| 14 July 2024, Sunday |

Reasons why Washington and Tehran are distancing from the Lebanese issue

Prominent Arab diplomatic sources note that both the United States and Iran have stayed away from the Lebanese presidency file. The first is to say that it does not support a specific candidate and that the Lebanese must choose their president. The second says that the presidency is a Lebanese matter, and has delegated its ally, Hezbollah, to express its point of view and adhere to it.

Iran has not yet shown any flexibility in meeting the French initiative. Indeed, its ally wants to impose its candidate on the French initiative, which has not achieved any progress, awaiting the third round of French presidential envoy Jean-Yves Le Drian with the parties this September.

The sources report that the American motives for moving away are completely different from the Iranian motives, which are a move away in form and not in content.

American motives are due to reasons related to despair from the political class and from the parties who do nothing to change reality, until Lebanon no longer enjoys a priority in the administration’s concerns. Its interests lie elsewhere, especially during the US presidential elections, the priorities of the Ukrainian war, and China.

Therefore, the administration calls for an internal Lebanese solution that protects Lebanon and its sovereignty, otherwise there will be no result and no way to get anywhere. The responsibility for it falls first and foremost on the Lebanese people, who are paying the price in practice, not the American people. Therefore, the American administration has said its word on more than one occasion, and all the Lebanese parties have to do is do something to save their country.

As for the Iranian motives for moving away in form, they are evident in Hezbollah’s control of the internal game, and this is represented by pressure to keep Lebanon as a card that Iran “suffocates” and does not want to abandon or even accept settlements around, such as giving in one place and taking in another. For it, it is not its people who fall as a result of the economic, financial and institutional collapse in the state. Even its people are suffering, and it did not care about its economic reality and the priority given to its influence in the region and the nuclear bomb.

The sources say that the French do not want Lebanon to be dependent on any settlements or wait for it to do so because the matter may take time. It indicates that the US-Iranian nuclear negotiations will inevitably affect the Lebanese file, if the Lebanese parties decide to wait for that. The result will be either more Iranian authority over Lebanon, or the United States strengthening its role in it, especially in choosing a president for the republic with a rescue program in agreement with the International Monetary Fund, or Lebanon being exposed to sharing both American and Iranian influence.

Currently, there are mutual preparations for the return of negotiations between the two parties, and the issue is serious, according to the sources, but the release of prisoners by Iran is linked to the completion of lifting the freeze and the use of funds. In addition, there is American anticipation of the files that will be discussed during the upcoming visit of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the course of affairs in the region in light of this visit.

  • Sawt Beirut International