Issued by CEMO Center - Paris
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After Zarif’s visit: Does Iran take Lebanon as a bridge to ease international isolation?

Wednesday 13/February/2019 - 05:08 PM
The Reference

The visit of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Jawad Zarif to the Lebanese capital of Beirut provoked controversy and discord in the Lebanese political scene, which is undergoing a short recovery period after a difficult process of forming the government that lasted 9 months, and ended only at the end of last month, with great difficulty.

While the sectarian trumpets paid tribute to the visit of the Iranian High Representative to his followers in Lebanon, the reaction of a number of national forces was negative towards the visit, which they saw as clear series of exercise of guardianship of the Lebanese national decision.

Mohammad Jawad Zarif
Mohammad Jawad Zarif
Views and reactions

During the visit, Zarif offered the Lebanese government to provide military assistance in order to develop military cooperation between the two countries. "The aim of the visit is to declare solidarity with the government and the people of Lebanon in all fields.” 
For his part, the former Lebanese Minister of Justice Ashraf Rifi, in a letter to Zarif published by the local media, pointed out that: "Iran's policy has caused Lebanon and many Arab countries serious damage and chaos of violence and lack of stability.”

"When you arrive in Beirut, which is described by one of the officials of Iran as being under your control among four Arab capitals. We are telling you, and you undoubtedly know that the view of a large part of the Lebanese people of Iran is its destructive behavior towards Lebanon, its state and its institutions, and its contempt for its existence as an entity and as an independent state.”
He wondered in his message: "Is not it time for Iran to return to normal behavior and be convinced that its path to the region does not pass through ambitions and hegemony, and that its investment in chaos and violence is inevitably a failure and it is a negative response to the Iranian people first and also the countries of the region?"
Iran’s channel 

"The visit of Zarif comes days after the formation of the new government, which has been delayed for a long time due to the intransigence of Iran's agents in Lebanon and their desire to acquire as many seats as possible," said Mohammad Alaeddin, a researcher specializing in Iranian affairs.
Al-Din said in a statement to the Reference that the visit is facing rejection from several Lebanese political and popular sectors, as it comes in the context of trying to use Lebanon as a guideline to ease the international isolation imposed on the Iranian regime.