Lebanon Politics: Restraint and Neutrality

Although Hezbollah together with its allies won the parliamentary elections in Lebanon, it will not be able to form an entirely loyal government due to domestic, regional and international reasons, says Valdai Club expert Wassim Kalaajieh.

The internal obstacles to the establishment of a Hezbollah-loyal government are related to the fact that the Lebanese opposition is against the continued adherence of the movement to military methods, its presence in Syria and the pro-Iranian orientation. So the government of Lebanon is forced to follow the policy of "restraint", and therefore - a neutral position in regional conflicts.

The regional obstacles are primarily related to the position of Saudi Arabia, which returned to the Lebanese soil, and with the Sunni support inside Lebanon is trying to build up a hostile policy against Iran.

On the international level, the accusations of terrorism against Hezbollah and its recognition as a terrorist organization by the United States and by the West in general will have legal, political and economic consequences for Lebanon, especially if the US Treasury introduces sanctions against the Lebanese politicians and Lebanese companies accused of providing financial help to Hezbollah.

Therefore, it is difficult for the current government, as well as for any future Lebanese government, to abandon the principle of "restraint" or to step back from the policy of positive neutrality in the Arab and regional conflicts and to oppose the majority of Arab and foreign countries that are politically hostile to Iran.

For the same reasons, the new Lebanese government will not take risks and move the situation towards a political and military escalation with Israel, and is unlikely to intensify the armed conflict on its southern border. At the same time, the Lebanese government will not remain inactive toward any aggression or any Israeli military intervention against the Lebanese territory or its sovereignty.

Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.