Financially-crippled Lebanon gets entangled in Saudi-Iran tug-of-war

WION Web Team
Riyadh Published: Oct 31, 2021, 08:07 AM(IST)

Lebanese Information Minister George Kordahi (file photo). Photograph:( Reuters )

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Middle East seems to have got embroiled into a tug-of-war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. This time the victim is financially-crippled Lebanon as Riyadh and other Gulf states expelled the envoy of the country. The measures were taken after a Lebanese minister made "insulting" remarks on the Yemen war

Middle East seems to have got embroiled into a tug-of-war between regional kingpins, Saudi Arabia and Iran, said analysts. This time the victim is financially-crippled Lebanon as Riyadh and other Gulf states expelled the envoy of the country.    

On Friday, the crisis erupted when Saudi Arabia gave ambassador of Lebanon 48 hours to leave the country. It also recalled its envoy from Beirut and suspended all imports from Lebanon. The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Kuwait also followed suit.   

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As per the Saudi foreign ministry, the measures were taken after a Lebanese minister made "insulting" remarks on the Yemen war. The root cause seems to be the influence of Lebanon's Iran-backed Shiite movement Hezbollah.   

It said, the group controls Lebanese ports and "hijacks" the government's decision-making in Beirut.   

This is a fresh blow to Lebanon, which has been suffering financial and political turmoil at this time. The fragile government of the county is also struggling to secure international aid.    

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In an interview recorded in August but aired on Monday, Information Minister Georges Kordahi slammed the Saudi-led military intervention against Iran-backed Huthi rebels in Yemen.   

Kordahi said the Huthis were "defending themselves... against an external aggression". The remarks sparked anger in Saudi Arabia and its allies, and calls for his resignation begun in Lebanon.   

(With inputs from agencies) 

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