If and when the Biden administration signs a new nuclear deal with Iran, the mullahs' Lebanese terrorist proxy, Hezbollah, will undoubtedly benefit from the billions of dollars that the Iranian regime is expected to receive once the sanctions on their country are lifted. Hezbollah will use the money to obtain more weapons, tighten its grip on Lebanon and prepare for more war with Israel. It will also use the money to undermine the security and stability of America's allies in the Arab world.
Hezbollah, which recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of its founding, is Iran's biggest and most dangerous terrorist proxy in the Middle East. The other proxies, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Houthi militia in Yemen, are not as powerful as Hezbollah, which has created a state-within-a-state in Lebanon.
Since its establishment, one of Hezbollah's primary goals has been the elimination of Israel. The organization's 1985 manifesto states that "our struggle will end only when this entity [Israel] is obliterated. We recognize no treaty with it, no ceasefire, and no peace agreements, whether separate or consolidated."
Hezbollah does not pose a threat just to Israel, but also to the Lebanese people, America's Arab allies, including Saudi Arabia, and to America itself, especially from Cuba and Venezuela. According to a report in Asia Times:
"Iran's outreach to Venezuela is partly driven by economic interests and partly a desire to gain a foothold in 'America's backyard,' as the government parlance asserts. That explains the increasing appetite of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps for building up ties in Latin America and even entertaining the idea of a military presence in Venezuela's waters."
"The problem for each of the states," according to Richard Hanania, president of the Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology at the University of Texas, "is lack of access to global capital." It is a problem that the promised billions from the Biden administration would immediately fix.
Hezbollah and its patrons in Tehran have done nothing to help end the disastrous economic crisis in Lebanon, where nearly 80% of the people live below the poverty line. The World Bank has warned that the crisis ranks as one of the three most severe the world has seen since the mid-19th century.
"Lebanon is really going through a very, very difficult economic crisis," said Lebanon's Minister of Economy and Trade Amin Salam. "Reforms are a major need for Lebanon to be able to stop the bleeding in the economy and begin looking at development and recovery."
Yet, instead of working to alleviate the suffering of the Lebanese people, Hezbollah is continuing to gin up for war with Israel, a move that will bring still more disaster on Lebanon.
One would assume that Lebanese cabinet ministers are busy these days searching for ways to tackle the crisis and address the problems facing their people. The ministers, however, appear to have something else in mind: how to appease the de facto rulers of Lebanon: Hezbollah and the Iranian regime.
Lebanon's Minister of Social Affairs Hector Hajjar and Minister of Energy Walid Fayyad even found the time to head to the border with Israel, where they were filmed hurling stones at their neighbor to the south. Their silly action drew criticism from many Arabs and Muslims.
Hayvi Bouzo, a Syrian-born American journalist, commented:
"The terrorist ministers of Hezbollah, of the Lebanese state occupied by Iran, are throwing stones at Israel while the Lebanese suffer persecution and lack of food, medicine and services because of the Iranian occupier. Haven't you had enough of deceiving and defrauding the people?"
Hamid Mtasher, founder of the Al-Ahwaz Liberal Party, which represents Iran's ethnic Arab Ahwaz minority, wrote that he cannot understand why the Lebanese people have not yet revolted against Hezbollah:
"Two Lebanese ministers throw stones at Israel. The question is, do these people represent the Lebanese people or carry out the orders of the butcher [Iran's Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei and the terrorist Hezbollah? Without a doubt, they are carrying out Iran's orders. Where are the Lebanese people and why do they not rise up against them and uproot them?"
Lebanese politician and author Georges E. Hayek wrote that he could not understand why some people in Lebanon still endorse the idea of coexistence with Hezbollah.
"Hezbollah's policy is to kill, assassinate, displace, humiliate, expel, and support dictatorial regimes. [Hezbollah] wants to take the people back to the Stone Age and destroy all the foundations of the state and its institutions. This is the approach of Hezbollah, and there are still some people in Lebanon who believe in coexisting with it!"
A member of the Sovereign Front for Lebanon, Dr. Charbel Azar, asked:
"What did Lebanon and the Lebanese people gain after 40 years of the existence of this [Hezbollah] resistance, which Iran keeps telling us that it is its creation and that it has become the most important force in the Middle East? Iran has boasted of its control over four Arab capitals, including Beirut, and that it has established six armies to defend Iran's foreign interests, the most important of which is Hezbollah. The leaders of Hezbollah say publicly that their group is an integral part of the Iranian axis and that its food, salaries, training, weapons, missiles, drones, and money are all from Iran."
Azar wrote that 40 years after the establishment of Hezbollah, Lebanon is facing a total collapse.
"Who cares about a country such as Lebanon that has no water, electricity, university, school, hospital, and banks?" he asked. "Lebanon has no Arab, Gulf or international relations. Forty years have passed since Lebanon was brought into the [Iranian-led] axis of conflicts, wars, misery, bankruptcy and the collapse of the state."
In addition to taking the Lebanese people "back to the Stone Age," Hezbollah and its Iranian patrons are also causing massive damage to Lebanon's relations with many Arabs, especially in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Waleed Bukhari announced that his country send an official diplomatic letter to the Lebanese foreign ministry demanding the arrest and extradition of a Saudi man who recently threatened the Kingdom's embassy in Beirut.
The threat was made by a Hezbollah-affiliated Saudi citizen, Ali Hashem, who threatened to "exterminate everyone" inside the Saudi embassy.
The Saudi ambassador called upon the Lebanese authorities to undertake the necessary legal procedures regarding the terrorist threat.
The ambassador urged the Lebanese government to translate its commitments to the Gulf states into concrete political reality, and to carry out all its duties toward preventing hostile activities against Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, which threaten the region's security.
He also called on Lebanese security forces to continue cracking down on illicit drug smuggling to Saudi Arabia. "The Kingdom has seized over 700 million narcotic pills and hundreds of kilos of hashish smuggled from or via Lebanon since 2015," the Saudi ambassador revealed.
Many Saudis and Lebanese nationals expressed outrage over the threat, holding Hezbollah and Iran responsible.
Lebanese political analyst Rami Naeem wrote:
"What is happening in Lebanon today is an organized terrorist threat by Iran and its militias, especially the terrorist Hezbollah. Hezbollah wants to destroy Lebanon and turn it into a state similar to Iran. We appeal to all the Arabs to help Lebanon before it drowns in the sea of Iran."
"Due to the threats that our ambassador in Lebanon and members of the embassy in Beirut are exposed to by some Hezbollah-backed terrorists, we hold the Lebanese army and security forces responsible," cautioned Saudi political analyst Abdel Hadi Al-Shehri.
The Saudi newspaper Okaz accused Hezbollah of spreading chaos and terrorism not only in Lebanon, but also in the Arab region and other parts of the world:
"The Hezbollah militia continues to isolate Lebanon and spread terrorism... Regional and international reports exposed the involvement of Hezbollah and its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, in spreading chaos and terrorism. The terrorist party that brought Lebanon to the brink of political, economic and social precipice seeks, with Iranian support, to export chaos and destruction."
Many Arabs have been warning the Biden administration against its dangerous policy of appeasing the mullahs in Tehran. The Arabs are not only worried about Iran acquiring nuclear weapons, but also about the threats that the mullahs' proxies pose to the Arab countries.
The Lebanese and Saudi people evidently see the danger that Hezbollah poses to their countries' stability and security.
The Arabs fear that an influx of billions of dollars pouring into the mullahs' coffers will result in Hezbollah and the rest of Iran's terrorist proxies stepping up their aggression not only against Israel, but also against America's Arab allies and friends in the Middle East, not to mention the United States and Europe. The Arabs want the Biden administration to grasp that appeasement of Iran's mullahs will further embolden the terrorists and undermine America's strength in the Arab world.
Khaled Abu Toameh is an award-winning journalist based in Jerusalem.