Saudi Arabia Is Now At War With Iran on Four Fronts

Posted November 11, 2017

A Saudi minister on Monday accused Lebanon of declaring war on the Gulf kingdom by failing to reign in the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terror group, as tensions between Riyadh and Tehran spiked over the resignation of Lebanon's prime minister and fighting in Yemen.

"I want to tell Iran and its followers that it will lose in its interventions in the internal affairs of Arab countries".

"We are living in a climate similar to the atmosphere that prevailed before the assassination of martyr Rafik al-Hariri", he said in the broadcast from the Saudi capital Riyadh.

Kushner visited Saudi Arabia in October as part of a four-day trip to the region that also included stops in Israel, Jordan and Egypt, Politico reported last week. Both Iran and Saudi Arabia share a fractious relationship due to a power struggle over a series of religio-political issues such as the way Islam is interpreted, the Islamic world's leadership and oil exports.

Speaking in a televised address, Nasrallah said: "The resignation was a Saudi decision dictated to Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri and was forced on him".

But in order to understand the actual dynamics leading to Hariri's resignation, it is necessary to keep in mind how he, backed by Riyadh like his assassinated father, came to be prime minister to begin with only a year ago. Less than two years later, 11 Hezbollah members of his Cabinet resigned, causing a coalition government to collapse.

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Nasrallah wondered if Saudi Arabia was holding Hariri against his will and whether Hariri was not permitted to return to Lebanon.

Under the Lebanese Constitution, the president must be a Maronite Christian, the prime minister a Sunni and the speaker of the Parliament a Shia Muslim.

The coalition government he led brought together almost all of the main political parties in Lebanon, including Hezbollah.

In the extended UNIFIL mandate, the Security Council renewed the mission with new instructions for more patrols with Lebanese forces and detailed reports when peacekeepers run into roadblocks in Hezbollah's strongholds in southern Lebanon.

It is hard to predict how Hariri's resignation will effect Israeli interests. Israel is not interested in escalation in the near future, and the same is true of Hezbollah. Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh sought to calm fears the political turmoil would hit Lebanon's already fragile economy, issuing a statement to reaffirm the stability of its currency, which is pegged against the US dollar. Hezbollah's first priority is to achieve victory in Syria, to make sure the Ba'ath regime prevails there.