| 9 December 2023, Saturday |

What is Washington’s reasoning for refusing to negotiate with Iran regarding Lebanon?

The Americans have maintained a firm position so far, regarding the file of Lebanon and the presidency in particular, although Washington, like all Western countries, is awaiting what the Lebanese will do to elect a president for the republic during the month of September, and if they do not elect the president, an international assessment of the situation in Lebanon will take place, and on its basis there will be another policy, but it is not clear from now.

Prominent Western diplomatic sources told “Sawt Beirut International” that there is an American assertion that there is no presidential candidate in Washington, and the US administration in particular is not supportive of any candidate. At the same time, the administration does not call for the election of the Shiite duo’s candidate, Suleiman Franjieh. It hopes to elect a President of the Republic, and to reach an agreement on the name of a figure to head the government who are affiliated with the same political orientation, so that they can come to terms with each other in order to accomplish what is supposed to be accomplished in order to save Lebanon. France believes the opposite on this point, and believes that a settlement must prevail in order to satisfy all parties, so that no party remains out of power and that it does not hinder political and economic solutions.

The sources indicate that there is no strong pressure for the name of a specific president, neither in Washington nor Doha, nor in Paris. Most of what all those interested are doing is helping the Lebanese to reach a settlement that is acceptable internally and internationally.

Consequently, the US administration’s position on “Hezbollah” and the “Hezbollah” candidate in relation to the name of the president has not changed. Washington will not show that it is supportive of a particular name. The sources reveal that the US administration is still standing against Iran’s entry into the Five-Year Committee on Lebanon, although France is less sensitive about the matter. It also reveals that the reason for the Americans’ opposition to Iran joining this committee is that the Americans do not want to sit at the same table with Iran directly for the sake of the Lebanese file. Nor do they want to find themselves obligated to negotiate directly with Iran over the Lebanese file and for Lebanon, under any circumstances. As for the US negotiation with Iran over the nuclear file, the Americans believe that this issue is different from the Lebanon file in terms of its importance or the impact it will have on the international relationship with Iran and on the future of this relationship, and the future of the region as well.

The sources confirm that Lebanon still does not represent an American priority at the present time, and that American interests focus on other parts of the world in addition to the nuclear issue, such as the China Sea, the Ukraine war, and the American internal situation.



  • Sawt Beirut International