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10th Anniversary of Lebanon’s 33-Day War

Monday, August 15, 2016

Hezbollah’s Three Security Effects for Iran

Omid Adib, Expert on International Issues

One can daresay that developments and interactions in West Asia can be clearly divided into two junctures: before and after the 33-day war in Lebanon. Now turning 10 years old, one of the main goals of that war, as clearly admitted by Elliott Abrams, a former US national security advisor under former President George W. Bush, was to weaken Iran. He had emphasized that the war was launched in a bid to undermine Iran’s regional standing while boosting that of Israel. The root causes of the 33-day war and details of its beginning and ending will not be discussed here, but to understand the impact of that war on regional standing of Iran and its security, a review of relevant developments is needed. In June 2006, Israel launched an all-out attack against Lebanon and the Lebanese Hezbollah movement. The most important goal of that attack was to annihilate or, at least, drastically weaken the structures of Hezbollah movement to pave the way for attacking Israel’s next targets, one instance of which could be Iran. However, following more than a month of conflict, Israel ended the war without having achieved any of its predetermined goals.

The function and main result of this war, both in short term and long term, was to boost the military power of Hezbollah and its influence in Lebanon and the region, on the one hand, while imposing a full defeat on the Israeli army for the first time in the history of this regime, on the other hand. Another outcome of that war was to shatter the false self-confidence of Israel – as the most important regional enemy of Iran – and to inspire Arab nations with a sense of dignity to fight it and this outcome has played a role in later developments that have taken place up to the present day. Hezbollah also managed to establish itself as a new regional power through this battle and entered later developments with more strength.

Now, it is time to focus on the main subject of this article, which is the impact of this battle, in particular, and Hezbollah, in general, on Iran’s regional “position” and “security.” However, the question that arises first is “basically why we must support Hezbollah?” An accurate answer to this question can also clear the way for putting forth the main question. Of course, religious fundaments and ideological reasons can be mentioned in answer to this question, but it can be also answered in view of our country’s national “interests.” In all countries of the world, political systems try to find and strengthen allies outside their borders in order to shore up their defenses outside their frontiers. Having such allies will have a deterrent effect and increase the cost of aggression against their allied country, on the one hand, while on the other hand, when such an aggression takes place in reality, these allies can defend the aforesaid country. To better understand the impact of Iran’s aid to Hezbollah, in particular, and the resistance movement, in general, it would be useful to discuss the reason behind hefty costs incurred by the United States in West Asia. Establishment of numerous military bases in allied countries and defining countless interests in those countries, which sometimes entail a very high cost for the United States, can shed more light on Iran’s need to help its regional allies.

Now, let’s go back to the main subject to see what impacts can the 33-day war and subsequent increase in the power of Hezbollah have on the region? In view of the above introductory note, this issue can be analyzed in three areas of “deterrence,” “taking security concessions for Iran in regional issues,” and “expanding the revolutionary thought and offering a model for the allied groups.”

Deterrence

As admitted by enemies, Hezbollah’s alliance with Iran is such that if Iran comes under the slightest degree of aggression, this group will become active. As a result, in the midst of the nuclear talks last year, the US President Barack Obama clearly noted that if they attacked Iran, Hezbollah would fire a barrage of missiles toward Israel. Just at the same time, the US Secretary of State John Kerry said in an interview with the Atlantic that “they’ve got 80,000 rockets in Hezbollah pointed at Israel, and any number of choices could have been made.” Such remarks by American and Israeli officials have been frequently made in interviews and speeches to various Western think tanks, which clearly prove Hezbollah’s deterrent role in protecting security of Iran.

Taking concessions over regional issues and participation in settling regional crises

Hezbollah’s power and effectiveness has increased exponentially following the 33-day war with Israel. This group has been playing an increasing role, especially in the past five years during which the ongoing crisis in Syria has been raging. By offering military support for the government and people of Syria, Hezbollah has played a very important part as the spine of the resistance axis to establish Iran’s role and position in Syria. In the meantime, the presence of Hezbollah as a strong impediment to the spread of Daesh, which is the most important element threatening Iran’s national security at the present time, has helped the Islamic Republic meet its security and national interests in the best possible manner.

Presenting a model and expanding revolutionary thinking

Definition and support of allied groups will not only cause the boundaries of the Islamic establishment’s national interests to expand and its strategic depth to increase, but also promote the revolutionary way of thinking and develop those groups which support the Islamic Revolution throughout the region. Following the 33-day war and influenced by the sense of self-confidence with which Hezbollah has inspired other Arab nations, this issue progressed with double speed. To understand this issue, one can look at the establishment of popular mobilization forces called Hashd al-Shaabi in Iraq and the strengthening of Ansarullah fighters in Yemen. The unchanging model for these groups was the Lebanese Hezbollah and their main ideological base was the Islamic Revolution in Iran. The success of the Hezbollah model has provided more grounds for further growth of the revolutionary thinking across the region and at international level, two examples of which are the resistance groups now active in Bahrain and Nigeria.

On the whole, severe sanctions imposed on the Lebanese Hezbollah during past months is a telltale sign of the success and effectiveness of Hezbollah with regard to regional issues and in meeting the security of Iran and shoring up Iran’s standing in the region. It seems that in the long run, such pressures will turn into a factor for the strengthening of Hezbollah and increase its seriousness in pursuit of its goals.

Key WordsLebanon, 33-Day War, Hezbollah, Security Effects, Iran, West Asia, Israel, Self-Confidence, National Interests, Resistance Movement, Deterrence, Revolutionary Thought, Allied Groups, Adib

Source: Khorasan Newspaper
http://khorasannews.com/
Translated By: Iran Review.Org

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*Another Act in the United States’ Post-JCPOA Strategy: http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Another-Act-in-the-United-States-Post-JCPOA-Strategy.htm

*Photo Credit: Alwaght.com

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