Head of Lebanon’s Progressive Socialist Party Walid Jumblatt lamented on Monday that the country has fallen under Iran’s “hegemony”.
Meeting with expatriates, he wondered: “Does Iran recognize the Lebanese entity?”
“This is a central question, because if it does, then we can deal with it. If it does not, then we have come under mandate rule or have become a region without borders,” he remarked.
He noted that when Lebanon was subject to Syria’s hegemony from 1990 to 2000 – the year of the death of its president Hafez Assad – Damascus did not pursue the “elimination of the Lebanese state”.
“It is true that the Syrian regime controlled every security and non-security aspect of Lebanon, but it did not seek to eliminate the Lebanese entity,” he went on to say.
Jumblatt noted how Assad used to say that the Lebanese and Syrians were one people living in two countries, while today, Iran does not want a Lebanese entity.
The former MP acknowledged that he was an ally to Syria at the time, adding that he knew what it may ask of Lebanon and knew when to draw the line.
Addressing the Iranians, he asked: “Do you recognize Lebanon? Or do you have another way to demonstrate this recognition?”