Crossfire War – Tehran – Damascus – Riyadh Watch – West Asia Theatre: Tehran – Riyadh – Damascus – Beirut/Paris – Rome; Opposing Forces in Lebanon Reach Agreement on Some Topics – Further Discussions to be Conducted Very Soon
Night Watch: BEIRUT – Lebanon Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri’s recent statement that progress would be made within 48 hrs, on the political crisis in Lebanon, have proven correct. Xinhua reports Berri, one of the leaders of the opposition, has just concluded lengthy discussions with pro-government majority leader Saad Hariri. They released this statement, “Viewpoints during the meeting were identical regarding a number of topics.” Further discussions are to be held very soon. [XINHUA]
I suspect they have agreed on an expanded cabinet and will soon announce new elections. There has still been no statement from current Prime Minister Fouad Siniora. The popular demonstrations began on December 1 with a massive encampment in front of the Parliament by opposition coalition groups, Hezbollah, Sunni, Christian Nationalist and secular. They are opposed to Lebanon’s long cooperation with France and the West and instead want a government in Beirut that works more closely with governments in the region.
This is very similar to the religious-nationalist coalition that has ruled Iran since 1979 as a result of the Khomeini revolution and solidified because of Iraq’s attack in 1980. What is so ironical is that Khomeini was in a Paris suburb when he overthrew the Shah of Iran, who had been working with the West and had warned them about such forces who, if they overthrew the Pahlavi dynasty, would seriously threaten the West’s presence in the region.
The established investors in the Paris Club, and their counterparts in major Western capitals, did not believe Khomeini’s influence would reach beyond Central Asia. Disturbances there would justify Moscow making more invasions south toward the Persian Gulf, right through Iran. That would mean all of Central Asia’s raw materials would be mined and transported by inexpensive Communist labor, reducing the costs of the resources.
Beirut has long been one of the premier banking centers in West Asia (Middle East). It is about to be directed by Tehran.