Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Continental Shift: Iran now shares a border with Israel

Najib Miqati, Hezbullah's chosen candidate, ascends in Lebanon, signalling a new era with Iran firmly in charge of Lebanon.  The coup should serve as a stark warning to those who minimize the expansionist threat of Iran.
Hezbollah Chooses Lebanon’s Next Prime Minister -Anthony Shadid

A prime minister chosen by Hezbollah and its allies won enough support to form Lebanon’s government, unleashing angry protests, realigning politics and culminating the generation-long ascent of the Shiite Muslim movement from shadowy militant group to the country’s pre-eminent political and military force.

Hezbollah’s success served as a stark measure of the shifting constellation of power in this part of the Middle East, where the influence of the United States and its Arab allies — Egypt and Saudi Arabia — is seen by politicians and diplomats as receding, while Iran and Syria have become more assertive.

[T]he symbolism of Hezbollah’s choosing Lebanon’s prime minister was vast, potentially serving as the beginning of a new era for a combustible country whose conflicts have long entangled the United States, Iran and Syria. A practical impact may be the realignment of Lebanon away from the United States, which treated the government of Prime Minister Saad Hariri as an ally.

Israel, with which Hezbollah fought a monthlong war in 2006, has warned of the implications of the new cabinet. In a radio interview, Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom described it as effectively “an Iranian government on Israel’s northern border.”
[New York Times]

Iran Changes the Balance of Power in Lebanon  -Michael Segall

In practice, the Lebanese-Israeli border is in fact Israel's border with Iran.
(Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

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