Nasrallah poisoned?

HAITHAM MUSSAWI/AFP/Getty Images Take this with a grain of, um, arsenic, but the Iraqi Web site al-Malaf reported today that Hassan Nasrallah was poisoned last week, prompting a team of Iranian doctors to rush to Lebanon in order to save his life. The Hezbollah leader was reportedly in critical condition for a number of days ...

591924_081022_nasrallah2.jpg
591924_081022_nasrallah2.jpg

HAITHAM MUSSAWI/AFP/Getty Images

Take this with a grain of, um, arsenic, but the Iraqi Web site al-Malaf reported today that Hassan Nasrallah was poisoned last week, prompting a team of Iranian doctors to rush to Lebanon in order to save his life. The Hezbollah leader was reportedly in critical condition for a number of days before pulling through. The article quotes "diplomatic sources in Beirut" as confirming this report. But Hezbollah MP Hussein al-Hajj Hassan denounced the rumor as "a lie and a fabrication," though he admitted he had not seen Nasrallah during the past week.

Last week, the Iranian newspaper Khoursid reported that the Hezbollah leadership had chosen the head of the party's executive council, Hachem Safieddine, as Nasrallah's successor. While Hezbollah denied this story as well, some people will no doubt draw a connection between the succession chatter and rumors of Nasrallah being gravely ill. There aren't any verifiable facts in either of these pieces to draw definite conclusions. But, given Hezbollah's opaque organizational politics, those of us on the outside are often forced to sift through rumors and innuendo.

HAITHAM MUSSAWI/AFP/Getty Images

Take this with a grain of, um, arsenic, but the Iraqi Web site al-Malaf reported today that Hassan Nasrallah was poisoned last week, prompting a team of Iranian doctors to rush to Lebanon in order to save his life. The Hezbollah leader was reportedly in critical condition for a number of days before pulling through. The article quotes “diplomatic sources in Beirut” as confirming this report. But Hezbollah MP Hussein al-Hajj Hassan denounced the rumor as “a lie and a fabrication,” though he admitted he had not seen Nasrallah during the past week.

Last week, the Iranian newspaper Khoursid reported that the Hezbollah leadership had chosen the head of the party’s executive council, Hachem Safieddine, as Nasrallah’s successor. While Hezbollah denied this story as well, some people will no doubt draw a connection between the succession chatter and rumors of Nasrallah being gravely ill. There aren’t any verifiable facts in either of these pieces to draw definite conclusions. But, given Hezbollah’s opaque organizational politics, those of us on the outside are often forced to sift through rumors and innuendo.

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