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Lebanon Crisis Being Blamed on Iran, According to Former Prime Minister

Sunday, November 19, 2017 8:40
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Hezbollah is now dominating Lebanon politically, creating a crisis for the country as this Iranian backed militia is taking over the Lebanese government. According to the former Lebanon Prime Minister, Saad Hariri, it is Hezbollah and Iran that are the cause of the country’s political crisis and his own resignation.

“I am not against Hezbollah as a political party but it should not be the cause of the destruction of Lebanon,” said Hariri. He has indicated that he is willing to return to the country and withdraw his resignation if Hezbollah will respect the country’s policy of staying out of regional conflicts. With the backing of Iran, Hezbollah has been active in various areas throughout the Middle East.

Hariri quit on November 4 in Riyadh, indicating that he feared for his life in his own country. His aim was to draw attention to the dangers the country was facing.

“Iran must stop meddling in the affairs of Arab countries and we refuse to be taken by Iran to an axis against Arab countries. I will not be drawn to building relations with the Syrian regime, which does not want me. Things have to be straightened out to keep Lebanon away from regional conflicts,” said Hariri. “I wish we could fight corruption in Lebanon like Saudi Arabia is doing, but fighting corruption in Saudi Arabia is an internal affair that we have nothing to do with. I have not been subjected to any questioning in the context of the campaign in Saudi Arabia.”

In his first public statement, sent to The Associated Press, Bahaa Hariri, the Prime Minister’s brother, blasted Iran and accused its militant Lebanese proxy of seeking “to take control of Lebanon.” He also expressed gratitude to Saudi Arabia for “decades of support” for Lebanon’s national institutions.

Currently, the Lebanese president has refused to accept the resignation of Hariri until he returns to Lebanon to explain the circumstances surrounding his decision. Hariri has been the head of a coalition that includes Hezbollah for over a year and it seems to have been difficult to rein in the militia group.

The brothers have called Hezbollah Iran’s surrogate party and have both indicated that it is important to not cave into the demands of the militia. Others have accused Saudi Arabia of influencing the resignation of Hariri. Top Lebanese officials believe Saudi Arabia forced the resignation on Hariri, a dual Lebanese-Saudi national, and is holding him in the kingdom against his will.

Others throughout the international community have also seen the influence of Iran in Lebanon and indicated that the stability of the Middle East is based on limiting Iran’s influence within Lebanon and other countries throughout the region.

The French Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Agnes Romatet-Espagne, said, “We wish that all those who exert an influence in Lebanon allow all the political actors in this country to exercise fully their responsibilities. Mr. Saad al-Hariri called on Iran yesterday to not interfere in the affairs of Lebanon and its neighbors. We believe that this is an important condition for the stability of the region.”

She also suggested that new sanctions on Iran’s ballistic missile program could be imposed if needed to curb Iran’s influence in Lebanon. This method has come onto the table as the mullahs’ regime has rejected a call by French President Emmanuel Macron to start talks about the program.

“As you know, the European Union has already placed sanctions on Iranian entities involved in the ballistic program. If needed, new sanctions could be taken,” said Romatet-Espagne.

The examples of Iran’s influence throughout the region are not limited to Lebanon. Saudi Arabia and its Middle Eastern allies have accused the Iranian regime of supplying weapons to the Houthi rebels in Yemen, noting that the terrorist group did not have access to this weaponry when the conflict originally started. The Houthis also did not have the ability or space to build these weapons.

The White House accused Iran, on Tuesday, November 7, of also arming the Houthis with a missile that was fired at Saudi Arabia in July. Nikki Hayley, the US ambassador to the UN, called on the global body to hold the Regime accountable for violating two UN Security Council resolutions.

Iran’s influence has also spread to Iraq and Syria, but Bahrain has indicated that they have been fighting off encroachment by Iran as well. The regime’s focus is expanding its power base beyond Iran, but it comes at a cost for the Iranian people, who must be the ones to pay for it.

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