Hariri opens door to Iranian-Hizballah takeover of Lebanon’s armed forces
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri ended his two-day visit to Tehran Monday, Nov. 29, with consent for Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers to take part for the first time in coordinating sessions between Lebanese and Hizballah commanders, debkafile's military and Iranian sources report. Hariri was steered toward this concession in meetings with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and defense minister Ahmed Wahidi. He was told it was the price for an audience with supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
What Hariri's action means is that the Lebanese chief of staff Gen. Jean Kahwaji, will henceforth be obliged to coordinate all his operational decisions and actions with Hizballah's Iranian chief commander, Gen. Hossein Mahadavi of the Al Qods Brigades, as well as the new Hizballah commander on the Israeli front line, Hashim Safi Al-Din, Hassan Nasrallah's cousin and a staunch pro-Iranian loyalist.
debkafile's military sources note that, since Hizballah's top military echelon in Lebanon functions under the operational orders of the joint Iranian-Syrian headquarters in Damascus, so too will the Lebanese army. Therefore, Hariri's concession in Tehran opened the door to the IRGC moving in on the Lebanese army.
Khamenei greeted the Lebanese Prime Minister with his new instructions: "You should consolidate relations with Hizballah," he said, explaining: "As long as the occupying Zionist regime exists, Lebanon needs Resistance (a euphemism for Hizballah)."
The supreme leader did not mention the Lebanon's national army forces as a factor in these instructions because, in his mind, Hariri's concession had already waived its autonomy and accepted the inevitability of its merger with Hizballah as a unified force under the latter's superior command.
Ayatollah Khamenei's last remark to his Lebanon visitor was loaded with menace: "If the government and the Resistance form part of the same front, this country will follow the path of greatness and development, and the Zionist regime will not be able to do it the least harm."
And if not? Hariri was given to understand that if Lebanon toes the Iranian-Hizballah line, he and his country will prosper and live in peace. But if not, Lebanon faces the alternative of deathly domestic struggle ending in the triumph of the Hizballah "Resistance."