“We are facing a crisis created by one of the countries in the region, which is waging a brutal war against another Arab country,” said Mohammed Raad, head of the Hezbollah faction in the Lebanese parliament.
Regional tensions could also affect Israel.
Raad was quoted in the Iranian media in recent days. His comments refer to Saudi Arabia’s “hostile” actions against Lebanon. In fact, Riyadh has responded to a Lebanese official who supports the Houthi rebels in Yemen. Lebanese Information Minister George Kordahi seemed to praise the Houthis. The Hezbollah official continued: “One of the Lebanese government ministers issued a statement in support of the right of the Yemeni people to protect themselves against the aggressive coalition that has invaded their country, before assuming the position of minister in this government.”
Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have expelled Lebanon’s ambassadors in recent days. Lebanon’s president is trying to close the gap. Hezbollah may see an opening and it could increase tensions. He says that Saudi Arabia wants to damage the “stability” of Lebanon. In fact, Lebanon is unstable and bankrupt.
Hezbollah claims to be concerned that Riyadh may be taking the controversy more lightly due to the upcoming elections. However, the reality may be that Hezbollah is trying to stoke a controversy to get votes or create a crisis. Mohammed Raad said, “Those who are creating a crisis for Lebanon do not want elections to take place in this country and they intend to disrupt these elections, and perhaps they realized that the results of the next elections will not be as they want them to be. ”
Thirty years ago, Saudi Arabia was key to the Taif accords that ended the Lebanese Civil War. Riyadh is generally seen as supporting the status quo and Sunni politicians in Lebanon, such as Saad Hariri. Hezbollah assassinated Hariri’s father, Rafic, in 2005. In recent years, Riyadh has grown weary of backing a Lebanon that continues to be swallowed up by Hezbollah. Hezbollah maintains an illegal terrorist army in Lebanon with 150,000 rockets, undermines Lebanon’s foreign policy, carries out its own policies, has its own communications network, and in many ways is more powerful than the state.
It is unclear whether Hezbollah will take advantage of regional tensions in this regard. Hezbollah wants closer ties with the Houthis in Yemen and Iran is exporting the same technology to Hezbollah, Hamas and the Houthis, such as drones and rockets. The United States recently sanctioned key figures in Iran’s drone program. The United States also imposed sanctions on Lebanese businessmen and a member of parliament named Jamil Sayyed. This means that regional tensions are intertwined and intensify. Iran used drones to attack a ship in the Gulf of Oman in July. A drone attacked the American garrison at Tanf in late October. Hezbollah has increasingly mentioned Yemen in statements. In January, reports said Iran may have sent drones to Yemen. These had a range that could threaten Israel.