by John R. Bolton • November 14, 2017 at 4:00 am
In this undated photo, Lebanese Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah visits Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. (Image source: khamenei.ir)
Almost unnoticed in the coverage of President Trump’s Asia trip, Lebanon is slipping under Iran’s control. On November 3, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, a Sunni Muslim, resigned, citing fears of assassination by Hezbollah, the Shia Muslim terrorist group funded and controlled by Iran. No one can say Hariri’s fears are unjustified since his father, former Prime Minister Rafic Hariri, was murdered in 2005 — almost certainly at Syrian or Iranian direction.
While the full ramifications of Saad Hariri’s resignation remain to be seen, Tehran’s ayatollahs have now significantly extended their malign reach in the Middle East. This is bad for the people of Lebanon; bad for Israel, with which Lebanon shares a common border and a contentious history; bad for Arab states like Jordan and the oil-producing Arabian Peninsula monarchies; and bad for America and its vital national interests in this critical region.