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Iranian newspapers on Lebanese protests: conspiracy against axis of resistance

Lebanese demonstrators gather at Martyrs' Square and Riad Al Solh Square during an anti-government protest against dire economic conditions and new tax regulations on messaging services like Whatsapp, in Beirut, Lebanon on 19 October 2019. [Mahmut Geldi - Anadolu Agency]
Lebanese demonstrators gather at Martyrs' Square and Riad Al Solh Square during an anti-government protest against dire economic conditions and new tax regulations on messaging services like Whatsapp, in Beirut, Lebanon on 19 October 2019 [Mahmut Geldi/Anadolu Agency]

Iranian newspapers addressed the ongoing protests in Lebanon describing what is going on “as an extension of the plot in Iraq,” referring to the recent demonstrations in Baghdad and Iraqi cities.

The Iranian pro-reformists newspaper Aftab Yazd said that the demonstrations are “an external conspiracy to weaken the pro-Iranian 8 March Alliance in Lebanon.”

“The one thing that should not be overlooked is that besides the political developments inside Lebanon, there are countries in the region and others outside it that have an influential role in the Lebanese protests,” analyst Hassan Hanizadeh told the newspaper.

He added that “because of his loyalty to Saudi Arabia and the United States, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri is trying to accuse some members of the Council of Ministers and President Michel Aoun of being unqualified.”

‘Several heads’

The analyst went on: “In recent years, Saudi Arabia and the United States have cut aid to Lebanon to create chaos in the country and pressure Hariri to expel some of his government members who belong to the 8 March alliance.”

Hanizadeh said that “the protests will force Hariri to announce his resignation or to replace ministers loyal to Saudi Arabia and the United States with members of his government belonging to the 8 March alliance. The Lebanese president will be forced to submit a new candidate, and he will nominate Hariri again.”

Hanizadeh continued that “these protests have several heads linked to the countries of the region and non-regional countries,” as he put it.

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Hanizadeh drew a comparison between the protests of Lebanon and those of Iraq, saying: “The vast majority of those participating in the Lebanese protests belong to the 14 March team, unlike Iraq, in which many parties are participating. Nevertheless, we can say that the common denominator between the demonstrators in Lebanon and Iraq is that they are weakening of the axis of resistance against the US.”

Hanizadeh described “Saudi Arabia and US’s involvement in the Lebanese protests,” saying: “Most of the participants in the protests are supporters of the 14 March movement, which is backed by the United States and Saudi Arabia. In case the current Lebanese government’s ministers are changed in favour of the 14 March team, the protests in Lebanon will end.”

‘American conspiracy’

The pro-conservatives newspaper Ciwan blamed Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri for what is happening in Lebanon. “He is the person responsible for the Lebanese crisis while again accusing other political trends of obstructing economic reform in Lebanon,” the newspaper said.

The pro-conservatives newspaper Resalat considered Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah as “the master of resistance and the spirit of Lebanon. What is happening in Lebanon is a US-Saudi conspiracy.”

“What has been happening in Lebanon since Thursday is a systematic effort by the Saudis and the Americans” the newspaper quoted expert and analyst Sayed Reza Sadr Husseini.

Sadr Husseini linked what is happening in Lebanon to the events in Iraq, commenting: “There are similarities between the recent events in Lebanon and the events of the last two weeks in Iraq. The important thing that we have noticed in these protests is the change of slogans from economic demands to political and security issues.”

Husseini described it “as an American and Saudi-backed conspiracy to strike the resistance and blame Hariri for the mismanagement of the government.” He added: “Of course, there are different trends, including Jumblatt’s Progressive Socialist Forces, Geagea’s Lebanese Forces, and some members of the Future Movement, who are implementing Saudi and US orders to strike the resistance, its allies and the legitimate state in Lebanon.”

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