November 2, 2023 | Flash Brief

Hezbollah’s Nasrallah to Deliver Friday Speech

November 2, 2023 | Flash Brief

Hezbollah’s Nasrallah to Deliver Friday Speech

Latest Developments

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah is scheduled to deliver a speech on November 3, his first public address since Hamas’s terrorist attack on October 7. Nasrallah is due to speak during a ceremony honoring the “martyrs who died on the road to Jerusalem,” according to pro-Hezbollah news outlet Al Mayadeen. The speech could prefigure an escalation by the Iran-backed terrorist group along Israel’s northern border.

At a press briefing on October 31, U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby warned against escalation by “any actor, including Hezbollah, who may want to widen the conflict.” Kirby said the Biden administration will “certainly be paying close attention” to Nasrallah’s speech.

Expert Analysis

“Nasrallah is more dangerous when he is quiet and less so when he sounds like another crazed Islamist. He knows that a decision to significantly escalate violence against Israel will lead to his death, the destruction of thousands of his fighters and missiles, and the enduring hatred of the Lebanese people. His boss, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, knows that he will lose his most deadly proxy and, with that, his nuclear weapons program and perhaps his regime. Both terrorists need to be careful that their fiery rhetoric doesn’t lead to a process that results in their demise.” —Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“This crisis has revealed the murderous nature of the Iranian axis and the extent to which the axis is willing to subject civilians to abject misery. Nasrallah must be made to understand that thrusting the Middle East into a regional war will result in disaster for him, the Iranian regime, and the region. America and Israel must make sure he gets the message before he takes the stage on Friday.” Jonathan Schanzer, FDD Senior Vice President for Research

Hezbollah Activity Since October 7

Hezbollah began conducting small-scale attacks against Israel from Lebanon almost immediately after October 7. In response to Hezbollah’s provocations, Israel has evacuated more than 40 northern border communities, including the city of Kiryat Shmona. At present, Hezbollah appears to be conducting limited operations instead of initiating a full-blown conflict with Israel. The Hezbollah fighters killed in recent Israeli counterattacks do not appear to hold high-ranking positions within the military hierarchy, implying that the group has not suffered a substantial blow from the casualties it has sustained.

Hezbollah’s Military Capabilities

Under Iran’s patronage, Hezbollah expanded its military capabilities since it last fought Israel in a 34-day war in 2006. Hezbollah possesses approximately 150,000 rockets and missiles, including hundreds of precision-guided munitions that can strike targets in Israel with lethal accuracy. A large barrage of Hezbollah rockets could overwhelm Israeli air defense systems as they continue to combat rocket fire from Gaza.

The U.S. State Department reports that Tehran provides Hezbollah “with the bulk of the group’s annual operating budget, an allocation estimated in recent years to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Nasrallah’s Big Speech,” by Jonathan Schanzer

Prepare for an Iranian Escalation,” by Reuel Marc Gerecht and Ray Takeyh

Hezbollah Introduces New Missiles into Conflict with Israel,” FDD Flash Brief

Israel Strikes Hezbollah Cells in Lebanon,” FDD Flash Brief


Hezbollah Iran Iran Global Threat Network Israel Israel at War Lebanon