The mullahs in Iran are worried that their proxy group Hezbollah is losing its standing in Lebanon, following the explosion that killed more than 200 people in Beirut last Tuesday and the resignation of the entire cabinet last night.
The rightfully angry protesters blame the explosion and the country’s poor economic state on corrupt officials, mostly Hezbollah. In fact, they even hung an effigy of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah with a noose in Beirut.
Keyhan state-run daily, which is the mouthpiece of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, expressed concern over Hezbollah’s fate, saying that it benefits “those who are looking to weaken Hezbollah” and that the structural reforms called for by former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri and the West is nothing more than “weakening or destroying Hezbollah”.
While the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC)-affiliated Fars News Agency claimed Sunday that media outlets with “certain affiliations” were “taking advantage” of the explosion to “tarnish” Hezbollah. In that article, international relations expert and regime insider Mehdi Khanali-Zadeh said that “most of the various narrations that were presented after the blast was aimed at Hezbollah”.
The Resalat state-run daily believes that the protests against Hezbollah in Lebanon, by “organized groups” that attacked government buildings, are more of a threat than the explosion, with the unrest leading to something more, possibly an uprising for democracy that will spread to Iran.
Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, a former member of the National Security Committee in Iran’s Parliament, said that “the enemy wants to weaken the Islamic Republic of Iran by creating crises in Lebanon and Iraq”, comparing the current Lebanese protests to the November 2019 uprising.
He said: “[Our enemies] are trying to pursue their intentions by weakening the governments of Lebanon, Iraq, and Iran. They want to cause instability with riots and clashes as was the case last November in Iran.”
He then claimed that the regime was able to control the protests because it was “powerful in controlling crises”, but what this actually means is using brutal force, which killed over 1,500 men, women, and children over just a few days and shutting down the internet so they couldn’t share what was happening.
He urged the Lebanese government to do the same.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah recently denied that the Iranian regime had influence in Lebanon, even though he proudly stated the opposite in 2016.