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Hizbullah’s Victory in the Lebanese Parliamentary Elections Completes Iran’s Takeover of the Lebanese State

Hassan Nasrallah announced a Hizbullah victory in the Lebanese parliamentary elections that took place on May 6, 2018.

Ayatollah Khamenei presenting a copy of Quran to Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, with Major General Soleimani in attendance. website published in 2016 “an unseen photo of Ayatollah Khamenei presenting a copy of Quran to Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, with Major General Soleimani in attendance. The photo was taken in the year 2000.”

The Lebanese constitution, which is based on the National Pact of 1943, divides the government among the country’s religious sects. Therefore, following the elections, the president will continue to be a Maronite Christian, the prime minister a Sunni Muslim, and the chairman of Parliament a Shiite. However, with regard to the division between 128 members of Parliament, half of whom are Christians and half Muslims, Hizbullah has increased its parliamentary power through pacts with the Shiite Amal Party and the party of President Michel Aoun. The party of Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri is the biggest loser.

Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah with new Lebanese president Michel Aoun

Hizbullah head Hassan Nasrallah with Michel Aoun in 2006.

The necessity for forming a national unity government will apparently obligate all sides to maintain the present formula of power, according to which President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, and Parliamentary Chairman Nabih Berri will continue in their current positions. However, the main significance of a Hizbullah victory is that it strengthens the veto power that the Shiite organization possesses with regard to any Lebanese government decision. Therefore, Hizbullah will continue to lay the foundations of Lebanese policy in the spheres of foreign and internal policy. The most important of these are:

  • Protecting and maintaining the military power of Hizbullah, which is directly subject to Hassan Nasrallah and through him, to Iranian leader Khamenei.
  • Using force against Israel – subject to Iran’s decision; dispatching military forces to Syria; and supporting Iran domination in Syria.
  • Building institutions that are parallel to state institutions to provide civilian services in all aspects of life for Hizbullah and army militia.

Beyond all of the above, Hizbullah’s victory completes Iran’s takeover of the country of Lebanon. Any decisions regarding war and peace in Lebanon will be made in Tehran, not Beirut.

Apparently, the cannon fodder that Hizbullah supplied to Iran in Syria over the past seven years has not harmed Hizbullah’s position in Lebanon. Nasrallah campaigned daily via television, and mobilized all his abilities for the success of his representatives in the parliamentary elections. He has succeeded in presenting Hizbullah as the ultimate protector of the Shiites in Lebanon and the country itself.

For this reason, there must be an impact on any decisions regarding military aid from the Western countries, and primarily the United States, offered to the Lebanese army. Now, more than ever, it must be clear that giving any aid to the Lebanese Army is essentially giving military aid to Hizbullah.

About Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Dr. Shimon Shapira

Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Dr. Shimon Shapira is a senior researcher at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He served as Military Secretary to the Prime Minister and as Israel Foreign Ministry chief of staff. He edited the Jerusalem Center eBook Iran: From Regional Challenge to Global Threat.
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