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The consequences of Iran’s regional dominance

In a speech broadcast on Iranian TV a few days ago, President Hassan Rouhani said his country is now stronger than ever. “No decisive actions can be taken in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, North Africa and the Gulf region without Iran’s consent,” he added.
The speech provoked many parties in Lebanon, especially Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri and his political allies. Others remained silent, mainly President Michel Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement, which is headed by Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil.
Iran is waging wars to expand its power via armies including Iraq’s and Syria’s, and via Iraqi, Syrian and Lebanese militias. International indifference has allowed Tehran to score one victory after another and contain its opponents’ worthless anger. It has undermined Iraqi-Kurdish ambitions by seizing Kirkuk, and dominates the governments of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

Iran triumphed over Daesh, Hezbollah won in Lebanon, Bashar Assad won in Syria and the PMU won in Iraq. Are there more favorable conditions for the imminent rise of a violent group?

Diana Moukalled

Rouhani may be right in saying no decisive actions can be taken without Tehran’s consent. But its victories have paved the way for the imminent rise of a monster similar to Daesh. We would be stupid to expect anything else. A regional sectarian power won the war against Daesh, and the international coalition seemed to be affiliated with Iranian forces, just like Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
Tehran’s victory leads us to a fate that is more miserable than the one faced with Daesh. A monster will be born amid destroyed cities and camps of hunger and disease. Iran triumphed over Daesh, Hezbollah won in Lebanon, Bashar Assad won in Syria and the PMU won in Iraq. Are there more favorable conditions for the imminent rise of a violent group?
These parties — as well as Arabs who have given up, Turks who have opened their borders, and the retreating West — share responsibility for this. The West has not learned what this sectarian victory over Daesh will mean, and has not realized that it will not remain immune against this colossal imbalance. Rouhani’s speech showed arrogance, but he was speaking the truth. It deserves a stronger reaction than mere angry expressions.

Diana Moukalled is a veteran journalist with extensive experience in both traditional and new media. She is also a columnist and freelance documentary producer.
Twitter: @dianamoukalled