Ever increasing Iranian influence causes despair to Lebanese economy and its people

BEIRUT The Lebanese political and economic crises have been further exacerbated by the Iranian control of the Lebanese government. The economic situation has become so bad, that it has formed a recruiting ground for the Islamic State (ISIS) among the Lebanese youth, even as the terrorist group is no longer in control of territory.

Dozens of young men from Lebanon’s impoverished north have disappeared in recent months, their parents finding their empty beds in the morning. In most cases these individuals then re-emerge with the Islamic State group in Iraq or Syria. Recently, the Iraqi Army announced the death of several ISIS-linked Lebanese nationals, in an air raid in the Iraqi Governorate of Diyala.

In related news, Israel, with the approval of Defense Minister Benny Gantz, confiscated the assets of three Lebanese companies. The seizure of assets was based on charges of providing financial support to Hezbollah in its efforts to develop its precision missile production. The Israeli Army stated that these Israeli sanctions will be followed by international sanctions as well. “Israel will act decisively regarding the implementation of the Iranian precision weapons in Lebanon,” said Gantz. The defense minister referred directly to Hezbollah, using Iran as a synonym in his quote. 

Gantz pointed out that Hezbollah poses a threat to the citizens of Lebanon and its government, adding that Israel will continue to offer humanitarian support to the Lebanese people.

Israel and Lebanon have had traditional and cold wars for decades, with the biggest loser being the Lebanese people themselves. Israel has made it clear that the cause of the Lebanese people’s suffering is due to the Iranian presence in Lebanon.

Last year, many of the gulf states expelled Lebanese ambassadors and even applied sanctions to some Lebanese products. These countries have long been uneasy with the decisive political power in Lebanon of the pro-Iranian Shia group Hezbollah. Those concerns have been steadily mounting along with the rise of Iran’s regional influence.