Iraq And Lebanon Protests Against Iranian Backed Politicians

PRI's The World


Iran Lebanon have been rocked by huge protests in recent weeks demonstrators in both countries have a lot in common they're railing against corruption and inequality and many of the politicians they dislike are backed by Iran Tom Hanan Haldar has been connecting the dots in an article in Foreign Policy Harare is a visiting fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy Honey your article is headlined Iran is losing the Middle East what's the essence of your argument Carol what I'm trying to say is that Iran although they are studying control of the political and state institutions Iran have lost everything else that came back its political power and Lebanon Iraq so it and trying to say as that Iran has been very good at winning military battles and to have also been great at winning nations and infiltrating state institutions however they never thought of what's going to happen next they it turned out that Iran is really bad at governing controlling they have been backing corrupt politicians in order to infiltrate state institutions and people in the street have noticed that and today it is not a coincidence that the protests in Lebanon Iraq started as a protest against corruption and eventually turned into protest against Iran proxies in both Lebanon Iraq. This is not a coincidence and I just want to remind our listeners that both Lebanon and Iraq have large populations of Shiite must Salem's and that's where Iran gets influence in these countries Lebanon and Iraq are different Lebanon has thirty percent shop and then the Lebanese population Iraq has majority Shia and what's fascinating about these two protests as the Shia are at the core of these protests Iran is not only losing its corrupt allies in these two countries it's also losing its Shiite support base so I guess a shorthand for your argument is that Iran proxies in places like Lebanon and Iraq know how to win wars and they know how a gain political power but they can't seem to deliver on the economy is it sort of is a kind of you know the old saying it's the economy stupid yes kind of but Hezbollah has done a lot more than just be involved in politics I mean they've had lots of social programs and medical care and all sorts of that would seem to address the concerns of Lebanese and that went back in the one thousand nine hundred and nine hundred ninety s but you're arguing that Iran through its proxies Hezbollah have failed to deliver social economic vision of course of course because two things here one is that this was longtime ago and the only catered for the Shia they did not really cater for the Lebanese people they cater for the shop operation because this is how they wanted to get the Shia political court base the second important thing is that these services are no longer catering for the Shia they do not have the same funds that they used to have twenty or thirty years ago today they are only catering for their members and the families of their members which is not the Shia community so that's why they failed wrote the US has almost strangled Iran's oil exports as a result arounds revenues have fallen catastrophically how has that impacted cash flows to Iran's proxies in Iraq and Syria the very people we've been talking about yes definitely this has definitely contributed to Hezbollah's crisis there the crisis they have stopped serving the majority of the population they couldn't employ people anymore they're started firing employees and they have started to you think reconsider every step they make in terms of a war with Israel or more military adventures region because they cannot afford to have the as wars so this has affected them tied their hands in terms of military adventures and also started to to create this content within the shaft community who are no longer benefiting from Hezbollah services and blow employment so could we be seeing a gradual shift in Iran's influence in places Nick Iraq and Lebanon given these protests given the fact that the traditional ways of propping up proxies isn't working we already seeing this shift Hezbollah today in Lebanon in the very very difficult position the Iranian back militias in Iraq are also very difficult position they have lost their people and this is very important pillar in their political power and public support Anina Dr With The Washington Institute for Near East Policy Okay thanks a lot you're welcome thank

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