Earlier this month, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, unexpectedly resigned from Saudi Arabia, citing fears that Hezbollah- the Iran-backed terrorist group- would assassinate him as they did his father, former Prime Minister Rafic Hariri, in 2005.
While the consequences of Hariri’s resignation are still unknown- Lebanese President Michael Aoun refuses to accept the resignation until Hariri returns to Lebanon- it is clear that Iranian aggression has expanded far beyond its own borders.
This is bad news for the Lebanese people, for countries like Israel who share a border with Lebanon, for the other Arab states, and America and its interests in the Middle East.
John Bolton, the former US Ambassador to the UN, wrote an op-ed for the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) explaining that Iran’s expansionist strategy was predictable and therefore preventable.
He wrote: “Sadly, Iran’s progress was foreseeable from the inception of Barack Obama’s strategy of using Iraqi military forces and Shia militia units as critical elements in the campaign to eradicate the ISIS caliphate in Syria and Iraq. The Baghdad government is effectively Iran’s satellite. Accordingly, Obama’s decision to provide that regime with military assistance and advice strengthened Iran’s hand even further and materially contributed to its efforts to establish dominance in Iraq’s Shia regions.”
This same pattern can be seen across the Middle East. It’s all part of the Iranian Regime’s plan to create a Shiite Crescent from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean.
Unfortunately, no one in the Pentagon, the State Department, or the National Security Council told Donald Trump about the implications of Iran’s strategy.
Hariri’s resignation means that now there is very little that stands between Iran and the total domination of Lebanon, which could pose a serious and immediate threat to US ally Israel, whom the Iranian Regime refers to as ‘the little Satan’.
The surrounding Arab states also see that a Shiite Crescent will be incredibly damaging to national and international security, especially with the growing threat of Iran’s ballistic missiles capability.
Bolton, also a former undersecretary of State for arms control and international security, wrote: “The Trump administration cannot continue idly watching Iran advance without opposition. Washington and its regional allies need a comprehensive strategy to deal with Iran, not a series of ad hoc responses to regional developments. Time is fast running out.”