In this report, we will show you the amount of aid provided by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Lebanon, compared to Iranian aid to the country.
In the period between 1990 and 2015, the value of Saudi gifts and grants to Lebanon amounted to $70 billion, including investments, soft loans, and deposits in banks.
Meanwhile, Iranian contributions to the government did not exceed $100 million.
In 2006, after the July war, which caused massive damage to the infrastructure, the Kingdom transferred, in addition to previous contributions, an amount of $570 million for the reconstruction of the affected areas.
In return, the Iranians provided only $25 million to rebuild roads, restore infrastructure, and food aid, among others. Of course, this money did not pass through the state, but through Hezbollah.
On the private investment level, between 2007 and 2010, Saudi investors pumped $10 billion into the tourism and real estate sectors, while Iranian investment in the private sector witnessed, of course, a complete lack of legal frameworks during the same period.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ranks first in the list of Arab countries in terms of the number of Lebanese residing in it, which amounts to about 300,000 Lebanese who own more than 600 Lebanese institutions. The remittances they make to their families amount to $2.25 billion annually.
While the number of Lebanese residing in Iran is about 1,200, the value of remittances from Iran to Lebanon does not exceed $500,000, and they often take the form of invisible remittances with purely political goals.
Militarily, over the years, Saudi Arabia has provided millions of dollars to support the Lebanese army, including military equipment and machinery, food and medical supplies, and others.
In return, Iran provided millions of dollars to support Hezbollah, so that the party’s areas of influence invaded Iranian products, not to mention the military equipment and the salaries of its fighters.
Finally, in the political aspect, Saudi Arabia sponsored the Taif Agreement in 1989, which was able to bring together all the conflicting parties in Lebanon during the civil war that lasted nearly 15 years.
As for Iran, it took advantage of this war and began expanding its influence by supporting Hezbollah to be its military arm in Lebanon.