Lebanon Relies on Hassan Nasrallah to Overcome CrisisAli Mousavi Khalkhali
The disastrous explosion at Beirut port had significant repercussions. One of them has been the visit by French President Emanuel Macron to the country, where he went among the people to sympathize with them and held meetings with Lebanese authorities to follow up the chaotic political situation.
But Macron’s trip was not a simple visit. While walking through a Christian neighborhood in Beirut and talking to people, Macron announced that he has set a deadline of September 1 for the Lebanon political elites to make reforms and put an end to what he called a failed governance, launching a new political pact. He even warned in an ultimatum-like tone that if the political elite fail in reaching an agreement by the deadline, he would take the responsibility, offering a proposal to help the country out of the current situation.
Many believe that Macron has prepared a plan for Lebanon in cooperation with the United States that could be different from the existing political equations in the country. However, no details of the plan has been released so far.
Macron’s remarks have met with reactions, including from Iran that enjoys a good deal of influence in Lebanon and is considered among the four influential countries there. Iranian experts believe Macron’s comments stem from the colonial history and nature of the European country. They say Macron still considers Lebanon as a French colony that he can rule on. Some has found his remarks offensive and even asked for an apology to the Lebanese nation.
France has long had a deep influence in the Middle Eastern country. French is the second most-spoken language in Lebanon after Arabic and you can see people everywhere across the country talking in French. Therefore, one cannot ignore the presence and influence of France in Lebanon. Hasty and excited reactions to President Macron’s remarks from Iranians would not serve interests of neither Iran nor Lebanon. Further, this can impose unpredicted costs on Iranian nation, while enemies try to make use of any chance to deal a blow against Tehran and its allies. Therefore, we need to take careful steps to avoid imposing such unnecessary costs on Iranians.
As proved in Iraq, no country could exert power and advance its plans without taking into consideration the allies of Iran. It is the same in Lebanon, where ignoring a de facto power like Hezbollah would lead to failure of any proposal.
Sayad Hassan Nasrallah, Secretary General of the Lebanese Hezbollah, has the smartest reaction among the politicians. Nasrallah, while praising help and support of brother and friend countries’, underlined that “we look positively at any assistance, any expression of sympathy, and any visit towards Lebanon,” referring to Macron’s trip.
With this stance, Nasrallah showed that firstly, he could take the initiative and manage the situation in a way to benefit the most, and secondly, he could act properly to settle the growing social and political tensions as he knew well that escalating tensions will not favor anyone. Nasrallah very well knows that prudence and serenity may turn threats into opportunities and even a plan not in favor of some political streams, can be used to the most. He even noted “the incidence has brought in opportunities and international interactions that Lebanese must make use of them.”
Therefore, we have to trust our allies and let them manage the crisis as there are the ones who are aware of the Lebanon’s policies and political equations and who have acted successfully many times before during the hard times.
Iran trusts the Hezbollah policies to the highest point and even Quds forces are obliged to coordinate their reginal policies with Hezbollah. Going through the Lebanon’s current crisis needs prudence and awareness rather than financial resources and this is what Sayad Hassan Nasrallah is known for.
This article was orignially published in Persian at Iranian Diplomacy.