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Gulf countries should wipe out Tehran's proxies

Filed on November 13, 2017 | Last updated on November 13, 2017 at 07.08 pm

Hariri also holds Saudi citizenship and has every right to stay in Saudi Arabia where his business interests lie.

Saad Al Hariri's statement that he would return to Lebanon "very soon" while hinting that he could rescind his resignation as PM signals hope for the country that appeared to be heading towards another internal conflict. Fears came to head when the PM announced his shock resignation last week. Iran's proxy Hezbollah, which is part of the coalition in Lebanon, has since been spreading false news that Hariri was being held captive in Saudi Arabia. Leaders who met the PM said he was a free man and could go where he pleased in the kingdom. The Lebanese people and the world community are smarter than what Hezbollah thinks and the rumours were dismissed by them.

Hariri also holds Saudi citizenship and has every right to stay in Saudi Arabia where his business interests lie. The prime minister said he was threatened by Iran and its proxy, hence his abrupt departure and stay under Riyadh's protection. It must be understood here that Iran's proxies are causing havoc in peaceful societies by entrenching themselves as political outfits, when in reality they are mere puppets of the regime in Tehran. They came to power through the gun; sectarian politics suited these movements now seeking social and political legitimacy.

Iran's sectarian experiment has divided peaceful and secular societies like Lebanon, which has sizeable Sunni, Shia and Christian populations. They tried to replicate the experiment in Yemen but Gulf and Arab forces are pushing out the Houthis. Thus stonewalled by the Arab coalition, they are now keeping the kettle boiling in Lebanon in their bid to unsettle the government led by Hariri. Hezbollah suffered huge losses in the Syria campaign.

They are short of money and men and are indebted to Tehran that is intent to sow chaos. Iran runs a war economy that appears to have more control in Lebanon and may be forcing Hezbollah to renege on its democratic role in the country. From being a political partner, the group risks becoming a pariah after this episode. It has lost political credibility and military might. Gulf states must take the opportunity to corner its master in Tehran and prevent the rise of other proxies.





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