Jumblatt blames Hezbollah for Iran’s influences. Sees no hope , because Iran wants to annul the state of Lebanon

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Cartoon of Lebanon flag showing an Iranian cleric replacing the Lebanese emblem ( the famous Cedar tree of Lebanon ) with the Iranian emblem . Many now feel that Hezbollah’s dominance made Lebanon a colony of Iran
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BEIRUT-

– Druze leader Walid Jumblatt said on Thursday that Iran had gained influence in Lebanon because Arab states had abandoned the country, stepping up criticism of the Iran-backed Hezbollah and suggesting Tehran wants to erase the Lebanese state.

One of Lebanon’s main politicians, Jumblatt was speaking days after leading Sunni Muslim politician Saad al-Hariri withdrew from political life, citing Iranian influence as one of the reasons he saw no hope of positive change. read more Report ad

The move by Hariri, three times prime minister, has opened a new phase in Lebanon’s sectarian politics, adding to uncertainties four months from a parliamentary election and as Lebanon faces a crippling financial crisis.

Jumblatt and Hariri were both part of the Western-backed March 14 alliance that confronted the heavily-armed Hezbollah and its allies in Lebanon after the 2005 assassination of Hariri’s father, Rafik al-Hariri.Report ad

In an interview with broadcaster MTV, Jumblatt said Hariri’s decision left a vacuum in Sunni politics that nobody could replace.

“There is an Arab abandonment of Lebanon … with the excuse of personal and political attack by Hezbollah on the Arabs, we are the victims of this struggle,” said Jumblatt, the leading politician in Lebanon’s minority Druze community.

Lebanese protest against Hezbollah’s regional war activity on behalf of Iran : One of the protesters was quoted as saying:” Why is it difficult for some people to understand that citizens at large believe that the decision of war and peace needs to rest with the government and not with a militia? Why is is difficult to understand that citizens will also do anything to ascertain that right? Hezbollah was the only militia allowed to keep its arms when Lebanon was occupied by Syria

Ties with U.S.-allied Gulf Arab states that once spent billions in Lebanon have been strained for years by Hezbollah’s influence.

Established by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in 1982, the heavily armed Hezbollah has long been Lebanon’s strongest group with a militia more powerful than the national army.

Jumblatt compared Lebanon today under Iranian influence with the 1990s when the country was dominated by neighbouring Syria, led at the time by the late President Hafez al-Assad.

Cartoon of Lebanon flag showing an Iranian cleric replacing the Lebanese emblem ( the famous Cedar tree of Lebanon ) with the Iranian emblem . Many now feel that Hezbollah’s dominance made Lebanon a colony of Iran PS leader Walid Jumblatt accuses I ran of trying to erase the state of Lebanon

“The difference today between Iran and the Syrian rule … (is that) President Hafez al-Assad did not annul the Lebanese entity … he did not cancel the entity … he did not cancel the state,” Jumblatt said.

He said that during a recent visit to Moscow he had asked Russian officials to deliver a message to Iran to respect the importance of Lebanon, including its diversity.

Referring to Hezbollah’s arsenal, he said: “We are saying we aren’t a missile arena, we aren’t a platform for rockets.”

He vowed to continue “peaceful, political confrontation”.

File photo: A parade by the Iranian backed Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah militia (which is the only militia that was allowed to keep its arms following the end of the civil war ) . It is now the most powerful group in Lebanon and acts as the state in -none state

Jumblatt also accused Hezbollah of playing a main role in smuggling drugs to the Gulf. Hezbollah denies this.

Jumblatt also said Lebanon could not meet a Gulf Arab demand for the implementation of a U.N. Security Council resolution that would require the disarmament of Hezbollah – one of several conditions for thawing ties with Beirut.

“We cannot implement. It is impossible to implement,” he said.

(Reuters)

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