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If I Were a Saudi Official...

They believed that Hariri's "selfies" with Saudi leaders ....

Ibrahim al-Amin

After the final results of the parliamentary elections were announced, a Saudi citizen from the al-Sheikh family called on the people of the Gulf in a Twitter post to leave Lebanon in order to starve it and kill its economy since the majority of the Lebanese people voted to "make Lebanon a Persian state".

Of course, first the man is supposed to know whether the Gulf can kill Lebanon's economy. However, since a debate over this topic is difficult with the mindless and the lazy, it is useful to advise Saudi officials to imitate their American friends and ask themselves a direct question: Why do we fail in Lebanon?

Today, tomorrow and after that, everyone will be preoccupied with reading the numbers and votes that were distributed on the lists and the candidates. However, it may be useful to catalog this process in order to make Saudi Arabia understand the reality of what happened and what may soon happen.

First, the parliamentary elections in Lebanon in general and in the polling stations for registered voters according to the law within the "Sunni" category in particular showed that the Islamic currents involved in the active political movement in Lebanon and the region have suffered a severe defeat a decade ago. Neither the Islamic Group (the Muslim Brotherhood) nor the Salafist currents in the north, Beirut, Beqaa and Sidon received enough votes to win one seat in the Lebanese Parliament.

Secondly, the election results showed that the Wahhabi leaders and political figures were severely defeated. The candidates who were led by Ashraf Rifi in the north and the rest of Lebanon did not succeed in obtaining a percentage of the votes that would allow them to claim that they are a true representative force.

Thirdly, the results showed that all the oppression and exclusion of Islamists from non-Takfiri doctrines were not effective in undermining them. The Association of Islamic Charitable Projects (Al-Ahbash) has achieved great results in Beirut and Tripoli. The number of votes that they were able to cast for their allies in the rest of Lebanon was also evident, as in the case of expatriate ballots. This result indicates that this movement, which emerged decades ago to confront Wahhabism and its branches, still exists and is strong among the Lebanese as well as the people of the cities in particular. All the illusions promoted by "the scholars of the court and its thinkers" and the embassies in Lebanon evaporated in one moment.

Fourthly, the parliamentary elections revealed that the groups of clerics who worked with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar had no serious impact outside Prime Minister Saad Hariri's party. The incitement during the past six months against Hariri, which claimed that "he accepted defeat in the face of Hezbollah" was actually seen as opposition and boycotting. The "embassy lists" that spread throughout a number of areas failed to receive any serious results that would notify Hariri of the danger.

Fifth, Hariri paid the price for the pathetic sectarian and political mobilization because he was deeply concerned that the settlement rhetoric he had adopted over the past two years had caused him losses. Hariri may have realized that his internal failure, both politically and in terms of development, is the reason for his defeat and not his retreat from the hardline speeches. This is an additional indication that the logic of sectarian incitement no longer has a serious breeding ground in Lebanon.

Sixth, the Saudis are unaware that the public that followed them has a genuine desire to review the policies adopted in Lebanon and the region. Some said that the victory of the "Persians" increases fears of the Lebanese public. But the more logical explanation is the inability of the supporters of this claim to provide explanations for continuing losses not only in Lebanon but in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and other parts of the Arab world.

Seventh, the Saudis ignored the ripple effect of the kidnapping of Prime Minister Hariri last October. They believed that Hariri's "selfies" with Saudi leaders would erase their shame and which made everyone afraid of their relationship with the Saudis especially if they began to be perceived as traitors. Leaked documents from the embassies of Saudi Arabia and the UAE revealed the extent of contempt and arrogance these two capitals have towards those who cooperate with them and not against their opponents. This was reflected in the absence of any reference to the relationship with the Gulf States by the allies of Saudi Arabia (the Lebanese Forces, the Lebanese Phalanges Party and the remnants of March 14) during the parliamentary elections. It did not look like Hariri's situation because all indications suggest that Riyadh's and Abu Dhabi's allies received serious financial support, unlike Hariri himself.

But the Saudi official can be happy on the inside when he sees the leaders of the Future movement repeat the policy of denial, bury their heads in the sand and throw responsibility on the other team. During Sunday's elections, the Hariri group has for the first time touched the end of the play involving the assassination of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and the International Court.

No Saudi official can be envied for his situation today. But one thing is for sure: whenever a fool is controlled by envy, he will never stop banging his head against the wall. He will never stop repeating his record. He will always find mercenaries who would work with him for a handful of money. They will never give up their profession. They will carry on working because they will not find a substitute to do their dirty work. So, it might be better to say: It is good that I am not a Saudi official today!

The Armed Forces are today at the height of their defensive power as well as military and combat preparedness compared to any other time, and that they do not await any permission or [approving] smile from any foreign power to strengthen their defense power.”

He made the comments after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington would increase financial pressure on Iran by slapping it with the “strongest sanctions in history” unless Tehran fulfills a 12-point list of demands formulated by Washington.

Earlier in the month, US President Donald Trump raised eyebrows worldwide by announcing that the country was withdrawing from a 2015 multi-lateral nuclear agreement with Iran, and restoring its nuclear-related sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

The Iranian commander denounced the US for breaking its promises and laying out a list of ‘do’s and ‘don’ts’ for the Islamic Republic, describing it as “an oppressive, criminal, isolated and furious enemy, which is being ruled by corrupt leaders and is on the payroll of the Zionist regime and terrorists” of the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO).

US does not dare go to war with Iran

The Iranian military chief said the US does not dare to confront Iran militarily, and is thus trying to subject the Iranian people to economic pressure and psychological operations.

This is while the Iranian nation both stands by its commitments under any circumstances and respects the international law, the official said, citing the case of the Islamic Republic’s military advisory support to Iraq and Syria at their own request.

If Iran establishes a presence in a country, it would be at the invitation of that country and its legitimate government. It does not seek war with any side,” Baqeri said.

If I Were a Saudi Official...

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