The resignation of Lebanon’s Prime Minister means it is now in fact run by Hezbollah and is an Iranian base threatening Israel, Sunni Arabs and the entire Mediterranean region
The resignation of Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri is earth-shattering even by Middle Eastern standards. Since the Islamist Revolution in 1979, Iran has played a high-stake double game with the world, unconvincingly denying its hegemonic and nuclear aggression. On November 4, Hariri dropped a bombshell that unmasked the Iranian emperor’s not so new clothes: naked aggression.
Mr. Hariri who is hardly a friend of Israel, confirmed what Israel has been warning about for years: Iran’s terror-regime has imperialist ambitions in the Middle East and uses aggression through proxies like the terrorist organization Hezbollah to achieve this goal.
Hariri did not mince his words in his live statement on the Saudi TV channel Al-Arabiyah:
“Over previous decades, Hezbollah was able to impose a reality in Lebanon with the power of its weapons, which it claims is the (anti-Israel) resistance’s weapons, which are aimed at the chests of our Syrian and Yemeni brothers, not to mention the Lebanese.”
Hariri’s blunt statement puts to rest those in the West who have claimed that a unity Lebanese government that includes Hezbollah, is good for Lebanese and Middle Eastern stability. In reality, Hariri has reluctantly served as a fig leaf for the real master in Lebanon: Iran and its local terror proxy Hezbollah. The resigned Lebanese Prime Minister, who blames Iran and her proxies for murdering his father Rafic Hariri in 2005, says that he himself escaped an assassination plot.
Like the former dictators Saddam Hussein of Iraq and Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, the Iranian Islamist regime has aggressive imperial ambitions. Unlike the former despots, Iran’s regime has carefully masked its aggression by letting proxies do the dirty work for Teheran.
An informal Iranian-led Shiite empire is emerging, stretching from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Ocean. In fact, Iran’s regime is the spider behind a terror web that is threatening much of the Middle East and beyond. Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza, Assad in Syria, Iraq’s regime and the Houthis in Yemen all take orders from Iran. A ballistic missile was recently fired from Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen and travelled 800 kilometers before being intercepted near the airport of Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh.
Lebanon is now beyond any doubt a Hezbollah state and serves as an Iranian Mediterranean base threatening Israel, Sunni Arabs and the greater Mediterranean region. Should a future war erupt between Hezbollah and Israel, it will be no longer possible for Western liberals to demand that Israel makes a non-existing distinction between Lebanon and Hezbollah.
Syria’s discredited despot Bashar al-Assad who Western experts recently believed was finished, appears as the winner in the bloody Syrian war due to massive support from Hezbollah, Iran and Russia.
The pro-Western Kurds who fight ISIS, are once again abandoned by the West. Kurdistan overwhelmingly voted for independence from Iraq but got the cold shoulder from the West. The Iranian-controlled Baghdad regime is in the process of crushing the Kurdish people’s long quest for national freedom.
While the international community is obsessing about how many balconies Jews build in Judea, Israel is threatened by Iran’s proxies Hezbollah and Assad in the north and Gaza-based Hamas in the south. Those who push for unilateral Israeli concessions and territorial withdrawals are detached from the harsh Middle Eastern reality. Whatever territory Israel vacates ends up under Islamist control. It happened in southern Lebanon, in Gaza and could also happen in Judea and Samaria. Just like Hariri in Lebanon, the aging Mahmoud Abbas will likely become a fig leaf for a Hamas-controlled “unity” Fatah-Hamas regime that openly seeks Israel’s destruction.
When will Israel’s Western critics realize that negotiating with Norway and Switzerland is not the same thing as with Hezbollah, Hamas or even “moderate” Fatah?
Following the failed Arab Spring that quickly morphed into the aggressive Islamist Winter, no serious Middle East commentator can anymore cling to the discredited old myth of blaming all Middle Eastern problems on Israel. In fact, the Arab-Israeli conflict is merely a sideshow to the main Middle Eastern conflict between Arab Sunni Islam and Iranian-led Shia Islam.
Iran’s aggression has led to the formation of an unlikely tacit cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Israel. Saudi Arabia is a fundamentalist Sunni state, which officially does not recognize the Jewish state and cannot be accused of being a friend of the Jews. It is not often that Israelis and Arabs agree on something so when it happens, the world should pay attention. The Saudis feel threatened by Iran and abandoned by the West. Riyadh is therefore approaching the only local power with the willpower and capability to stop Iran’s aggression: Israel.
However, just like North Korea, Iran is a global threat that should concern the Americans and the Europeans no less than Israel and Sunni Arab states. Unlike cash-strapped North Korea, Iran’s terror coffers have been filled with billions of dollars by the former US President Barack Obama and shortsighted business-greedy Western states. Unlike a nuclear-armed North Korea, there is still time to stop the Iranian aggression before it goes nuclear.
Daniel Kryger is a writer and a political analyst. He lives in Israel.
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