Iran regime’s Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, recently concluded his fifth visit to Lebanon in just two years. During this visit, he engaged in discussions with leaders of Lebanese and Palestinian militia groups that maintain affiliations with the Iranian regime.
This diplomatic activity occurs in the backdrop of Iran’s proxy conflict with Israel. It’s noteworthy that Iran has been attempting to ease tensions with the United States in recent months, which has resulted in agreements such as the release of blocked funds in Iraq and South Korea.
The genesis of this proxy war can be traced back to the Israeli protests that commenced several months ago, catalyzed by proposed judicial reforms. Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, perceived these developments as being ‘against Netanyahu,’ which set the stage for the regime’s decision to intensify its proxy war against Israel.
Israel has previously launched successive attacks on positions held by Iran’s regime-backed militias and proxy groups in Syria, resulting in significant casualties. Unable to confront Israel directly in Syria, the regime opted to leverage its proxy groups, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad in Palestine, among others, to engage in hostilities against Israel.
While the regime initially denied any involvement in these attacks during prior escalations between Israel and the aforementioned groups, many American, Israeli, Lebanese, and Palestinian sources have pointed out that these attacks emanate from Lebanon and Palestine under the orders of the Iranian regime.
Recent weeks have witnessed Israel’s continued strikes against Iran’s regime-affiliated mercenaries in Syria, including incidents in late July and August.
Hassan Nasrallah, the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, issued a statement last week, warning that Israel would be held responsible if any Lebanese, Palestinian, Syrian, or Iranian citizen is killed.
On August 31, Israel’s Intelligence and Internal Security Organization disclosed the arrest of four Israelis on charges of association with Hezbollah and the smuggling of explosives produced by the Iranian government.
Simultaneously, Israel’s Minister of Defense, in a meeting with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, accused the Iranian government of encouraging Hezbollah to act against Israel. He called for immediate UN intervention in Lebanon and an increase in the operational capacity of peacekeeping forces in southern Lebanon.
In response, a resolution was passed in the UN Security Council on August 31, with 13 votes, urging Lebanon and Hezbollah to permit these forces to conduct patrols.
Efforts by Lebanon and Hezbollah to remove this clause from the resolution were unsuccessful. Subsequently, Hassan Nasrallah, the Secretary-General of Lebanon’s Hezbollah, deemed this resolution a violation of Lebanon’s territorial integrity.
These developments unfolded as Western media outlets, including Axios and The Telegraph, disclosed that the Biden administration was endeavoring to de-escalate tensions between Israel and Hezbollah. The Telegraph noted that this was consistent with Biden’s campaign promise to address concerns regarding the Iranian government and its proxy groups.
In this context, a senior advisor to President Biden recently arrived in Lebanon, presumably for negotiations with Hezbollah leaders. However, it appears that the Biden administration’s conciliatory approach may have backfired, emboldening the Iranian regime to escalate attacks on Israel.
This assertion is underscored by Amir Abdollahian’s statements during his visit to Lebanon. The Iranian Foreign Minister met with leaders of Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other groups affiliated with Khamenei, emphasizing that Khamenei ‘continues to support the resistance with strength.’
On September 1, Amir Abdollahian met with Hassan Nasrallah, Secretary-General of Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Al-Mayadeen, a media outlet aligned with Hezbollah and the Iranian government, reported that Amir Abdollahian emphasized ‘Khamenei’s support for the strategy of supporting the Palestinian resistance.’
Previously, Iran’s regime had advocated for arming the West Bank and the Gaza Strip for operations against Israel.
Now, it seems that Amir Abdollahian’s visit to Lebanon, in light of the circumstances, serves no other purpose than to incite Iranian regime proxy forces against Israel, all while the Biden administration pursues a policy of appeasement with Iran. This approach may inadvertently embolden the regime, leading to an expansion of its terrorist activities and continued pursuit of nuclear and missile projects.