Abdollahian in Beirut: "A new policy" for an outward Iranian presence?

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2023-04-27 | 01:06
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Abdollahian in Beirut: "A new policy" for an outward Iranian presence?
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5min
Abdollahian in Beirut: "A new policy" for an outward Iranian presence?

The visit of Iranian Foreign Minister Hussein Amir Abdollahian to Lebanon and Syria is not a new or unusual development. However, the importance of the visit stems from two points. The first is that it comes after the Saudi-Iranian agreement.

The second is that it includes an invitation from the Iranian embassy to about 25 members of different parliamentary blocs to meet with the Iranian minister. The visit will also witness a series of activities related to various contexts, including meetings with Lebanese political forces, representatives of parliamentary blocs, and Palestinian factions.

These issues will be on the visit's agenda, which will undoubtedly carry many political and regional indicators. The visit is also significant because Abdollahian arrives in Beirut after a visit to Oman, which is known to have witnessed and still hosts many direct and indirect negotiations between Iran, Saudi Arabia, Washington, and the Syrian regime.

This article was originally published in, translated from Lebanese newspaper al-Modon.

After Beirut, the man will move to Damascus to meet with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, against the backdrop of progress in Syrian-Saudi relations.

We must wait for the contents of Abdollahian's visit to Beirut, which can clarify many outstanding points, while preemptive analyses of what it might entail are increasing.

Iran's allies consider it a visit that indicates not abandoning Lebanon and reaffirming Iran's presence in the Lebanese arena after the Saudi-Iranian agreement. Meanwhile, Tehran's opponents may see the visit as aiming to inform allies of the necessity to facilitate the presidential election process and make concessions.

Escalation and Concession Times

Based on these conflicting positions, allies consider that Abdollahian will encourage a settlement, particularly with Hezbollah's conviction that Sleiman Frangieh's chances increase externally and that internal elements must be created for that.

As for the opposition, they consider that there is a priority that supersedes the president's figure, which should exist for Hezbollah and the Amal Movement, which is to maintain their privileges in their positions at the expense of the president's person in exchange for ensuring openness in Arab and international relations, easing escalation, and obtaining foreign aid.

This drives others to say that Frangieh does not serve this context. At the same time, all the escalation made by the party in adopting Frangieh's option would improve the conditions when it is time for a settlement and an attempt to impose concessions on external parties so that the settlement would be the best possible for it as a resistance axis.

Therefore, they cannot announce the concession in advance, but now is the time for escalation. Then the time for concession comes when offers are presented. So far, no offer has been submitted, and therefore things remain as they are and may be prolonged. These people consider that everything happening falls within the context of seeking a price. At the same time, no one outside has yet shown readiness to start offering prices.

Iranian Satisfaction

However, away from all these different readings, the tour of the Iranian Minister from Oman to Beirut and Damascus shows Iranian satisfaction with the general course in the region.

It is an expression of maintaining its presence even after the agreement with Saudi Arabia. At the same time, Iran seeks to create new political mechanisms to express its presence and existence by activating relations with other forces.

This is a path that the Iranian embassy had preceded some time ago by sending invitations to political, parliamentary, and media figures who are not classified as being in the Axis or allies.

This is again confirmed through meetings between Abdollahian and representatives of various parliamentary blocs. Sources indicate that he will not intervene in the details of the Lebanese dossier, especially at the presidential level, and will clearly emphasize that the file is the responsibility of Hezbollah. At the same time, Iran is ready to provide all forms of support and assistance to Lebanon.

 
 


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