The outcome of international efforts to engage Iran on the nuclear issue, as well as progress in US-Syria relations, will greatly influence whether Lebanon achieves a meaningful political settlement and begins to address its long-standing administrative, structural and economic challenges, or whether the country remains a mirror of an unstable regional landscape. Regional sectarian and political tensions often act as a rallying call for Lebanon's various armed groups, many of which are the products of the country's poverty-stricken Palestinian refugee camps.
THEWORLDTODAY.ORG DECEMBER 2009 PAGE 18 IRAN, ISRAEL AND HIZBOLLAH Anoushka Kurkjian, FREELANCE MIDDLE EAST ANALYST BASED IN LONDON StarkChoices | INDEPENDENT THINKING ON INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS THEWORLDTODAY.ORG DECEMBER 2009 PAGE 19 Israel’s interception of a cargo ship allegedly carrying Iranian weapons bound for the Lebanese Shi’a group Hizbollah has upped the stakes in an already volatile region. The incident follows weeks of heightened tensions along the Lebanese-Israeli border and comes at a particularly sensitive moment in international efforts to contain Iran’s nuclear programme. i SRAELI ALLEGATIONS THAT IRAN AND Syria are rearming Hizbollah, in defiance of United Nations resolutions, presents stark choices for the international peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon, for Lebanon’s leaders, and a United States administration seeking a new approach towards the Middle East. The outcome of international efforts to engage Iran on the nuclear issue, as well as progress in US-Syria relations, will greatly remains. The status of Hizbollah’s arms is far from being resolved and was thrown into renewed focus by the Israeli seizure of hundreds of tons of weaponry, including rockets, allegedly bound for Hizbollah. Israel has hailed the discovery as evidence that Iran and Syria, undeterred by the terms of UN Security Council Resolution 1701 which brought the 2006 conflict to a halt, are re-arming Hizbollah. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu, who since influence whether Lebanon achieves a taking office in February has provided a grim meaningful political settlement and begins to assessment of the level of threat his country still address its long-standing administrative, faces from Hizbollah, said that the arms were structural and economic challenges, or intended to strike Israeli cities. Israel also whether the country remains a mirror of an claims that the UN peacekeeping mission unstable regional landscape. (UNIFIL)
Pages to are hidden for
"Stark Choices"Please download to view full document