The arrival of Iran’s Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi and US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs in Beirut at the same time was described as a competition between the two countries over winning Lebanon’s favor, especially since both Iran and the United States have a jewel in this country. Indeed, the March 14 coalition is America’s jewel, whereas Hezbollah is Iran’s goose that lays the golden egg.
It is ok to say so, as this is somewhat fair and accurate. The exaggeration, if exaggeration there is, concerns the March 14 side of the frail Lebanese structure. The March 14 coalition is by no means a jewel, whereas Hezbollah – in comparison – is laying golden eggs for the Islamic Republic of Iran, regardless of the fact that Iran is feeding it gold as well.
The equation of regional and international returns for each of the two parties, i.e. Hezbollah and March 14 forces, is turning out in favor of Hezbollah given the party’s “efficiency,” which Iran’s mullahs can take advantage of. In fact, they have doing so all along, knowing that March 14 forces have nothing to offer to their international ally. Meanwhile, the equation is additionally shaken due to the fact that the United States has enough for us to aspire to, which is not the case with the Islamic Republic.
Failure is inevitable, and we have already acknowledged Hezbollah’s supremacy in regional services. Accordingly, it is alright to open the goods to the two international and regional sponsors competing for them.
The Iranian delegation signed a cooperation agreement with the Lebanese government in the field of education. This means that Lebanon is concerned with whatever “educational” services Iran has to offer. In truth, it would have been more useful for us to sign such agreements with the US competitor before we even pause to consider what Iran has to offer in the education field, unless the aim is to introduce the “Guardianship of the Jurist” as a subject matter in the Lebanese school curriculum.
With regard to financial and economic aids, the US recorded share in this respect in the books and budgets of the Lebanese state is many times greater than Iran’s. Yet the equation would certainly be different if we were to add Iran’s aid to Hezbollah, the extent, nature and function of which is unknown to the Lebanese people.
Lebanon has been at the heart of the rejectionist speech, while the visits of the US and Iranian delegations are at the heart of a race between “two accusations of treason,” one involving the United States and the other involving Iran. The speech urging the Lebanese people to choose one of these two goes hand in hand with an inclination to say that the United States does not intend to change the current domestic equation and avert Lebanon the repercussions of the Syrian crisis, according to rejectionist newspapers. In this sense, the US administration does not want more “agents”; rather, it wants additional retreat.
Iran has something to say, but what the education edifice it will establish in return will by no means be greater than the one built by the United States in Ras Beirut around 150 years ago, knowing that some of those who wrote article calling on the Lebanese people to make do with the Iranian model have graduated from this same institution.
These [writers] are displaying racism of a different kind by attempting to preserve “their superiority over the masses.” These masses will not deserve their appellation if the likes of Samah Edriss do not graduate from an American university, while the masses enjoy the perks of Egyptian former President Jamal Abdel Nasser’s, Soviet and Iranian education.
This article is a translation of the original, which appeared on the NOW Arabic site on Friday May 4, 2012