The Saudis managed to unite ten Muslim nations in their battle to defend the existing government in Yemen against Iranian-backed rebels, but the fight itself is dividing the government in Lebanon. The Daily Star reported that after Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam gave implied support to the Saudi intervention in Yemen by backing a “joint Arab force to fight terrorism and safeguard pan-Arab security,” a Hezbollah member of Lebanon’s cabinet slammed the remarks.
Hezbollah is a Lebanese terror group with political power that is backed by Iran, who are on the other side of Yemen fight from the joint Arab force. Industry Minister Hussein Hajj Hasan was quoted by The Daily Star as saying that the Lebanese’ premier’s remarks “justified the aggression carried out by some Arab countries on Yemen… and do not reflect Lebanon’s official position as represented by the Lebanese government.”
The rhetorical exchange between two sides of the Lebanese government highlights the rift in the Middle East caused by the Iran-Saudi rivalry. It also further underscores Iran’s influence, which it wields upon members of Lebanon’s government far away from either Iran or Yemen.
The Daily Star cited a column in the Al-Anbaa online newspaper from another Lebanese politician, Walid Jumblatt, who accused Iran of working towards an empire in the Middle East.
It was Iran’s regional aggression that again was mentioned by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who noted that the nuclear deal being worked on between Iran and the world powers will only reward Iran for its nefarious actions.
Netanyahu, in comments released by his office, said the nuclear arrangement under development “sends a message that there is no price for aggression and on the contrary—that Iran’s aggression is to be rewarded. The moderate and responsible countries in the region, especially Israel and also many other countries, will be the first to be hurt by this agreement.”
Accusing the world powers of “closing their eyes to this aggression” of Iran in Yemen, Netanyahu issued a warning of their own to Iran. Said Netanyahu, “We are not closing our eyes and we will continue to act against every threat in every generation, certainly in this generation.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, March 30, 2015)