By M. A. Saki

Riyadh chiefly responsible for economic crisis in Lebanon: researcher

November 6, 2021 - 14:43

TEHRAN- A Lebanese political researcher is of the opinion that Saudi Arabia’s unbalance foreign policy has led to the current economic crisis in Lebanon.

“Saudi Arabia is the number one state responsible for the current financial and economic crisis taking place in Lebanon,” Ali Mourad tells the Tehran Times.

“So now after the financial situation has collapsed, Mohammed Bin Salman is trying to exploit it to attack the resistance forces,” he remarks.

Mourad says Riyadh is interfering in Lebanese affairs as it is demanding Lebanon to fire information minister.

Following is the text of the interview:

What are the causes of the recent escalation between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia? 

It’s obvious that what Information Minister George Kardahi said about the war on Yemen is not the reason for this Saudi escalation towards Lebanon. Saudi Crown Prince is trying to fulfill what he failed to achieve in November 2017 when he kidnapped then Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri. He simply wants to push Lebanon into chaos, and as the 2017 scheme turned out to be coordinated with the Zionist Netanyahu government, we can’t exclude a current coordination taking place between Riyadh and Tel Aviv. The reasons of this pressure and what can be described as aggression on Lebanon should be linked to the massacre conducted by the number one Saudi agent in Lebanon Samir Geagea two weeks ago. Geagea failed in succeeding to ignite an internal sectarian war due to Sayyed Nasrallah’s wisdom. He was ordered by the Saudis to attack the peaceful protest on October 14th so that the Resistance would retaliate and a sectarian clash would break out.

“What Saudi Arabia is doing with Lebanon has no place in international relations and wise foreign policy.”Why have the Saudis been pressuring Lebanon in recent months? Is Lebanon the weakest player in West Asia?

Saudi Arabia is the number one state responsible for the current financial and economic crisis taking place in Lebanon. They sent their man Rafiq Hariri in 1990 after the end of civil war to lead a political bloc in the Lebanese government that ruled for several years and founded the base of disastrous financial policies that strangled the productive economic sectors and put Lebanon under the bus when Hariri decided that the economy must only rely on foreign loans that exhausted the economy with debt. So now after the financial situation has collapsed, Mohammed Bin Salman is trying to exploit it to attack the resistance forces. Tens of NGOs with many former March 14 groups are trying to put the whole responsibility on Hezbollah and FPM for the financial crisis, which is not true and reflects the real intentions behind the evil Saudi policy in Lebanon. Riyadh has the ambition to reach a common goal with the Zionist regime which is to weaken the resistance and its popular base. Part of the offensive Saudi policy towards Lebanon can be linked to the negotiations taking place with Iran in Baghdad. MBS thinks that by pressuring Lebanon he can gain a file to bargain with Tehran about. He wants the resistance axis to save him in Yemen, which is not going to happen as he is approaching the issue wrongly in the first place.

What is your prediction about the government's reaction? 

In the Mikati government, there are characters and forces who can’t be aligned against Saudi Arabia. Some of them have businesses and investments in Saudi Arabia, and even Mikati himself expressed since the first day of the Saudi campaign that he will resign if Kordahi doesn’t. Up till now the French and partly the Americans are pressuring Mikati not to resign. Both Washington and Paris are investing in the upcoming election to be held in March 2022. Both are funding local NGOs and forces aimed at having the majority in the next parliament so that they form a government that would work against the resistance. On the other hand, Hezbollah and allies are firm in their patriotic stance that refuses to give Saudi Arabia what it wants and Kordahi won’t resign. So what the government will do depends on what Washington will decide. Will it prevent Mikati from resignation and work on softening the Saudi pressure or they would abandon their stance to satisfy Riyadh? We’ll see.

Do you think Kordahi's remark about Yemen war is a kind of intervention in Saudi affairs?

Of course, Kordahi’s remarks about the Saudi war on Yemen was nothing but the truth. He even didn’t mention Saudi Arabia or the UAE and he used diplomatic terms when he was answering the anchor’s question in his interview. Other Lebanese politicians had already used the same words when talking in their previous speeches about the importance of ending this war. Saudi Arabia wanted an excuse to launch its aggression, and they thought Kardahi’s words would fit to forge that excuse for their campaign. Describing reality and facts as Kordahi did can never be regarded as interference in Saudi affairs. The latter is interfering in Lebanese affairs when they ask Lebanon to fire Kordahi from the government.

What will be the implications of Saudi Arabia's harsh reaction to such a remark by a Lebanese minister for the region and the world? Intolerance or unbalanced approach in foreign policy?

What Saudi Arabia is doing with Lebanon has no place in international relations and wise foreign policy. MBS is just confirming to us that he is unfit for managing relations and diplomacy. He will fail again as he has failed in all of his battles and wars. If he’s counting on the Americans, they are not enthusiastic to defend him, and if he’s relying on Zionists, he will be disappointed soon because they cannot defend themselves anymore. MBS’s leadership in Saudi Arabia is not only harmful to its neighbors, but in the first place to Saudi Arabia itself, because the longer his dictatorship lasts the weaker the Saudi Kingdom will be. We shouldn’t be fooled by his acrobatic campaigns on his neighbors, because none of them is succeeding, and the most decisive one would be his historic defeat in his war on Yemen.


 

Leave a Comment

4 + 12 =