Tariq Al-Homayed
Saudi journalist and writer, and former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper

From Iran to Lebanon, Signs of an Uprising

The results of the recent Lebanese elections point to an uprising that begins in Iran and passes through Iraq, to Lebanon, against the Iranian project and its supporters in the region. They also show us that the region is not enduring a conflict by proxy, as reported by Western media, Western politicians, and the United States.

The outcome of Iraq’s elections, the results of the recent legislative polls in Lebanon - which saw the defeat of Syrian symbols and Hezbollah’s allies – in addition to the demonstrations in Iran, all confirm that the opposition to the Iranian project is real.

The revolt against the Tehran regime is taking place in Iran itself and within countries that Tehran has always considered its areas of influence, i.e. Iraq and Lebanon.

We are seeing the same rejection in Yemen. Moreover, if the Syrians were able to express their opinion, we would have witnessed more than an uprising there against Iran and its followers.

In Lebanon, Hezbollah lost its allies. Despite the low turnout, voters dealt a blow to the political figures who identify with the Iranian project. The Amal Movement has also lost its partners, while the opponents of the Iranian alliance regained their strength.

All these developments underline a rejection to the Iranian project, which starts from Iran itself, reaching what was known as its areas of control. This is a loud message to the West and the United States in particular. It is a message to all those who believe that Iran has real supporters among the citizens of our region.

Opponents to the Iranian project do not belong to a specific sectarian component, that is, the Sunnis. Rather, the Shiites, along with the different sects in our region, are increasingly voicing their rejection to this project. This phenomenon has become evident in Iran. It is something the West must understand well.

As for Iraq and Lebanon, the failure of the Iranian scheme does not mean that the danger is gone. On the contrary, after losing votes, pro-Iranian groups will perhaps resort to their weapons, and we have seen this in Iraq.

In Lebanon, the features of the danger are clear. Our newspaper quoted Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri as saying that the “situation is dangerous,” warning that the post-May 15 phase would be difficult, with increasing extremism trends. He added that he was considering drawing a roadmap for the next stage.

As for Hezbollah, the head of its parliamentary bloc, Mohammad Raad, said: “We are keen on coexistence,” but warned: “Beware of making us your enemies, for civil peace is a red line,” calling on the opponents to cooperate with the party.

Raad continued with more daring statements, threatening the Lebanese with civil war: “If you reject a national government, you are leading Lebanon to the abyss,” adding: “Beware of being fuel for a civil war.”

Accordingly, the real rejection of the Iranian project is clear, and the West should pay attention to this. The sane people of our region should wisely reflect on this development, and avoid being overly optimistic, because the path is not only long, but perilous.

Iranian groups and militias, from the Popular Mobilization Forces to Hezbollah, will now resort to weapons, after they have failed to achieve their gains through the ballot boxes.

The confrontation is ongoing. It requires a deep breath, and real tools.