Has Hezbollah expanded Iran’s sphere of influence in the Middle East? | Politics and Economy | In-depth analysis with a broader perspective from DW | DW

Has Hezbollah expanded Iran’s sphere of influence in the Middle East? | Politics and Economy | In-depth analysis with a broader perspective from DW | DW
Has Hezbollah expanded Iran’s sphere of influence in the Middle East? | Politics and Economy | In-depth analysis with a broader perspective from DW | DW

The events in Lebanon re-shed light on the Hezbollah group, and the media highlighted the role played by the group, and the scenes of the funeral of Hezbollah and its ally, the Amal Movement, today Friday (15 October), seven people, most of whom were members, were killed during violent clashes, commemorating the years of war. The eligibility and came on the impact of political tension linked to the investigation into the explosion of the port of Beirut.

Beirut witnessed Thursday one of the fiercest security confrontations in years, in a dangerous escalation that threatens to plunge the country into a new crisis, just over a month after the formation of a government that is supposed to focus its work on developing a plan to get the country out of the cycle of economic collapse that has controlled it for more than two years.

The clashes, the circumstances of which are not yet clear, resulted in the killing of seven people, including three members of Hezbollah, one of whom died Friday of his injuries, and three members of the Amal movement, in addition to a woman who was shot in the head while she was in her home. Another 32 people were injured.

The relationship between Hezbollah and Iran

Since the establishment of the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah in 1982, and it emphasizes the depth of the relationship with Iran, Hezbollah shares Tehran’s Shiite thought, and considers the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is also its political guide and spiritual inspiration.

It is known that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards founded the group in 1982, with the aim of exporting the Islamic revolution and fighting the Israeli forces that invaded Lebanon in the same year.

The Secretary-General of the party, Hassan Nasrallah, is known as a prominent figure in the so-called “axis of resistance” led by Iran, in the face of Israel, the United States and its Arab allies. Nasrallah, a charismatic speaker, helps mobilize and organize Tehran’s Arab alliances.

The close link between Hezbollah and Iran was clearly demonstrated when, in 2013, the party entered the quagmire of the Syrian war alongside Tehran in defense of their common ally, President Bashar al-Assad.

In Iraq, Hezbollah has openly declared that it supports the armed Shiite militias backed by Iran. In Yemen, the Saudi-led coalition says the party supports the Iran-allied Houthis in their war against the Saudi-led coalition, but the group denied in 2017 sending any weapons to Yemen. The party also recognizes its support for the Palestinian Hamas movement.

Where is Lebanon’s place in the game?

As the party’s base and starting point, Lebanon occupies a huge area of ​​interest for both the group and Iran. The party uses its political, and sometimes military, influence to counter threats from its Lebanese opponents who say its vast arsenal of weapons is undermining the state.

In 2008, Hezbollah fighters took control of Beirut when a conflict erupted with a government backed by Saudi Arabia and the West at the time. Recently, the group has been leading calls for the dismissal of the chief investigator in the Beirut port explosion, Judge Tariq Bitar, who is pursuing some of its closest allies on charges of negligence. The party says the investigation is politicized and biased.

Hezbollah has established Iran as a major player in Lebanon, a country where the United States, Russia, Syria, Saudi Arabia and many other countries have been wrangling for influence for years.

Various indoor activities

Hezbollah, which the United States and other Western countries designate as a terrorist organization, has a powerful military wing that the party acknowledges is financed and armed by Iran.

The group also controls a formidable intelligence apparatus, and it carries out security tasks in its own areas of southern Beirut and southern Lebanon, as well as the border areas with Syria.

Hezbollah entered politics in Lebanon more clearly after the killing of former Sunni Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and the withdrawal of Syrian forces from the country in 2005.

The party has deputies in parliament and government ministers. His political influence expanded in 2018, when he and his allies won a majority of seats in the House of Representatives.

Among its commercial activities, the party runs an empire of retail outlets and a construction company. The party also runs schools and clinics.

Over the past four decades, the group’s strength has grown stronger than the Lebanese state itself, and its name has been associated with the conflict with Israel. Hezbollah fighters forced Israel out of Lebanon in 2000 and fired four thousand missiles at Israel in a 34-day war in 2006. Since Then, the party rearms itself in order to increase its strength over its strength.

A UN-backed court last year indicted a Hezbollah member for plotting to kill Hariri, who was seen as a threat to Iranian and Syrian influence in Lebanon. However, the court did not find conclusive evidence confirming the direct involvement of Hezbollah’s leadership.

The party always denies any role in Hariri’s killing and accuses the court of being a puppet of its enemies in the United States and Israel.

A.H./A.A.J. (Reuters, AFP)

  • Hariri’s assassination – an issue that changed the face of Lebanon for 15 years

    2005: Hariri’s assassination and Hezbollah’s entry into the government

    Former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was killed on February 14, 2005, when a huge bomb exploded as his convoy was passing through Beirut, killing 21 others. This was followed by a series of mass demonstrations and international pressure that forced Syria to withdraw its forces from Lebanon. Damascus’s Shiite allies in Lebanon organized a series of rallies in support of Syria. Hezbollah was represented in the Lebanese government for the first time.

  • Hariri’s assassination – an issue that changed the face of Lebanon for 15 years

    2006: Hezbollah causes war with Israel

    In July 2006, Hezbollah kidnapped two Israeli soldiers and killed others, sparking a five-week war in which at least 1,200 people in Lebanon and 158 Israelis were killed. Tensions over Hezbollah’s powerful arsenal rose after the war. In November, Hezbollah and its allies withdrew from the Western-backed government led by Fouad Siniora.

  • Hariri’s assassination – an issue that changed the face of Lebanon for 15 years

    2007: The Siniora government is under pressure

    Hezbollah and its allies continued a sit-in against the Siniora government that lasted for about a year. Their stated demands were to have the right to veto government decisions. In May 2007, clashes began between the Lebanese army and Sunni militants belonging to the Fatah al-Islam group inside the Palestinian camp of Nahr al-Bared in northern Lebanon, forcing thousands of Palestinian refugees to flee from it. Lebanese forces took full control of the camp in September.

  • Hariri’s assassination – an issue that changed the face of Lebanon for 15 years

    2011: The fall of the Saad Hariri government

    Saad Hariri’s first government was overthrown in January 2011 after Hezbollah and its allies withdrew from it due to a dispute over the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. The court later indicted four Hezbollah leaders in connection with the killing of Rafik Hariri. Hezbollah denied any role in Hariri’s assassination. (The photo here of Hassan Nasrallah and Saad Hariri dates back to 2009).

  • Hariri’s assassination – an issue that changed the face of Lebanon for 15 years

    2012: Hezbollah intervened to support Bashar al-Assad

    Hezbollah fighters deployed inside Syria secretly at first to support Syrian government forces in the face of a peaceful uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in mid-March 2011. Since 2012, the party has played a major role in suppressing this uprising, which began more than nine years ago.

  • Hariri’s assassination – an issue that changed the face of Lebanon for 15 years

    2015: “You Stink”

    A garbage crisis erupted when the authorities closed the main landfill near Beirut without providing an alternative, prompting mass protests in August 2015, after mounds of rubbish piled up in the streets with the slogan “You Stink.” This crisis seemed a clear indication of the inability of the sectarian quota system to meet basic needs such as electricity and water.

  • Hariri’s assassination – an issue that changed the face of Lebanon for 15 years

    2017: Saad Hariri in the grip of Saudi Arabia

    In November 2017, Saad Hariri’s relationship with Saudi Arabia deteriorated sharply, angered by the expansion of Hezbollah’s influence in Lebanon. At the time, it was widely reported that Riyadh forced Hariri to resign and detained him inside the kingdom. Saudi Arabia denied, as did Hariri, but French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed Hariri’s detention in Saudi Arabia.

  • Hariri’s assassination – an issue that changed the face of Lebanon for 15 years

    2019: Protests push Hariri to resign

    With stagnant economic growth and declining capital inflows; The government faced pressure to reduce the massive budget deficit. Thousands went out in protests accusing the leaders of corruption and mismanagement of the economy after they failed to overcome the economic crisis. On October 18, the government retracted some of its proposals to resolve the crisis, but the protests continued. On October 29, Hariri submitted his resignation despite Hezbollah’s opposition.

  • Hariri’s assassination – an issue that changed the face of Lebanon for 15 years

    2019/2020: The protests continue and the formation of the Diab government

    The resignation of Saad Hariri and the formation of a new government by Hassan Diab, who is backed by Hezbollah, did not calm the anger of the Lebanese street. Popular protests have continued into the current year, and protesters have continued to organize demonstrations to reject corruption and to demand the departure of the entire political class. The living situation and the high prices in Lebanon have also exacerbated the crisis, and consequently, the Lebanese people continue to take to the streets and remind their demands.

  • Hariri’s assassination – an issue that changed the face of Lebanon for 15 years

    Beirut port explosion shakes Diab’s government

    Following the horrific explosion that shook Beirut and deepened the country’s economic crisis; The anger of the Lebanese exploded against the families and ruling elites accused of corruption and against the government of Hassan Diab, which was forced to resign under the pressure of the protests on the tenth of August 2020. In a speech to the Lebanese from the Grand Serail, Diab said that what he described as “the system of corruption is greater than the state and we are We cannot get rid of it, and one of the examples of corruption is the Beirut explosion.”

  • Hariri’s assassination – an issue that changed the face of Lebanon for 15 years

    The verdict in the Hariri assassination case

    After fifteen years during which the Lebanese waited for the truth of the case that changed the face of Lebanon and prompted the withdrawal of the Syrian forces from it after 30 years of security and political guardianship, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (August 18, 2020) announced that there is no evidence of the involvement of the Syrian regime or the leadership of Hezbollah directly in the Hariri assassination. At the same time, however, the ruling indicated the involvement of a Hezbollah member in the assassination.

  • Hariri’s assassination – an issue that changed the face of Lebanon for 15 years

    Lebanon at a crossroads

    The ruling comes at a time when new divisions are emerging over demands for an international investigation and political accountability into the port explosion caused by the unsafe storage of a huge amount of ammonium nitrate. The ruling in the Hariri case may complicate the already turbulent situation after the explosion of the port and the resignation of the government supported by Hezbollah and its allies. Lebanese, including victims who have been waiting for justice for 15 years, believe that the verdict is “not enough.” Prepared by: Iman Molouk

    Author: Iman Molouk

 
For Latest Updates Follow us on Google News
 

PREV Video: The first giant plane lands on the “blue ice”
NEXT News 24 | Groom arrested for shooting and carrying weapons inside his wedding party in Shaqra