There is growing concern among the Lebanese and other Arabs that Iran is planning to exploit the severe political, economic and financial crisis in Lebanon to complete its takeover of the country.
Iran already has a political and military presence in Lebanon through its terrorist proxy, Hezbollah. The current crisis, however, is likely to facilitate Iran’s mission of adding Lebanon to the list of countries it already occupies: Syria, Iraq and Yemen.
For several weeks now, the hashtag “# Lebanon is Collapsing” has been trending on various social media platforms, including Twitter. Many Lebanese and Arabs are using this hashtag to describe the dire economic and financial situation in Lebanon and warn of Iran’s ongoing meddling in the internal affairs of the country. They seem to fear that that Iran’s mullahs are about to instigate instability and chaos in Lebanon as they have done in Iraq, Yemen and Syria.
“The Lebanese people are dying,” commented Lebanese social media user Marianne Mouzaya. “No medicine, no hospitals, no electricity, no water, and an almost non-existent purchasing power.”
Iraqi political analyst and columnist Farouk Yusef pointed out that “Lebanon today is in its worst phase. For many, there is no Lebanon. A large part of the international community is no longer able to deal with Lebanon as an independent, sovereign state. It is an Iranian protectorate. But Hezbollah sarcastically calls on the world to save Lebanon.”
Yusef scoffed at the appeal of some Lebanese leaders to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states to rescue Lebanon and said that the request for help should instead be directed to Iran, which is directly responsible for the country’s crisis.
“Lebanon will remain deprived of the means of life because Iran, which has tightened its control over the country, is determined to drive it toward annihilation,” Yusef wrote. He said that if the Lebanese were aware that Hezbollah was using Lebanon as a launching pad to attack Israel and that they would end up without electricity, water or medicine, they would have preferred that Israel remain in their country.
Roger Edde, a Lebanese lawyer and president of the Lebanese Peace Party, warned that Lebanon will remain a “failed state” as long as it is “occupied” by Iran.
Lebanese social media user Rita Ballan accused Hezbollah of working to “perpetuate the [Iranian] occupation.” According to Ballan, Iran and Hezbollah have taken Lebanon back to the stone age, and the Lebanese are now suffering from “isolation, deprivation and humiliation.”