Speaking in an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, Ahmad Dastmalchian referred to remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron that Hezbollah was part of the Lebanese political system and elected by the Lebanese people, as well as the US State Department’s position that Hezbollah should not participate in the future Lebanese government and noted: “Certainly France, because it has the experience of many years of presence in Lebanon and has traditionally been active in Lebanon since the Sykes-Picot Agreement and is familiar with Lebanese issues, has a much greater knowledge of the Lebanese scene than the United States, and it is familiar with the realities of this country, is aware of the balance of power in this country, the relations between the different tribes, the capacities of the Lebanese groups and tribes; So it interacts more with the realities of Lebanon than the United States instead of confrontation.
Noting that the tribal structure in Lebanon is the legacy of French colonialism, the Middle East affairs expert stressed that while the balance of power in the country has changed dramatically stressed the need to revise the political-tribal structure of the country and to formulate a more modern structure in accordance with the conditions and requirements of the day.
Dastmalchian called the formation of dialogue in the government of Mustafa Adib in order to reach a comprehensive solution and make decision on creation of a new structure for the future of Lebanon and said: “In this regard, France is interacting with the realities, provided it does not interfere in Lebanon’s internal affairs and does not no dictate its demands to Lebanese groups to gain interests and restore their former colonial status.”
Emphasis on the Need to End Foreign Intervention
He added: “Lebanon should be able to get rid of the deep crises that are inflicting additional suffering on the Lebanese people by forming national dialogues, away from foreign interference, especially from the United States and Saudi Arabia. This is the only way for the Lebanese groups and the people of this country, and they must come to the conclusion that they must decide about their future through understanding, negotiation, empathy and peaceful coexistence; But if any foreign country wants to interfere in the internal affairs of Lebanon or set conditions, such as those set by the United States or, in some cases, France, we should definitely expect escalation of the crisis.
The former Iranian ambassador in Beirut, stating that it has nothing to do with the United States to interfere in Lebanon’s internal affairs, added: “US intervention in this country will lead to insecurity and instability, and without a doubt, the first country that fans the flames of sedition and will get into trouble is clear. It is the country that is intervening, because Lebanon is a place that is insecure for everyone if it is insecure, especially since they have suffered due to the pressures and sanctions imposed on the people and has heightened their wrath. Therefore, the spark of the people’s anger and rage may further expose the seditionists.
Hezbollah Is the Indisputable Reality of Lebanon
Referring to the political situation in Lebanon, Dastmalchian emphasized: Hezbollah is a 100% and indisputable reality that exists and is present in Lebanon. No action in this country can succeed without taking the role of Hezbollah into account. Today Hezbollah is in control of the majority in parliament, and military domination and balance of power make sense with their presence.
Referring to Macron’s remarks on accepting Hezbollah as part of the Lebanese reality, he added: “Hezbollah has deep popular roots and has always defended Lebanon’s honour, dignity and independence.” It should be noted that all Lebanese tribes are members of the Resistance force. Hezbollah in Lebanon is trans-sectarian and trans-tribal and belongs to everyone, and it has shown this in its actions.”
The expert on Middle East issues said: “Mr Macron’s confession is not strange in this situation, because he has admitted a sheer fact although his words are weak. Hezbollah is now one of the pillars of Lebanon’s sovereignty and independence, and no power can ignore this popular and resilient organization. What the French president has pointed out is interaction with the facts.”
Regarding the possibility of reducing pressure on Hezbollah following Macron’s acknowledgement of its position in Lebanon, Dastmalchian said: “It depends on the West so that the United States and Saudi Arabia would not obstruct the talks on forming a government, and would not throw obstacles in the way the dialogue. At the same time, the future conditions of the region and the moves that the Zionist regime can make and disrupt the peace efforts should not be neglected; But in the end, it seems that the Lebanese tribes and groups have come to the conclusion that their country should be calm and reach a secure structure that suits the conditions and requirements of the day.