The truth about why Saudi Arabia and Israel are forming an alliance to destabilise Lebanon

Published: November 17, 2017
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Saudi Arabia and Israel have made public their mutual interest in pursuing a confrontation in Lebanon.

Despite Saudi Arabia’s tough rhetoric and brutal assault against its neighbour, Yemen (the poorest country in the region), the unfortunate reality is that Saudi Arabia is not the strongman it has hopelessly painted itself to be. This isn’t conjecture, nor is it an attempt to needlessly bolster and promote regional rivals such as Iran, as has become the trend among anti-imperialist  commentators.

Yes, Saudi Arabia is an oil-rich country who uses its money to great effect on the international level. Saudi Arabia’s relationships with the nuclear powers, Russia and China, have also been intensifying. However, what the media won’t tell you is that there is actually a hidden reason why Russia offered to sell Saudi Arabia its advanced S-400 missile defence system, while spending years flirting with selling Iran the lesser S-300 system.

According to Asia Times,

“Russia’s carefully-calibrated weapons sales to the opposing Persian Gulf powers follow a pattern established by China over the past decade. China sells missiles to Iran as well as to Saudi Arabia, but it sells more advanced missiles to the Saudis, because the Saudis are the weaker of the two adversaries, and China wants to maintain the balance of power. Russia has been called a ‘spoiler’ in the Middle East so often that the term clings like a Homeric epithet. In recent weeks, Russian policy has shifted to classic balance-of-power politics.”

China knows this, Russia knows this, and most importantly, Saudi Arabia knows this too.

That is why on multiple occasions, Saudi Arabia has expressed its desire to, “have the battle in Iran rather than in Saudi Arabia”.

And when the kingdom says it wants to have the battle “in Iran”, it doesn’t appear to mean that Saudi Arabia is in any way close to launching a strike or an invasion anywhere close to Iran. Rather, it appears the anti-Iran axis will continue the same tried and true strategy it failed to implement in Syria, and in neighbouring Lebanon, whereby regional powers funnelled weapons, money and fighters to bolster Sunni extremists attempting to topple the Syrian government. Over half a decade later — with hundreds of thousands of bodies left buried beneath the rubble — it appears the plan to destabilise Syria has failed abysmally.

If destabilising Lebanon through indirect means doesn’t work out, Saudi Arabia evidently has plans to use the Israeli military to do its work for them, as Middle East Eye explains:

“Saudi Arabia will only be able to destabilise Lebanon if it works with Israel, the only country with the military capabilities to threaten Lebanon’s fragile peace. Will Mohammed bin Salman go as far as striking a deal with Israel in which he offers full normalisation in return for Israel destroying Hezbollah and Iran in Lebanon?”

In the meantime, Saudi Arabia has essentially captured the Lebanese prime minister in its latest attempt to bully another country into direct submission. Never mind that Saudi Arabia, and a host of its allies, already embarrassed themselves drastically by trying to teach Qatar a lesson for being friendly with Iran and having an independent media that doesn’t kowtow to Saudi Arabia’s demands. The Saudis apparently thought kidnapping an elected official would somehow save them from their complete demise as a regional power.

There’s a reason Saudi Arabia and Israel – two ideologically opposed nightmares – have begun bonding publicly since Donald Trump’s election victory. There’s also a reason why, not so long ago, Israel held its largest military drill in 20 years. It simulated a full-on invasion of Lebanon with the specific intention of going after Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed Shia proxy militia. In fact, Israel has been planning for a major war for some time now, yet the mainstream media hasn’t deemed this to be anywhere near as newsworthy as it should be.

There’s also a reason why Saudi Arabia warned its citizenry to leave Lebanon immediately. Saudi Arabia is not taking its war to Iran – it’s taking its war to Lebanon, the latest victim in the anti-Iran coalition’s on-going pursuit to confront Iran’s growing sphere of regional influence.

One should bear in mind that Lebanon was one of the seven countries listed in US Army’s four-star General Wesley Clark’s exposed memo of the nations the US intended to topple following 9/11 and the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. Furthermore, Israel already tried its hand at invading Lebanon in 2006 but was, by all accounts, unsuccessful.

This time, Saudi Arabia and Israel have made public their mutual interest in pursuing a confrontation in Lebanon. No one will admit it, but Saudi Arabia is in trouble. While grappling with this growing reality, the country has to find a way to ensure it doesn’t lose out massively to Tehran, its regional arch-rival.

But Hezbollah is not going anywhere in Lebanon. The country’s president, who is a Christian, already affirmed in September of this year that he sees Hezbollah as necessary to ensure Lebanese resistance to Israel. This is why Israel labelled both Lebanon’s army and Hezbollah as its foe — the two are heavily intertwined.

Therefore, bullying Lebanon into conceding to Saudi Arabia and Israel will be close to impossible without using direct force.

Given Hezbollah’s battle-hardened resolve in the Syrian conflict, its surge in membership, its growing alliance with Russia and Iran, and its newly acquired stash of weaponry, one can only hope Saudi Arabia and Israel are fully prepared, not only for a Syrian War 2.0, but also for the regional explosion that could ignite if these wars in the Middle East are not significantly de-escalated and scaled back within the next few years.

 This post was originally published here.

Darius Shahtahmasebi

Darius Shahtahmasebi

The author has completed a Double Degree in Law and Japanese from the University of Otago, with an interest in human rights, international law and journalism. He's a fully qualified lawyer in two separate jurisdictions, and writes about foreign policy for Anti-Media. He tweets at @TVsLeaking ‏(twitter.com/TVsLeaking)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Khan

    Exactly……These egoistic Munfiq kings need to know that ISLAM ruled the world because of peace/love/tranquility/equality and justice for all. The only reason they feel threatened is because their advisors are Americans/Jews and they are making sure that most of the damage done, in confronting Iran, remains in middle east.

    In this way they achieve two objectives with one strike. i.e. weaker Iran / weaker Arabs.Recommend

  • fze

    Now it makes sense of all the upheaval taking place in Saudia in the name of corruption. We can also see why Raheel Sharif was inducted as the head of coalition force. It is clear that this force will go against Iran. I can hear the swords rattling and battle cry in future. We like it or not, unfortunately, Pakistan will be dragged into this foray. There is no way that we can stand idle while the fire burns in our backyard. God help us!Recommend

  • Parvez

    Its always interesting to read you…… stimulating, rather sensational stuff.Recommend

  • Rahul Patil

    More power to IsraelRecommend

  • Desi

    The downfall of Saudis has begun….Arabs are fighting among themselves and while the Jews and Christians are having a nice time by watching. Their ultimate goal has been succeeded; to make the Muslims fight among themselves.Recommend

  • numbersnumbers

    FYI, You fail to realize that Iranians are Persians, not Arabs!
    By the way, any comment on Iran supporting Houthi rebels to destabilize Yemen and threaten Saudi Arabia?
    By the way, any comment on Iran supporting Hamas to wipe Israel off the map, as Hamas boasts is their goal?Recommend

  • wb

    OMG!! Arabs are fighting among themselves?!! How can that happen? Arabs have never fought among themselves ever in the history of the last 1450 years. Arabs have always remained so united and so powerful. How can they fight? How can Arabs fight among themselves. I’m blown away. I’m literally in pieces reading about such profound change among Arabs!!! Oh god, help me. Oh god, please!!!! Please the great kind human beings called Arabs to stop fighting among themselves and let them live in peace and harmony like they’ve always done in the last 1450 years!!Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    You must be from a different planet or reading the fake history Arabs and jews are semit, meaning the eternl enemies of theeir own folks.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Rex Minor

    Israel was given the land of palestinians to kep them out of Europe. But this was not enough to satisfy their living ego for the promise land, they want more land in case oil sprudelts from the zaitun orchards
    . Hamas and Hizbollah were created by the jehova to stop their greed

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • numbersnumbers

    Too bad you didn’t know that the Jews lived in the Mideast since before the time of Christ, long before there were Palestinians!Recommend

  • Rex minor

    And the christians and muslims too, It was Moses who brought the hebraesh people from Egypt into the jordan valley.This is not to say that the jews from the European continent should be implanted in the holy land forcing the palestinian arab muslim and christian dwellers out of their ancestoral homes into refugee camps around the entire middle east. Even Soloman would not have approved such a solution.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • numbersnumbers

    Typical pro-Iran rant, carefully avoiding mentioning Iran’s decades long meddling in regional affairs via their Hezbollah and Hamas proxies!Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    Iranian Ayatullahs were sent into exile in arabian lands by the Shah of Iran, tosay that they are meddling in the region is a ms-statement since it was the educated Iranians who were running the affars in gulf states long before the oll sprudled in the land making the illetrate sheikhs rich. Too bad the Americans foreign policy has not altered towards Iran since the down fall of the monarchy.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • numbersnumbers

    Just how is pointing out Iran’s decades long (since fall of Shah of Iran) meddling in Mideast affairs via its support for Proxies like Hezbollah, Hamas, and now Houthi rebels a “miss-statement????Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    Similarly, if Iranian supplied heavy missiles launched by Hezbollah
    strike Israeli cities, know that the Israelis now have the capability to
    strike Iranian cities in reply!

    You are definitely not serious, Israel challenging Iran which henceas nuclear deterrence and the medium range missiles wiich can easily reach the entire middle east.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • numbersnumbers

    I am definitely serious!
    What makes you think the Israelis will let Iran escape unscathed after Iranian supplied and directed missiles hit Israeli cities?Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    Sir, Iranians in my analyi did not meddle but actualy have been running arab affairs for decades before the illetrate sheikhs became of age after oil was discovered in their sheikhdoms. None of the regional players are the proxies of Iran but do receive political, moral and material support from the Iranian Government.. Saudi Arabia stands today as the sole looser in the regional politics despite Trumpers and Israelites support for the machiavllean policy of the new monarch. This is my opnion.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Rex Minor

    Israel army failed to hold their ground against Hizbollah fighters and stand to loose their State if they dare take on Iran. Iranian missiles are the new factor in the balance of power in todays middle east and will keep the military strategsts busy in the next decade. It is too early to prognose the winner. i certainly would not bet on Israel in the next round..

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Patwari

    Wrong again. As usual. Palestinians have been living
    in Palestine for at least 3,700 hundred years. They drove
    the Hebrew Tribes out of Palestine. Scattered them.
    And more than once they fought the Ancient Egyptians.
    [Pharaohs to you]. The Pharaohs used to get a yearly tribute,
    from them. If not, they would come calling and leave a brutal
    calling card, and a reminder that next year’s tribute, better be on time.Recommend

  • Eddied

    hezbollah are paid mercenaries of Iran…the Ayatollah is responsible for keeping Muslims fighting Muslims in Muslim countries…The war in Yemen is a direct result of Iran financing Houthi rebels who are attacking the legitimate government of that country…the war in Yemen will be over when Iran stops financing it…Recommend

  • Eddied

    that is correct and historically accurate…Recommend

  • Eddied

    why would USA change its policies against an enemy who has started each meeting by shouting death to America for 30 years?…The hate mongering Ayatollah will lose his power when the people realize he is a liar consumed with hate and the USA is not the enemy of Iran…just the fanatic Ayatollah…Recommend

  • Eddied

    the Saudis have mustered a coalition of 40 Muslim countries to fight terrorism…while the Ayatollah has isolated his country and become an international pariah state like North Korea…The saudis may wisely make peace with Israel and stop years of useless wars…that is the best possible future for the entire Muslim world…Recommend

  • Eddied

    then you will lose your bet…Any attack on Israel will be met with powerful retaliation that will cripple Iran and make them more backward…Attacking Israel would be the biggest mistake Iran could possibly make…Recommend

  • PatelPara
  • Eddied

    Nothing new here…after mossedeq tried to steal the british investment in developing Iranian oil capability, the cia backed the Shah…the coup was performed completely by Iranians and the us only supplied some money..Recommend

  • PatelPara

    we know. thats the answer that there will always be a chant of death to america. because its the country which meddles in EVERYONEs affairs.

    even americans hate themselves for their foreign policy.Recommend