Beirut Blast and American Plans for the Region

LCIR had stated in its comment on the Beirut blast, that the facts of the event pertinent to the cargo and its destination (which was switched from Mozambique to Beirut), the circumstances surrounding the decision of the authorities to keep the cargo in the port, the ship owners decision to abandon it, and the emergence of a deliberate collusion to disregard the safety measures, indicates that the incident was plotted and the aim was to target the Lebanese regime, its sectarian structure and its government which provides Hezbollah greater influence in political decision making.

The event is situated within the framework of what has been planned for Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Iran, including closing the chapter of the alleged resistance that guarantees Iran influence in the region, contrary to the plans of the US, and gives Hezbollah the pretext to keep its weapons, impose its willpower on the rest of the Lebanese forces and dictate its terms in relation to the Deal of the Century with respect to Israel, Palestine and the region, the implementation of which will be at the expense of Iran, Hezbollah and the Syrian regime.

The Deal of the Century stipulates resettling the Palestinians which is set to cause a demographic shift in favour of the opponents of Hezbollah, considered to be Iran’s formidable claw in the region. It also stipulates changing the Iraqi regime, loosening Iran’s grip on Baghdad via Prime Minister al-Kadhimi and offering the regime of Bashar Assad as a sacrificial lamb to the people of Syria in exchange for their silence over the participation of the future regime in the Deal of the Century. This is because the Israel aspires to a treaty with a frail and fragmented Syrian state and Syrian regime via popular approval, and the regime of Bashar Assad does not fit the criteria despite having protected the status quo in the region and the borders of Israel for decades.

If this scenario materialises, it will pave the way and generate the conditions to exploit the resources of the East Mediterranean, wean Europe off Russian gas, and compel Europe to remain within the camp of economic confrontation with Russia and China in the foreseeable future.

The new development in the Beirut blast is reflected in the statement of the Lebanese president, General Michel Aoun. A day after his meeting with French president, Macron, he told a press conference on Friday 7 August that “a foreign intervention via a missile or a bomb or any other action is possible. I have requested from Macron to secure the aerial photos of the explosion to ascertain what happened and if the French do not have them, we will request them from other sources.” Michel Aoun hinted that a change in the Lebanese regime was possible but not at this rate. This proves that Macron has conveyed a clear and decisive American message and claimed that he would persuade the US to lift the sanctions and ease the pressure on Lebanon provided the calls for implementing a host of reforms through changing the regime immediately “by establishing a new charter” were met, in addition to “carrying out the reforms called for by the international community, building a new political system, forming a government of national unity within the next few months and reviving the country.”

More importantly, Macron met with civil society forces to which he assigned the task of distributing the aid packages separately from the government and met with the religious authorities, especially Patriarch Mar Bechara Boutros Al-Rah who recently called for “the neutrality of Lebanon”, including “armed neutrality” which means the function of the Lebanese army would be confined to self-defence and military missions would be the exclusive competency of the army, thus leading to confiscating the weapons of Hezbollah, an endeavour backed by the international community but resisted by Hezbollah.

The statements of President Michel Aoun alluding to the presence of a foreign entity implicated in the blast entails a threat to expose the entity responsible for the blast, though his speech denoted imploration and fear since he realises that the scale of the event reflects the size of the international demands, and explains Donald Trump’s haste to settle the Lebanese issue that has been worsening and threatening the collapse of the state, and consequently causing serious security challenges to the entire region. The reason behind president Aoun’s threats and the leader of the Free Patriotic Movement, Gebran Bassilm brandishing the Syrian refugees card and their impact on Europe should the Lebanese situation worsen, is an attempt to dissuade the US from imposing a change of the regime and its current structure, while leaving the door ajar for a possible concordance. This is deduced from his statement expressing his aversion to a hasty implementation of the required reforms, especially as the economic pressures that have increased since the IMF suspended its negotiations with the Lebanese government a month ago have not left General Aoun, the government and Hezbollah much room for manoeuvre and time to react, with Macron ensuring that the government would not be able to resort to dragging its feet and bargaining by calling for an international enquiry into the incident, which would immunise the foreign parties involved and hold the government linked to Hezbollah responsible.

This is why Hassan Nasrullah refused the internationalisation of the issue and an inquiry in order to keep the threat of exposing the foreign entity implicated in the blast ongoing and to carry out political bargaining in the hope of maintaining the regime. This is deduced from his statement in which he said: “If we did not reach a conclusion in the investigation, there would be no hope in building the state.”

Although the American persistence to settle the Lebanese situation is not only designed to muzzle Iran and Hezbollah, a narrative that Teheran perceived as per the statement of Mohsen Rezaee, the secretary of the Expediency Discernment Council, but also to tighten the siege on the regime of Bashar who concluded an agreement with Iran a month ago which will strengthen its presence in Syria and enable Russia to manoeuvre beyond the boundaries of her agreements with the US; and this explains the swift French intervention to influence the progress of the events in service of America’s plans.Copyright © LCIR 2020

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