Franjieh first victim of Iran-Saudi Arabia agreement

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2023-03-13 | 02:26
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Franjieh first victim of Iran-Saudi Arabia agreement
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Franjieh first victim of Iran-Saudi Arabia agreement

The situation has changed since March 10. As soon as "signs" of the Saudi-Iranian agreement started to emerge from China, it took center stage in anticipation of its ramifications and cross-border consequences.
 
As Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan emphasized yesterday, the agreement "does not mean resolving outstanding disputes."
 
However, the resistance machine unleashed its imagination for the presidency. It began a deliberate media campaign to persuade the Lebanese that the Beijing agreement had opened the Baabda Presidential Palace doors to the Shiite duo's candidate, Marada Movement leader Sleiman Franjieh.
 
 
Intersecting diplomatic data, however, quickly dispelled these illusions and confirmed that Franjieh would be the first "victim" of Iran's agreement with Saudi Arabia, despite what was being promoted.
 
The rule that cannot be disregarded in any country's policies is that "their strategic interests exceed the wishes of the powers that revolve in its orbit," a diplomatic source involved in the Lebanese file explained to "Nidaa Al-Watan."
 
The same sources added that "Tehran's priorities in the agreement with Riyadh are higher than the priorities of its agenda in Lebanon because it has been trying for a while to reestablish diplomatic ties between the two countries to lift the siege on it."
 
But until the time of agreement to resume these relations in China after rounds of shuttle negotiations in the Sultanate of Oman and Iraq, Saudi Arabia was not responding to Iran's urgent request.
 
The diplomat himself stated that Yemen is the Saudis' top priority.
 
Regarding the Lebanese file, the source noted that "the Saudi leadership is concerned about Lebanon, but it has already clearly defined its position regarding the rescue road map that the Lebanese themselves must take to recover their country.
 
Similar to how it made up its mind about Franjieh's candidacy before the deal with Iran, it has made clear its position to the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rahi and numerous other Lebanese political figures, especially Walid Jumblatt, leader of the "Progressive Socialist Party," and other individuals.
 
The position stated that Franjieh's election to the first presidency is rejected because he is a key member of the resistance axis that has contributed to Lebanon's current situation, whether at the level of the country's internal collapse or the state of its Arab and international relations.
 
On the other hand, the March 8 leaders are adamant about advocating the likelihood of a change in Saudi policy regarding the election after the agreement with Tehran is finalized.
 
March 8 circles base their estimate on the "timing" of Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri announcing the Shiite duo's support for the nomination of the leader of the "Marada Movement," taking into account that behind this timing are fundamental data that indicate a change in the regional landscape in favor of Franjieh's election.
 
In the same circles, it was thought that Franjieh would not have hurriedly announced his candidacy at the five-party meeting in Ain al-Tineh that included Berri, Franjieh, Ali Hassan Khalil, Hussein Khalil, and Youssef Feniano, if Berri had not had a kind of a "password."
 
The same sources revealed that Speaker Berri asked Franjieh about his thoughts on the Shiite duo's initiative to announce support and adopt his candidacy during the meeting. Franjieh responded with approval, and that is what happened.
 
On the other hand, other political sources characterized Berri's move as "savvy," noting that "this step did not necessarily stem from a conviction that the regional moment is appropriate for concluding a settlement leading to the election of Franjieh.
 
Instead, it might be based on a counter conviction that his delivery to the Baabda Presidential Palace was impossible, which is why the Shiite duo had to declare their support for him for this to be considered a "clearance" towards him in advance of the start of a presidential settlement that would require withdrawing support for him in favor of a consensus candidate with the Lebanese backing and Arab and international cover.
 

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