain, France and Germany declared Iran in violation of the 2015 pact last week and have launched a dispute mechanism that could eventually see the matter referred back to the Security Council and the reimposition of UN sanctions.
“If the Europeans continue their improper behavior or send Iran’s file to the Security Council, we will withdraw from the NPT,” Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said, according to comments carried by IRNA and other Iranian news agencies.
He also said Iran could take other steps before withdrawing from the NPT, although he did not specify them.
The fate of the 2015 pact has been in doubt since US President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of it and reimposed sanctions. Iran has responded by scaling back its commitments, although it says it wants the pact to survive.
The nuclear dispute has been at the heart of an escalation between Washington and Tehran which blew up into military confrontation in recent weeks.
The 190-member NPT bans signatories other than the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France from acquiring nuclear weapons, in return for allowing them to pursue peaceful nuclear programs for power generation, overseen by the United Nations.
The only country ever to declare its withdrawal from the NPT was North Korea, which expelled nuclear inspectors and openly tested atomic weapons. Nuclear-armed India and Pakistan never signed up, nor did Israel, which does not say whether it has nuclear weapons but is widely presumed to have them.
The West has long accused Iran of seeking to develop nuclear arms. Tehran denies this and says its goal is to master the whole process of generating electricity from nuclear energy.
A steady escalation over Iran’s nuclear plans flared into tit-for-tat military action this month, with Trump ordering a drone strike that killed a top Iranian general, prompting Iran to fire missiles at US targets in Iraq. During a state of alert, Iran shot down a Ukrainian airliner in error.
Amid that escalation — one of the biggest since Iran’s 1979 revolution — Tehran has faced mounting pressure from European states which say they want to save the 2015 nuclear deal. They have also indicated a readiness to back Trump’s call for a broader deal with Iran that goes beyond its nuclear plans.
“Despite the ill will that we see from some European countries the door of negotiations with them has not been closed and the ball is in the court of these countries,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said.
But he also told a news conference: “I don’t think Iran is ready to negotiate under the conditions they have in mind.”
Since Washington withdrew from the deal, Trump began a policy of “maximum pressure”, saying a broader deal should be negotiated on nuclear issues, Iran’s missile program and Iranian activities in the Middle East.
US sanctions have crippled Iran’s economy, slashing its oil exports. Iran has long said it would not negotiate with Washington while sanctions are in place.
Tehran has repeatedly held talks with European officials to find ways to keep the nuclear agreement alive, but has blamed the Europeans for failing to guarantee economic benefits that Iran was meant to receive in return for curbing nuclear work.
“The European powers’ claims about Iran violating the deal are unfounded,” Mousavi said. “Whether Iran will further decrease its nuclear commitments will depend on other parties and whether Iran’s interests are secured under the deal.”
In a report on a parliamentary website, Iran’s foreign minister said steps to scale back its commitments under the nuclear deal were now over.
Britain has said a “Trump deal” could replace the 2015 deal, and France has called for broad talks to end the crisis.
Iran says it cannot negotiate with Trump, who broke promises by repudiating the deal reached under his predecessor Barack Obama. Mousavi repeated Iran’s rejection of a “Trump deal”.
“The fact that a person’s name is put on an agreement shows they’re not familiar with the conditions. An agreement with a person doesn’t mean anything,” he said.