Sunday, May 25, 2008

Iran wins

From The Telegraph (UK), 22/05/2008, by Tim Butcher, Middle East Correspondent:

Iran's influence across the Middle East was strengthened today when its close ally, Hizbollah, greatly increased its political power in Lebanon by winning a veto over all government decisions.

... there are fears that Tehran will exploit the development to foment trouble in the Levant region.

Crucially, under the deal announced in the Qatari capital of Doha the issue of disarming all Lebanese militia, including Hizbollah, was postponed.... ...the threat of violence and chaos in Lebanon remains a real one.

The deal represented a major setback for the anti-Hizbollah parties that constitute the largest bloc in the Lebanese parliament.

Their parliamentary power had been shown to count for little when well-armed and well-trained Hizbollah gunmen took over Beirut's major highways and airport earlier this month, effectively taking control of the city.

Saad Hariri, leader of the parliamentary majority, announced in Doha: “We made this agreement, although we are deeply wounded”....

...Under Lebanon's de facto constitution, no single ethnic faction had a clear veto over government business. This has now changed with able to stop cabinet decisions unilaterally.

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