By Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri
For those observing and understanding the situation in our region, it is not difficult to understand Saad Hariri’s resignation as Lebanon’s prime minister. When he went to Riyadh and resigned from there, it was not only for his personal safety. He went there to save Lebanon and its people from Hezbollah’s dominance.
For 25 years, this militia has been in Lebanon under the guise and slogan of resistance against Israel. But this so-called resistance should be directed toward Israel only. What is happening in Lebanon is not like that, because Hezbollah’s weapons have been used against the state and the Lebanese people.
The same is true with any Iranian-sponsored militia in Arab countries, such as the Houthis in Yemen. Hezbollah is the first militia in the Arab world created by Iran to serve its regional expansion and greed. From the 1980s, Hezbollah began its terrorist actions in Lebanon and the Gulf in favor of Iran. It had a plan to assassinate Kuwait’s then-emir, which failed. It also carried out terrorist acts in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
Today, we are witnessing Hezbollah’s evil very clearly in Syria by killing Syrian civilians who oppose Iran and the Assad regime. Tehran relies on Hezbollah to train more militias in the region and produce more and more fighters. It did that in Iraq after the US-led invasion, creating many terrorist militias loyal to Tehran. Before that, for many years Hezbollah trained Al-Qaeda members in Lebanon.
It is no secret that Hezbollah was behind the Houthi coup against the Yemeni state. Today, it is training the Houthis, smuggling Iranian weapons to them and launching ballistic missiles from Yemen with the help of Iranian experts. Just this month, Riyadh was targeted by an Iranian missile launched from Yemen, which was intercepted by the Saudi air defense.
Amid Hariri’s resignation in Riyadh, the missile attack was a message from Hezbollah to Saudi Arabia not to help Lebanon and its people. Riyadh for decades has directly supported Arab and non-Arab states and their peoples, not militias or sectarian groups as Tehran does. Iran has destroyed Arab countries and made them useless, while Saudi efforts are geared toward helping them.
Not only that, but Iran has used those countries against Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom and its allies, partners and friends are trying to correct the situation and counter terrorism by Al-Qaeda, Daesh, Hezbollah, the Houthis, and all other militias who bear arms against their countries and threaten our stability. These groups are trying to plunge the whole region into chaos and create more militias, so terrorism will spread not only regionally but globally.
Hariri came to Riyadh asking for help, just as Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi did for the struggle against the Houthis. Hariri resigned in Riyadh so he would not be in a place where groups allied to his government refuse to withdraw from other countries and refuse to stop doing Iran’s dirty work and terrorist acts. He will not cover for them.
Riyadh will support Lebanon as usual, and will not let it or other Arab countries be destroyed by Iran. The Kingdom will also take serious measures and decisive actions against Tehran’s targeting of it.
(Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri is a political analyst and international relations scholar. Twitter: @DrHamsheri)