When the coronavirus caused those citizens, who were protesting their governments in Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon, to leave the streets and squares and take refuge in their homes, these governments were certainly grateful to the virus for temporarily curbing the crisis for them.
But these governments never imagined that, despite COVID-19’s unwillingness to travel, protests would return to the streets, and perhaps Corona might further ignite the flames of bigger and more violent protests and the danger the corrupt governments.
The Lebanese people were in the lead this time. They did not give recognition to the coronavirus to show that they were willing to die but not give up their ideals. They took to the streets again on Sunday night, 26 April.
Lebanese people protested in the cities of Tripoli, Sidon, and Beirut while they chanted “Revolution, revolution” and “Hezbollah is a terrorist” clashed with security forces.
A fire sparked in Tripoli after the funeral of a young man killed in the clashes, and protesters set fire to several banks and security forces vehicles.
“The ruling coalition led by Hezbollah is trying to take control of the central bank,” protesters said.
Al-Hadath called the uprising a “revolution of the hungry.” The message was clear and quickly spread around the world and found its audience.
On 29 April, Iraqi protesters took to the streets in the provinces of Karbala, Wasit, and Kabul. They chanted slogans and rallied in the strike areas against the corrupt ruling regime and stressed the need to continue the uprising until the overthrow of the ruling regime.
And the world reacted to these events:
“Germany banned all Hezbollah activity on its soil on Thursday and designated the Iran-backed group a terrorist organization…
Police also conducted early morning raids on mosque associations in cities across Germany which officials believe are close to the heavily armed Shi’ite Islamist group.
‘The activities of Hezbollah violate criminal law and the organization opposes the concept of international understanding,’ said the interior ministry in a statement.” (Reuters 30 April)
An intelligence report released last year also linked about 30 mosques and the “Islamic Cultural Center” in Germany to Hezbollah.
So far, the United States, Canada, Britain, the Arab League, and the Netherlands have both considered Hezbollah’s political and military branches to be terrorists.
The ministry of foreign affairs of Saudi Arabia reacted and tweeted: “Permit | We welcome the announcement by the Federal Republic of Germany that Hezbollah militia is designated a terrorist organization”
— وزارة الخارجية ?? (@KSAMOFA) April 30, 2020
Bahrain’s ministry of foreign affairs welcomed the decision and, in a statement, quoted:
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain welcomes the announced designation by the Federal Republic of Germany of the so-called Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, in a move that reflects its keenness to fight terrorist organizations, regardless of he who supports or funds them.”
Mike Doran from the Hudson Institute tweeted:
I don’t want to sound churlish or ungrateful. It is indeed a major step that Germany has taken, and one that deserves high praise. So let’s pause for a second and say: thank you. But let’s also recognize that there is more work to do. Hezbollah is the Lebanese wing of the Islamic
— Mike (@Doranimated) April 30, 2020
Republic of Iran’s Qods Force. Hezbollah oversees the most important commando division, training center, logistical hub, expeditionary staging point, foreign bases, propaganda outfit, and criminal enterprise networks in the global army that Qassem Soleimani built. Hezbollah=Iran.
— Mike (@Doranimated) April 30, 2020
And US secretary of state Mike Pompeo stated:
#Germany took strong action today against Hizballah. The U.S. commends our German ally for banning this #Iran-sponsored terrorist group and ensuring its supporters are denied operating space. We call on #EU member states to follow suit in holding Hizballah accountable.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) April 30, 2020
And in an interview with Al-Arabiya, David Schenker, US Assistant Secretary of Near Eastern Affairs, said: “There has been an impact, vis-à-vis, the maximum pressure campaign on Iran that has further denied revenues to Tehran which provides to terrorist organizations like Hezbollah.” (Al-Arabiya 29 April)
The messages conveyed soon caused the main audience to react. The Velayat-e-Faqih (mullahs’) regime’s media in Iran covered this event, and in order to hide Khamenei’s and his regime’s frustration and involvement and the blow on their regime, they rushed to the scene with other allies of the regime to condemn the act.
Regime’s IRIB as one of the many examples, through the Yemenis Ansarullah and the Syrian regime’s Foreign Ministry, has condemned this act.
And of course, after the while the regime itself could not hide its frustration:
“Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran has strongly condemned the German government’s blacklisting of the Lebanese Hezbollah as a measure serving the objectives of the US and the Zionist regime of Israel.” (Iran Ministry of Foreign Affairs official website, 1 May)
But what the regime cannot hide by using its proxy groups to condemn the German’s acts is the fear that it coincides with the resumption of protests by the Lebanese and Iraqi people.
In the fall of 2019, when the protests of the Lebanese and Iraqi people escalated, they reached Tehran and other Iran’s cities and weakened the regime. And now the regime is facing the same thing again.