The political crisis between Lebanon and the Gulf states: Tensions have risen amid Kuwait and Bahrain’s concern over growing Hezbollah influence in the Gulf region, following the arrest of 16 young men suspected of organizing and carrying out terrorist acts and smuggling. Bahrain’s Foreign Minister ‘Abd al-Latif a-Ziani referred to the future of relations with Lebanon, saying: “Lebanon must prove that the Hezbollah movement, Iran’s ally, can change its behavior to mend the rift with the Gulf states.”
At a regional security forum in Bahrain this week, a-Ziani added: “The problem is within Lebanon. This is the biggest challenge for the Lebanese, and they should review Hezbollah’s policies. We can contribute in finding solutions, but only after Hezbollah changes its behavior.”
Relations to Iran
Lebanese journalist Maria Malouf, known for her stances against Hezbollah, published a document bearing the stamp of senior Hezbollah official Hashim Safi a-Din after the arrest of young people in Kuwait. The document states that the organization operates under Tehran’s authority, and that Hezbollah has recently received indications from Iran regarding the expulsion of its operatives from the Gulf states.
Meanwhile, after al-Ziani criticized the alliance between Hezbollah and Iran, Bahrain security forces announced today that they had managed to arrest suspects planning to carry out an attack, and confiscated Iranian weapons and explosives.
Iranian military exercise. Photo: Reuters
In the Lebanese media, the Bahraini foreign minister’s remarks were criticized. In an interview with the Window to Lebanon program, Rabia Ghassan, a commentator on Asian affairs, said that “the demands of the Gulf states from Hezbollah to change its behavior are American demands, and in no way can various issues, such as the precision missile project, and Hezbollah’s influence in southern Lebanon be discussed.” Hezbollah will not withdraw from them. ” Ghassan added: “All American and Gulf demands come under pressure from Hezbollah to make concessions on all issues, including the issue of regulating maritime borders, and giving Israel the right to receive all gas from the fields in the maritime border area.”
On social networks in the Arab world, the political crisis was met with disagreement. For example, a cartoon criticizing Hezbollah and Lebanon, and the Gulf states closing the door on them:
— stations | Stations (@akaliti) November 21, 2021
As mentioned, tensions between the Gulf states and Lebanon have increased recently, in light of the remarks of Lebanese Information Minister George Qardahi, who said in an interview before being appointed that the Houthis in Yemen are defending themselves and accusing Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates of harming Yemen and Gina. The military operation against the Shiite-Zaidi terrorist organization.