| 20 May 2024, Monday |

Who can pressure Iran more Americans or Russians?

Russia, now, is on the side of the international community with regard to the principles concerning the path for Lebanon to emerge from its suffocating crisis. It is convinced that within the framework of a  “ mission government” of non-partisan specialists, the path of the solution will begin. And that no international body is ready to help Lebanon. According to diplomatic sources close to Moscow.

The sources say that Russia will continue its contacts with Iran in order to pressure its allies in Lebanon to facilitate the formation of the government. The last time the Russians spoke with the Iranians about facilitating, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that the head of the Free Patriotic Movement, Gebran Bassil, should not get the blocking third, but- Zarif – cannot pressure his ally in this direction.

The sources indicate that Iran with the President of the Lebanese Republic, Michel Aoun, Bassil, and “Hezbollah” have become internationally besieged, because all countries except for Iran- of course- want a government and a rescue path for Lebanon. Internally, the street is pressing for this trend, and so is the Lebanese army. What frightens the Russians is that the economic collapse leads to a security breakdown, and this affects Syria and the Russian presence in the Middle East. That is why, they will continue their communication with the Iranians to find a way out for the Lebanese situation. It is not certain that the Russians will rely on a visit by a delegation of “Hezbollah” representatives, to the capital, Moscow, at the invitation of the Russian Parliament in the middle of this month. Because Iran is still waiting to negotiate with the United States.

This negotiation, according to Western diplomatic sources, began indirectly and secretly with the Europeans and other countries in the region. Declaring these negotiations publicly needs time, and there is an existing tug of war between the two parties before reaching the appropriate formula to bring out the negotiation process and the details of its foundations.  the questions that arise, can Iran present a positive stance with regard to Lebanon during the indirect negotiation phase? And who can pressure Iran more? The Americans or the Russians?

The sources confirm that the Russians have their means to pressure Iran. But Russia does not have large and effective levels of pressure. Russia can request Iran, but the response is not guaranteed. Iran is now concerned with the United States. It is concerned about Russia due  the fact that the latter is one of the five major permanent members of the Security Council, and that Russia is also present in Syria, where it has its influence, and because it is one of the major countries that signed the nuclear deal with Iran.

The sources also indicate, that Iran who has not complied with the wishes of the United States, despite the increase in sanctions against it for showing positivity in the Lebanese file, how will it obey the Russians? And it says that there is no such thing as a sudden solution. Rather, the new American administration is coordinating with the French, who have re-cried out again about the Lebanese situation regarding the French initiative. But it is unclear whether the United States will support the initiative as it is. Or it may request changes in it. And the administration is showing great willingness to cooperate with the French and the Europeans on Lebanon, unlike the previous administration in Washington, which was not comfortable with the French initiative.

Informed diplomatic circles fear the stage of the US-Iranian negotiation, and what it might reflect on the Lebanese file in the absence of a clear Lebanese plan. And the delay in the governmental file does not serve the interest of Lebanon, hence the need for Lebanon to be immune in the stages of international – regional negotiations.