Secretary-General of the Lebanese Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, moved Lebanon to a new level of the political battle internally and regionally, by announcing yesterday, Thursday, the launch of the first ship from Iran to Lebanon, loaded with oil derivatives, warning the Americans and Israelis of exposure to it, by describing it as "Lebanese land." , which analysts considered that the party is expanding the rules of engagement to include the seas with the land borders in the south of the country.
In a parallel development, hours after Nasrallah's speech, US Ambassador Dorothy Shea informed President Michel Aoun of the US administration's decision to help Lebanon draw electricity from Jordan through Syria, in addition to facilitating the transfer of Egyptian gas through Jordan and Syria to northern Lebanon.
At this time, Lebanon continues to slide towards chaos, whose indicators rose after the Banque du Liban decided to lift subsidies on fuel imports.
This exacerbated the shortage of gasoline and diesel, as queues of cars extended at gas stations, and resulted in confrontations and security problems on the street, the latest of which was the killing of about 30 young men and the wounding of dozens when a fuel tanker exploded in Akkar, northern Lebanon.
What are the backgrounds of the Iranian ship sailing towards Lebanon?
Nasrallah did not clarify technical details about the ship’s tonnage, size, distribution mechanism, unloading and pricing, to ensure the success of the operation, and it may take 10 to 15 days to arrive, and aims to help the Lebanese away from any sectarian, regional or political consideration, according to Wassim Bazzi, writer and political analyst (close to Hizb allah).
Bazzi considers that Nasrallah drew up a formula entitled to consider the ships heading from Iran as Lebanese territory, without revealing the mechanism of entry of the ship, "but it will inevitably dock at a Lebanese port and not in Syria."
The political analyst of Al Jazeera Net said that exposing the ship to any war test, the response to it may be by targeting Israel.
Bazzi believes that the US ambassador’s announcement of bringing in Egyptian gas is a victory point for Hezbollah, because it proves the theory of America’s involvement in imposing a stifling blockade on Lebanon, and that America has no intention of helping the Lebanese were it not for the need for reactions against Hezbollah.
Saad Hariri: Iranian support ships carry additional risks and sanctions (European)
reactions were issued by former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who considered that Iranian support ships carry additional risks and penalties, placing red lines in front of the next government when he asked: Which government do they want to open its business by receiving Iranian ships and clashing with the international community, while Lebanon? Need a government that has the support of brothers and friends?
Mustafa Alloush, deputy head of the Future Movement, stresses the positions launched by Hariri, considering that Hezbollah is taking advantage of the Lebanese need to delude them that it is capable of doing what others are unable to do, and if Iran is suffering from problems with its oil derivatives, why does it not export to its ally the Syrian regime?
According to Alloush, "Instead of Lebanon's legalization of illegal fuel smuggling operations into Syria, under the cover of Hezbollah."
He told Al Jazeera Net, "The basis of Lebanon's problem is the presence of Hezbollah, and without it, the country would be liberated from the danger of international sanctions and its political and security problems would have been lighter."
Alloush believes that Nasrallah's announcement will likely negatively affect the formation of the government, accusing Hezbollah and President Michel Aoun of exchanging roles, and "the two complement the process of subjecting Lebanon to Iranian control to achieve internal and regional gains."
Challenging the laws of the seas?
The oil derivatives ship departs from Iran through coordination with Hezbollah and not with official bodies in the Lebanese state or by requesting permission from the Ministry of Energy, which, like all Lebanese, reported the news;
This implies, according to Raif Khoury, a professor of constitutional law and international relations, that Hezbollah intends to storm the so-called tanker war between Iran and Israel.
Khoury points out that the international law of the sea does not recognize concepts such as considering a ship to be Lebanese territory, and it imposes an obligation that the ship carry a specific flag, and that it be registered in the special registry of a country, adding that international law enshrined in United Nations charters is clear in terms of not considering any ship as an extension of a land or territory.
Likewise, Lebanese law, according to Khoury, obliges Lebanese ships to carry the flag of Lebanon, and to be registered with the Ministry of Economy, Works and Transport, just as vehicles are registered with the mechanics departments.
The professor of international relations considers that Nasrallah's speech aims to violate Security Council resolutions, which may drag Lebanon into a vast battle more dangerous than the July 2006 war.
Therefore, Lebanon may become subject to international sanctions, similar to Iran, whose sanctions prevent it from exporting its oil, which also exposes the Lebanese to the repercussions of the deterioration of relations with the Gulf states, as a result of bowing to Iran's influence.
Khoury points out that bringing Egyptian gas would help Lebanon, and it was proposed some time ago, and it was presented several times by the Egyptian ambassador to Lebanon, and Hariri was informed of it during his visits to Cairo.
He said that "Egypt was in the process of extending gas from North Sinai through Jordan to Syria with the approval of the Syrian regime, and that part of the pipelines would pass to Lebanon at symbolic prices," but Hezbollah was refusing, in an indirect way, to make way for Iran.
Demonstrators and security forces near the house of the governor of the Central Bank, Riad Salameh, following the decision to lift fuel subsidies (Reuters)
After Nasrallah paved the way for importing fuel from Iran with previous speeches, also calling for Lebanon to head east instead of waiting for the West, his announcement was not surprising, according to Joseph Bahout, director of the Issam Fares Center for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut.
Consequently, Nasrallah sought to translate his words into actions, even if the arrival of the ship, which is sailing in the major political battle, faltered, regardless of its cargo and its ability to save Lebanon from the scarcity of fuel, according to Bahout.
The academic believes that Nasrallah seeks to consolidate the balance of power in favor of Iran, by also warning about the developments in Afghanistan, and how to confront the Islamic State and what he called the takfiri groups in Iraq.
Bahout states that Iran has recently sought to move the southern Lebanese front against Israel, and that the tanker battle is being translated into Lebanon, awaiting the repercussions of the coming days.
Bahout told Al Jazeera Net, that Lebanon's involvement in the Iranian axis is a result of a cumulative work for years and not the result of the moment, and "there are pivotal parties that will win and others will lose, because Lebanon, even with its collapse, follows the transformations of the region."
The birth of the government has become more distant than ever, because Hariri’s statement carried a veiled warning to Prime Minister-designate Mikati, placing him, in Bahout’s opinion, in front of two options: either to apologize to remain under the umbrella of his Sunni sect and its representatives after entrusting him with their support, or to abandon it if he forms a government that legalizes the import of Iranian ships .Keywords: