Analysis by PMOI/MEK
Lebanon, October 22, 2019—Monday saw the fifth day of the uprisings of the Lebanese people, millions of whom came the streets of Beirut and other cities in a massive strike. The protesters are demanding the overthrow of the ruling system. They are also expressing their outrage from the associates of the Iranian regime in their country and are calling for a popular strike to force the current government to resign.
Lebanon was once a thriving economic, social and cultural hub. But due to the destructive role of the Hezbollah, the Iranian regime’s proxy in Lebanon, it has become a mere shadow of it passed. Lebanon is now plagued with drug abuse, unemployment, financial and economic corruption, and terrorism.
But the people of Lebanon, who represent a variety of religions and cultures, have risen to save their country. Interestingly, Lebanon’s Shiite Muslims, who have been under the negative influence of the Iranian regime’s meddling in their country, have a very active role in these protests.
Why an uprising?
The events in Lebanon have all the characteristics of a national uprising. First, people from all walks of life are participating in the protests, including students, workers, government employees and other segments of the Lebanese urban and rural society. The fact that 2 million people out of the country’s 6-million strong population took to the streets speaks for itself.
Second, the protesters have some very radical and fundamental demands. The people, who are not tied to any political group or party, have declined all plans for reform and want the total removal of the religious and ethnic division system, which is one of the main hurdles to democracy and development in their country.
The current system has created the perfect breeding ground for the Iranian regime’s proxy terrorists. The regime used the Hezbollah as a Trojan horse to turn Lebanon into one of the many countries it has plunged into chaos through the export of terrorism and fundamentalism.
But presently, there’s a generation of Lebanese youth who reject the corrupt ethnic and religious segregation system. They believe that the religious and cultural diversity of Lebanon should be a source of prosperity and unity, not division and corruption.
Parallel uprisings in Lebanon and Iraq
The uprisings in Lebanon happened on the heels of massive protests in Iraq, which began at the beginning of October. This is not a coincidence, and there’s no denying the connection between the two events, especially since the common denominator of both uprisings is the people’s rejection of the Iranian regime’s meddling and outrage at local governments affiliated to Tehran.
So far, the regime’s response to the uprisings of the Lebanese people has mostly been the dissemination of propaganda. Clearly, the regime is horrified by the prospects of losing its foothold in Lebanon and is doing all it can to preserve its influence in the country. Tehran’s strategists describe Lebanon as the “strategic depth” of the Iranian regime.
The Hezbollah has been one of the key implements of the Iranian regime in the past years. The regime used Hezbollah to carry out many of the terrorist attacks it did not want to directly associate to itself. Examples include the assassination of Kurdish dissidents in Berlin and the explosion of the AMIA center in Buenos Aires.
The regime has spent much of Iran’s wealth on filling the coffers of the Hezbollah, all paid out of the pockets of the poor people of Iran. In exchange, the Hezbollah and its leader Hassan Nasrollah have been doing the bidding of the mullahs, firing rockets and causing mayhem whenever their masters in Tehran order them to. The people of Lebanon have been suffering the consequences of Hezbollah’s destructive activities in their country and the region.
But the cultural and political differences between Iraq and Lebanon prevent the regime from openly suppressing the Lebanese uprisings as it did in Iraq. Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the terrorist Revolutionary Guards Quds Force (IRGC-QF) was directly involved in the murder of Iraqi protesters. But in Lebanon, the regime does not have such leeway, which creates much better prospects for the Lebanese people.
Tehran’s propaganda against the Lebanese uprisings
As it did in Iraq, the regime tried to downplay the uprisings in Lebanon through its state-run media, which described the protests as insignificant and foreign meddling. The regime’s propaganda apparatus also tried to portray the Lebanese people’s anger at Hezbollah as protests against other politicians.
The IRGC-affiliated Javan newspaper claimed on Monday that the government of Saad Hariri is trying to reduce the control of the Hezbollah on the country’s communications ministry. The mere fact that this state-run newspaper admits that Hezbollah controls Lebanon’s communications network is noteworthy. Interestingly, the protests in Lebanon were triggered by the policies of the communications ministry and the unfair taxes it was imposing on online messaging and voice-call applications.
Arman, another state-run newspaper, wrote on Monday, “Contrary to what happened in Lebanon before, this time, it has spread across all of Lebanon. Previously, unrest was mainly limited to Beirut. But this time, all the cities of Lebanon are witnessing unrest that is intensifying every day. The protesters are also asking for the constitution to change.”
After Iraq, Lebanon is the second warning signal to the collapsing regime of Iran’s mullahs. The message is that the nations of the region have become aware that their freedom, prosperity, security, and peace are all tied to the eviction of the Iranian regime from their countries and the downfall of the tyrants that have been ruling in Iran for four decades. In the streets of Lebanon and Iraq, the people are fighting the likes of Hezbollah and Hashid al-Shabi. But these are the tentacles of the octopus that sits in Tehran. And that octopus is weakening as the people of Iran and their organized resistance continue to tighten the noose around its corrupt rule.