With the turn of the year 2020 the United States took on an offensive towards Iran and its allies through the assassination of the Leader of the Quds Force Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad under the direct order of President Donald J. Trump. The losing side felt broken and had no retaliation plans besides taking steps towards ensuring more political influence in Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon to regain some morale. On the other hand, they would use this influence in bargaining more gains in light of recent setbacks and concessions imposed by the United States and its Allies.
The upcoming Lebanese cabinet that was announced yesterday night is undoubtedly supported by Hezbollah and their allies. Sources also say that PM Dr. Hassan Diab evidently merely has superficial relations with the West and the United States. Hezbollah are counting on this government to play an independent role; in that it will attract the West and the United States for desired cooperation and recognition. The goal of this cabinet is to gain legitimacy internationally despite it not representing Sunnis effectively, and being boycott by Druze as well as a decent group of Christians. This cabinet is expected to legitimize Hezbollah’s control and receive international aid… a task that is certainly challenging.
A government to resist international pressure
Hezbollah’s fears are evident through credible leaks that state that the Russians as well as the Saudis along with US approval will spend tremendous efforts to pressure Hezbollah and their militias in the upcoming stages; as was intended following the assassination of the leader of the axis of resistance Qassem Soleimany. Hezbollah will be persuaded into cooperation in the implementation of UN Resolution 1701 which require Hezbollah to surrender their weapons in exchange for guarantees and aid which coincides with the beginning of reconciliation in Syria.
Despite the foundation in Lebanon not being ready for such a proposal, Hezbollah’s opponents are counting on the pragmatism of Iran and Hezbollah who are having narrower and narrower options. It is expected that in the absence of cooperation with these demands, financial sanctions against Iran, Hezbollah, and even Lebanon will continue and escalate until Hezbollah and their government are trapped or backed into a corner.
Hezbollah and their allies chose Hassan Diab in a time of great struggle. They realize that he has no public support and can be easily manipulated into legitimizing their militia and much more. However, his difficult task is to seek to arrange an informal and perhaps indirect line of communication between them and the United States. They need him to be a mailman for the United States and the Arab World who speaks for them and explains their positions, and hopefully helps them in getting out of their current internal and external predicaments. Worst case, this government supervises the implementation of international resolutions in a way that is fair to them. It could also oversee that the Hezbollah militia is controlled and defined in a way that saves face.