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Thursday, December 2, 2010     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Lebanon seen in Congress as losing soverignty and 'subordinate to Iran and Syria'

WASHINGTON — The United States regards Lebanon as a vassal of both Iran and Syria.

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Leading members of Congress have concluded that the government of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has abandoned the nation's sovereignty and could no longer make independent decisions. They said Hariri has been consulting and seeking approval from both Iran and Syria for major government decisions.

"Hizbullah, with the help of Iran and Syria, is massively rearming, the Lebanese government is becoming more and more subordinate to Iran and Syria," Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, named the next chair of the House Foreign Relations Committee, said.


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Ms. Ros-Lehtinen, who has opposed much of the foreign policy of President Barack Obama, was said to have expressed a consensus among the Republicans as well as many leading Democrats in Congress. At a meeting with United Nations envoy Terje Roed-Larsen, the Florida Republican warned that the United States could not support a Lebanese government that was becoming indistinguishable from Iran and its proxies, particularly Hizbullah, Middle East Newsline reported.

"The line between the Lebanese armed forces and Hizbullah is gradually being erased," Ms. Ros-Lehtinen said on Nov. 30.

In August, Congress placed a hold on $100 million in U.S. military and security aid to Lebanon. Officials said the prospect that a Republican-dominated House would do the same in 2011 was high.

Ms. Ros-Lehtinen told Roed-Larsen that U.S. and UN efforts to bolster Lebanon's sovereignty have been faltering. She cited Hizbullah's effort to delay the release of indictments by a UN tribunal that investigated the assassination of Hariri's father, also a prime minister, in 2005.

"Above all, we must protect the security of the U.S. and our allies, uphold Lebanon's sovereignty, and ensure that those responsible for Prime Minister [Rafik] Hariri's murder are held responsible," Ms. Ros-Lehtinen said.

For his part, Roed-Larsen has been warning of a Hizbullah military buildup in southern Lebanon in violation of a UN Security Council resolution in 2006. Resolution 1559 also called for the disbanding of Hizbullah and other militias in Lebanon.

"We need to have a clear vision of what the end-state is and how we can achieve it," Ms. Ros-Lehtinen said.




Comments


The pro western Majority in Lebanon is standing up to Iran-Syria-Hezbollah alliance. However, the moderate Arab world and Western powers are not doing enough... as U.S. waste more engagement time with Syria, as the world wastes more time on nuclear talk with Iran and as the moderate Arab countries can't face Iran... the elected lebanese majority, although threatened by Iran Syria armed Hezbollah, is confronting the nuclear persian empire.

Safa      6:30 p.m. / Friday, December 3, 2010

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