In danger: Lebanon could be the theatre for the next war between Saudi Arabia and Iran

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Published in the HuffPost France the 8th of November 2017

Rumors are circulating in Beyrouth about Saad Hariri’s resignation as Prime Minister before canceling his retreat from politics and going into exile in France.

LEBANON-SAUDI-POLITICSEveryone commented on Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s “purge” last week of the Saudi Kingdom’s royal family and senior security officials.

I have already written about the departure of Prime Minister Hariri from his hometown Riyadh, which could not be a coincidence.

The following days saw multiple declarations, some more worrying than the others.

Mr. Nasrallah, an emblematic figure of the Lebanese Hezbollah, was the first to condemn Hariri’s scripted resignation designed by Mohammed Bin Salman. Nasrallah claimed it undermining the sovereignty of Lebanon. This was followed by the other leaders of the region expressing their concerns.

This reinstates a fear that Lebanon will be destabilized again, as it has been in many times in the past, due to neighboring countries using Lebanon as a battleground to sort out their own differences.

And this is what the future holds.

Multiple public statements of Saudi officials, claiming that Lebanon had declared war on the Saudi Arabia which pleases no-one.

The alleged declaration is surreal. How could a country that has barely recovered from months of instability and was shocked by the resignation of its iconic Prime Minister, think of declaring war on Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia, a friend who last year must have contributed hundreds of millions financially to Lebanon’s military equipment, now frozen because Saad Hariri’s policy was considered too soft on to Hezbollah.

All this makes no sense unless one considers Lebanon as a Shia proxy for Iran.

Iran, the country which is arming Yemen’s Houtis seeking to build up Hezbollah on the borders of the Saudi Kingdom. Iran the country which is arming the Shiite minorities (who are in fact the majority) in the Kingdom of Bahrain and provoking insurgencies in Pearl Square. Iran the country which directly or indirectly is responsible for all the Middle-East’s ills. Iran the country who finally was able to obtain an incredible, inexplicable, unexpected, inadmissible alliance under the mandate of Barack Obama, with the signing of the agreement on Iran’s nuclear power.

Iran’s return to the international scene as a regional power is an unsustainable reality for Saudi Arabia.

For Saudi Arabia, Iran manipulates, arms and operates Hezbollah in Lebanon. Iran is Hezbollah, Hezbollah is Lebanon.

Iran is the enemy, therefore Lebanon is an enemy.

At the end of this deadly equation, Lebanon becomes the announced enemy.

Rumors are circulating in Beirut this morning about a brief passage by Saad Hariri who would resign before canceling his withdrawal from politics and going into exile in France. At the same time, we are talking about Mohammed Bin Salman’s will to replace Hariri, the head of the « Future Movement», with his elder brother Bahaa, who fits the profile more closely.

Saudi Arabia has built its last years a veritable anti-Shiite uprising.

Egypt acquired Rafaela and ships from Saudi Arabia, which were brought from France with a large price-tag, in order to secure two contested islands that were previously Egyptian property as well as an ally for the common struggle against the « Muslim Brotherhood » and its proxies.

The Saudi Kingdom has also renewed links with Turkey and its President.

Finally, the banishment of the Gulf Countries, Qatar, for its real or supposed links with the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran, helps to solidify this anti-Shiite and anti-Iranian uprising whose borders is clearly drawn. The Gulf Countries, without Qatar and with a traditional neutrality of the Sultanate of Oman, Turkey and Egypt. Saudi Arabia even has public ties with the wild card Israel who can who only be delighted with this opportunity.

All reinforced by the policy of Donald Trump, it does not take much to inflame, sui generis, an entire region.

Will the next step be an Israeli attack on South Lebanon?

Everyone awaits and fears while this terrible soap opera unfolds, which the peace and security of the entire region depends on, with a world totally disoriented and an international community inefficient and inaudible.

In this lose-lose scenario, France can and must intervene quickly, take on the parties concerned and pose clearly as the defender of the territorial integrity of Lebanon.

France must also mediate between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the world cannot bear the cost of a diabolical and infantile war between giants, whose political maturity is inversely proportional to the weapons they possess.

We wait for France’s response, her silence would be an irreparable error.

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