Middle East Intrigue
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
On November 4, Lebanese PM Saad Hariri resigned, claiming an Iranian-backed Hezbollah plot to assassinate him. Utter nonsense. Something else is going on.
Hariri lied accusing Iran and Hezbollah of sowing strife in the Middle East, seeking “to destroy the Arab world.”
His resignation wasn’t voluntary. He was pushed, the Saudis behind it, demanding what he couldn’t refuse.
Riyadh accused Lebanon and Iran of declaring war on the kingdom. Its aggression on Yemen achieved nothing but mass slaughter of civilians, vast destruction, and humanitarian crisis conditions.
Its attempt to bully Qatar into submission failed. So has its support for ISIS and other terrorists in Syria and Iraq.
Iran and Damascus are rising regionally, Russia a key player. Riyadh’s strategic plan failed, maybe a key reason behind crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s purge, Hariri’s forced resignation, and hostile accusations against Lebanon and Iran – along with Bin Salman’s power play.
Is Riyadh shifting its troublemaking from Syria to Lebanon and Iran? Is Hariri dismissal tied to what’s going on?
Are America and Israel involved? Will Lebanon and Iran be the region’s next battlegrounds?
On November 8, Israeli military intelligence linked DEBKAfile, falsely claimed Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) “have been pumping fresh supplies of new surface missiles to Yemen by sea,” adding:
“Iranian experts have managed of late to lengthen the range of the ballistic missiles shipped to Yemen.”
Tight US/Saudi blockade on the country prevents weapons, munitions and related items getting in, currently blocking everything, including all humanitarian aid.
A previous article discussed Riyadh and Israel colluding against Iran and Lebanon, likely intending greater regional violence and destabilization, a Israeli diplomatic cable to its embassies revealed, calling for ramping up pressure on Hezbollah and Iran.
Is it part of a sinister plot to stoke further regional violence and turmoil?
Beirut believes Riyadh may be holding Hariri under house arrest, along with purged Saudi princes and ministers.
“Lebanon is heading towards asking foreign and Arab states to put pressure on (the) Saudi(s) to release Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri,” an unnamed senior government official told Reuters, adding:
“(R)estricting (his) freedom in Riyadh is an attack on Lebanese sovereignty. Our dignity is his dignity. We will work with (foreign) states to return him to Beirut.”
Lebanese President Michel Aoun wants him returned to explain his announced resignation. He has extensive business interests in the kingdom, including with a construction company founded by his father, Rafik.
The company, Saudi Oger, did extensive development work in the country, falling on hard times because of low oil prices, weakening economic conditions.
Reportedly the company owes around $3.5 billion to Saudi banks. An anonymous kingdom source claimed Hariri’s resignation is connected to the unpaid debt, saying:
He was summoned to Riyadh to be held “captive with the rest of the detained princes and businessmen to blackmail him (to) force him to bring back the funds he has abroad, particularly those not linked to Lebanon” – a different twist on what’s going on with him, if true.
Most important geopolitically involves heightened tensions following Riyadh accusing Iran and Lebanon of declaring war on the kingdom.
Is war on Iran and/or Lebanon likely? Whatever happens ahead, the region remains highly unstable and in play for whatever dark forces intend to try next.
A Final Comment
On Thursday, Saudi Arabia ordered its nationals to leave Lebanon immediately, others told not to travel there. On November 5, Bahrain issued a similar warning. Is something disruptive planned? We’ll know more in the days ahead.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”