A Reading Into the Lebanese Arena: Chronic Crises and Prospective Challenges


ByNorah Alsubaie


Lebanon’s successive crises — including the energy and electricity shortages   as well as the  Tayouneh clashes and the security tensions that followed –  contributed to bringing the country back into the limelight.  The latter Lebanese crisis came at a time when regional countries and beyond  are attempting to tackle  their consecutive crises and deal with their  growing concerns in light of  the  escalating US-Chinese competition and its direct and indirect impact on several regional issues and against the backdrop of US-Iran talks to revive the nuclear deal.  Lebanon is  suffering from  deepening crises, instability and increasing internal and external tensions  because of the consecutive economic and political crises. These crises have emerged due to domestic divisions among the country’s  different political forces and the intersection of  external geopolitical interests. As soon as Lebanon manages to resolve one crisis, it is faced by a deeper and more severe one, adding to the series of crises gripping the country.  These current crises emerged evidently in 2019. Despite  the formation of a new Lebanese government resulting in a partial breakthrough, optimism  is not the prevalent sentiment across the country. This is because most of the indicators point to the country’s challenges and impediments outweighing the number of proposed solutions on the table.  

In this paper, we briefly try to answer some  questions related to the Lebanese landscape. These  pertain to the reality of the Lebanese  crises and their most salient economic, political and security manifestations, the ongoing challenges, and the biggest existing impediments to overcoming the crises facing the country. Finally, we will look at the indicators pointing to the future that is awaiting Lebanon.

1. Complex Crises and Intractable Solutions

The economic and financial crises as well as the challenges  facing the Lebanese state are diverse.  Lebanon started the year under the weight of the protests that erupted across  the country, prolonging the state of emergency which has been prevailing since late 2019. In addition, the ramifications of the devastating explosion which  rocked Beirut in August 2020 are still being felt. These major incidents  contributed to aggravating the economic woes facing the country.

  1. Dimensions and Significations of the Lebanese Economic  and Energy Crises

Lebanon is going through one of the worst economic crises globally. In  addition to the long-term systemic and structural problems resulting from the impact of several internal and external factors and the chronic  corruption cutting across  the country’s economic pillars,  the ongoing  crises can also be attributed to the adopted  monetary and banking policies, contributing to significant ramifications — though expected.  

Public debt  until the end of 2020 reached $95.6 billion (17.7 percent of GDP), an increase of nearly 5.3 percent from  2019. The Central Bank’s reserves  in the first quarter of 2021 reached approximately $17.5 billion, down from  an estimated  $30.3 billion in 2020.[1]

All the foregoing can be understood in light of  the value of the local Lebanese currency declining by nearly one-tenth of its value against  other foreign currencies, especially the US dollar.[2]

 The World Bank estimated that GDP  contracted by 20.3 percent in 2020 following a 6.7 percent decline in 2019. Meanwhile, living standards have deteriorated further, putting greater pressure on the Lebanese people.  The purchasing power of the Lebanese  people has declined by  nearly 90 percent.[3] The best forecasts indicate that Lebanon needs nearly 12 years to initially overcome the ongoing crises.[4]  Other indicators paint a bleaker picture, indicating that the country needs two decades for  its economy to bounce back.

This economic deterioration was accompanied by a downward trend in Lebanon’s economic relations with regional and international actors.   Lebanon’s trade exchange with the Gulf states over the past 10 years significantly declined, from nearly $450 million per year before the recent  diplomatic crisis to nearly $50 million in 2020. Gulf investments have also gradually declined.[5] This decline in economic relations between Lebanon and regional countries is because of the latter’s protest  against the role and practices of Hezbollah — whether inside or beyond Lebanon.  Further, the financial support to the Lebanese government is conditioned with disarming Hezbollah. Regional protests  against Hezbollah’s overseas practices – including its links to smuggling operations via the illegal crossings in Lebanon and Syria  and its role in the ongoing crisis between Lebanon and the Gulf states due to  its smuggling activities — are elements that need to be considered when thinking about the Lebanese crises today.  These elements  have played a significant role in aggravating Lebanon’s crises at the very least,   bringing about  its economic and financial collapse, harming the reputation of the country and its  economy, and  causing a significant change in the way regional and Western countries deal with Beirut.  

The economic and  energy crises have worsened  over the past few months which has impacted the delivery of essential public services.  The  capacity of the Lebanese state to supply the needed finances for the country’s regions and districts has declined, hence contributing to millions of Lebanese not having access to health services and water resources.  This is extremely problematic in light of  the coronavirus pandemic.[6]

  1. Proposed Solutions Exacerbate the  Crises Further

Given  Lebanon’s deepening economic crises and the decline of the government’s capacity to offer suitable  solutions to reduce their ramifications on the domestic front,  Hezbollah’s Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah over the past few months  made a series of remarks alluding  to Iranian solutions to overcome the domestic crises and prevent further internal deterioration.  He  launched a series of initiatives using private foundations linked to  Hezbollah.  These initiatives have drawn widespread criticism for significantly contributing to the country’s current financial crisis  and operating beyond their remit as tackling crises is the job of state institutions. As a result, Hezbollah has been accused of working to build a state within a state to serve Iranian interests, such as expanding its clout in the region.[7]

Among  Hezbollah’s initiatives was to  secure hard currency through its parallel banking system, known as al-Qard al-Hasan Association (AQAH). The latter  operates as a charitable association, offering loans and carrying out sales and purchases in US dollars.

In addition to the aforementioned semi-banking service, Hezbollah  issued ration cards and  implemented agricultural programs through the Jihad al-Binaa Development Association  which is tasked with  constructing civilian and military infrastructure for Iran in several  regional countries.[8]

Through  its array of unofficial activities, Hezbollah  intended to take advantage of  Lebanon’s crises and turn these into opportunities to secure  more power and recognition, expanding its support base and restricting the activities of the Lebanese state  through building a new alternative economy. This will lead to severe ramifications, particularly related to upholding the writ of the Lebanese state. 

 As the economy and the energy crises  continued to escalate, Hezbollah announced that a ship carrying fuel was setting sail from Iran to Lebanon. Then it spoke of a second and third ship. Then Hezbollah made a controversial proposal, suggesting that  Iranian companies should search for oil in  Lebanon’s territorial waters. Hezbollah’s activities  in the Lebanese energy crisis  indicate a new equation  related to  Lebanese politics and the balance of power inside and  beyond the country.   There are many sinister objectives behind Hezbollah wanting to import fuel from Tehran to Beirut that go beyond the purported humanitarian assistance to the country amid ongoing domestic crises.

 Nasrallah’s proposal of importing  Iranian fuel is consistent with the  idea he floated nearly one year ago:  asking Beirut to look eastwards and boost  its economic cooperation with Iran  to overcome its economic crises. This idea is in line with Iranian aspirations following the 1978 revolution, such as  turning the region away from the West and replicating its political and socioeconomic model across the region.

In light of Lebanon’s  ongoing deterioration, Hezbollah believes the time is ripe for Lebanon to turn eastwards and rely on  Iranian help,  including cooperation in the oil and gas sectors.  There is a heavy cost as well as there will be severe ramifications if Lebanon embraces this path of turning to Iran.[9]

While Nasrallah’s proposal would help mitigate some of the fuel shortage problems  facing Lebanon, in fact, it  is not a sustainable solution to the energy crisis and its ongoing ramifications which are felt across Lebanese society.   It is rather a temporary solution, with the risks outweighing the benefits.  In addition to the aforesaid, Hezbollah’s efforts to strengthen its image and stature in Lebanon through  taking advantage of the Lebanese fuel crisis by bringing in Iranian fuel ships will open a new chapter in the country’s financial crisis. Hezbollah and Iran will reap financial benefits and profits from selling fuel to Lebanon at prices far higher than the actual market value.[10] In addition,  there is a bigger danger lying in the execution  of financial dealings beyond the framework of official  apparatuses — given the ambiguity surrounding the method of payment. The likeliest scenario is that  any payments will be made in  Lebanon’s national currency due to the constraints placed on Iran and Hezbollah by US sanctions. In the end, the payments will be subject to changes and transfers to convert them to the US  dollar. Hence, all the transactions  will be carried out beyond  the official scope of the Lebanese state.[11]

  1. The Initiative of Sending Gas and Electricity and the Framework of Foreign Mediation to Resolve the Crisis

Hezbollah’s announcement to bring  Iranian ships carrying fuel to Lebanon was followed by  an announcement from Washington.  The US Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea said that the  plan for Lebanon to secure gas and electricity via both  Egypt and Jordan through Syria was consistent with the regional outlook of these countries to enhance economic integration.[12]

Hence, this proposal, according to the prevailing vision of multiple analysts, aims to create some sort of  stability for the aforementioned countries and counterbalance  Iran’s clout that extends throughout multiple countries in the region, including Lebanon. This proposal impedes  Hezbollah’s path — for fear that it could exploit the distribution  of Iranian fuel to boost its chances in the next Lebanese parliamentary elections.[13]

Despite the goals of the regional project  to send gas and electricity to Lebanon, it reveals a glaring contradiction and huge flaws regarding several aspects of  regional and international policies. Iran continued to send  fuel to Lebanon across the Syrian border despite the international  and regional efforts over the past years  to monitor illegal border crossings and  provide the necessary security infrastructure on the Syrian-Lebanese border.[14] Further, several countries in the region  and the world  implemented mechanisms and understandings to  halt  cross-border smuggling operations — such as  the recent understandings between the United States, Russia and Israel to  end Iran’s presence in Eastern Syria on the border with Iraq. They  also aimed to stop Iran’s  overland communication from its territory to the Mediterranean coast in Lebanon. However, these mechanisms and understandings proved    a failure whether in stopping the illegal smuggling of fuel or in curbing Iran’s proxy: Hezbollah. Therefore, the regional project of sending gas and electricity to Lebanon and the ongoing understandings  regarding Syria’s Daraa Governorate are questionable when it comes to stopping Iran’s activities in the region.[15]

2.  The Crisis of Forming  a New Lebanese Government – Between Competition and Impediments 

Cautious optimism has prevailed among the observers of Lebanese  affairs, whether inside or beyond  Lebanon, after the formation of the  new Lebanese government was announced on September 20, 2021, headed by Najib Mikati. This announcement  came after the existence of  a governmental vacuum and political gridlock involving  appointments and removals. This phase  began after  the resignation of the Hassan Diab government in August 2020 following the Beirut Port explosion, with Mustapha Adib and Saad al-Hariri declining offers to form a new government. 

  • The Mikati Government  and Internal  Interactions Among  Lebanon’s Political Forces

The breakthrough  ending the obstruction to forming the next Lebanese government is attributed to internal compromises and understandings among the main political actors that were themselves responsible for the political stalemate in the country  over the past period — especially Hezbollah and its allies inside the country.  It has become clear that Hezbollah  has not lost any strategic points with the formation of the  new government. Rather, it  seems like Hezbollah has cemented its position inside and beyond the country, with it taking over a number of positions in important government ministries and institutions that have security dimensions as well as those related to public services such as the Ministry of Public Works and Transport.[16]

After taking over this ministry, Hezbollah will consolidate its domination  over land, sea and air ports. This means it  will supervise the extension of  Egyptian gas to Lebanon via Jordan and Syria. Hezbollah also  secured control over  Beirut Airport which it will use to continue with its  smuggling operations. Hezbollah also took control over  the country’s official border crossings after it had already assumed  control over the unofficial ones. Hezbollah’s control over these crossing points will inevitably impact Lebanon’s  security and relations with its  neighbors, which continue to have  diplomatic and political differences with the country.[17]

  • Compromises With External Actors to Form the New  Lebanese Government

The differences among  Lebanon’s political forces at home  were not the only reason behind the country’s political crisis and the deadlock that preceded the formation of the new government. Lebanon’s political forces were waiting for global powers to make compromises amongst themselves and asses their ramifications on  the Lebanese landscape. Hence, it could be argued  that the new government was formed after compromises and understandings were concluded amongst a quartet of regional and global powers: the United States, France, Russia, and Iran. While the United States and Russia remained backstage, France and Iran led the compromise process, with some involvement from Hezbollah.  Following the phone call made by France’s President Emmanuel Macron  to his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim  Raisi,  an agreement  to form the next Lebanese government was reached between  France, Iran and Hezbollah.[18]

This Iranian-French agreement revealed the contradictions in the French approximations on the Lebanese file. After Macron had exerted pressure on  Lebanon’s political forces (i.e., threats to impose sanctions) that impeded the French initiative announced following the Beirut Port explosion in August 2020, France itself played an active role in forming the new  Lebanese government, even though the criteria of its formation differed from those mentioned  in the French initiative. Paris cut a new deal with the traditional Lebanese political forces which it had previously accused of corruption and  by endorsing Mikati’s government, it has in effect  reproduced the same political class.[19]

2.3 Challenges and Obstacles Facing  the New Mikati Government

Generally, in spite of the breakthrough  leading to the formation of the new Lebanese government, optimism in the Lebanese street is still  limited, given that the new government has a narrow window of about a few months, making  it very unlikely that   Mikati’s government will be able to embark on a path of carrying out  strong structural reforms.

 Another challenge facing  the new government is dealing with escalating  security and political tensions that could lead to Lebanon entering a  major political impasse. This may result in a  crisis of governance, not just a government crisis. These expected tensions  are in light of  the ongoing investigation into the Beirut Port explosion, and  Hezbollah’s attempts to implicate the new Mikati government  in another crisis while it seeks to pull the country out  from its deep economic crisis.[20] The recent  clashes in  Tayouneh  which involved armed violence   are  not a surprise to  anyone who follows the Lebanese situation. Other clashes simultaneously took place  on a smaller scale in the Lebanese village  of Khalde. However, the circumstances that preceded and accompanied the Tayouneh clashes are a new alarm bell, added to a long series of negative indicators warning that Lebanon  is  on the brink of a real abyss threatening its stability. On the one hand, the clashes  indicate that a new looming reality is ahead for Lebanon. The most prominent feature of this new reality is  that Lebanon has actually entered, since the explosion  at Beirut Port, a phase of growing differences and divisions. In  addition, the relationship between a number of Lebanese parties has deteriorated with quarreling over the management of certain files to serve their interests.[21]  The Tayouneh clashes prove that  limiting arms to the state is impossible.  Hezbollah is now playing  a sectarian game,  exacerbating sectarian tensions inside Lebanon and driving the  country towards the brink of a security breakdown, miring it in a state close to civil war, for various considerations. Most notably, Hezbollah and Iran want to blackmail Lebanese forces to reach  domestic understandings and consensus, in light of the general atmosphere surrounding the country, to reduce  regional tensions, and  to avoid Lebanese sectarian forces clashing  with Hezbollah.

 The other challenge to the Lebanese government is the upcoming parliamentary elections, which have attracted significant internal and external attention for the sake of resolving the pressing domestic economic and political crises. They are also viewed as a   starting point to change or restructure power in Lebanon. The current reality does not sound good to anyone observing the Lebanese landscape. There are new potential scenarios that have begun to surface, indicating that delaying or thwarting the elections is possible in spite of the official announcement by the Lebanese Government Council that March 27 is the official date for holding parliamentary elections instead of May 8, 2022.[22] This announcement was made in light of the differing interests among  Lebanon’s political parties and forces.

Lebanon has been witnessing several developments, making the scenario of postponing or cancelling the elections  possible. First,  the Lebanese Parliament approved the amendments to advance the date of the elections. This has triggered a constitutional dispute between the Parliament and the cabinet. Therefore, Lebanon is expected to face further political disputes in addition to its ongoing multifaceted crises. Second, Hezbollah is concerned  that the results of  the 2022 parliamentary elections  may erode the influence it secured  during the previous parliamentary elections that were held in 2018. Hezbollah’s concerns are real given the internal transformations that have taken place in the country resulting  from the “October Revolution” in 2019, and the growing internal opposition against its role and contribution to the country’s deepening crises. Therefore, Hezbollah has adopted a policy of mobilization and provision of services to  convince people to participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections, especially within areas where the party enjoys popular support. The Iraqi parliamentary elections might somehow affect the upcoming parliamentary elections in Lebanon.[23] However, we rule out  that the  regress  of pro-Iran parties and forces in the Iraqi elections   will be repeated in Lebanon due to the role of Hezbollah which has imposed Iran’s will  in Lebanon politically, socially and economically for several decades, unlike the relatively new Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in Iraq.

The upcoming parliamentary elections  are therefore of great importance, and each party will be betting on winning the elections.  Therefore, these elections are an important challenge for the government. As for post-elections,  regardless of  the results, mixing the political cards is inevitable, if they are in favor of Hezbollah due to  the absence of international support, the lack of Arab support and the domination of the United States over global financial institutions. However, if the election results are not in Hezbollah’s favor, a lapse into a political and security crisis cannot be avoided.  

3.  Geopolitical Considerations  Extending Beyond the Proposed Solutions

Some say that the strong internal factors dominate the future of Lebanon in addition to its economic and political crises. While others argue that the regional and international factors will also play an integral role   in the future of Lebanon because  all solutions to the current economic crisis  are based on political dynamics and developments in the region.

3.1 The United States and the Considerations of Iran’s Nuclear Deal

 A number of regional developments have taken place: the United States withdrew from Afghanistan;  the Taliban took over power in Kabul; Baghdad held a summit to normalize relations with its Arab neighbors;  regional stakeholders attempted to entrench  their influence   in future regional arrangements;   Baghdad held  secret talks with a number of countries — similar to the talks  between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and  the US-Russia-Emirati summit in which Lebanon was discussed.  The aforementioned regional developments  reveal  that Lebanon is at the center  of rotation of regional power and that there is a heated competition between some parties to gain more bargaining chips     in light of the Vienna talks.  The outcomes of the nuclear talks will determine the new power balance in the region; accordingly,  impacting  Lebanon’s multiple crises; which will be either curbed or expanded further. The outcomes will also reveal  the general prospects for the future of Lebanon in the coming period. 

3.2 The French Initiative: Intersection of Interests With Iran

In a preemptive move, France also sought to anticipate the potential outcomes of the  US-Iranian nuclear talks by showing a degree of diplomatic flexibility in dealing with Iran on some regional issues. It attended the Baghdad Summit for Cooperation and Partnership where it  achieved   consensus points and political  and economic gains with some of the internal actors in Iraq. France also reached understandings   with Iran, leading to the formation of the Lebanese government — after many internal disputes over its formation.  France adopted a flexible approach to  make the negotiations succeed and maintain  its interests   along with Iran in its main spheres of influence:  Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. It also aims to  maintain close ties with the traditional political forces in Lebanon; accordingly,  maintaining   a good position in the new Middle East


rn equation.

 France was able to find common ground with the United States which facilitated the formation of the Lebanese government. Paris and Tehran have common interests in Lebanon.  However, signs of a looming conflict of interests and influence began to  emerge between France and the United States immediately after the new government was announced;  including the Australian submarine crisis.  France considered it a “betrayal” by the United States as Paris never exploited its influence in Lebanon against Washington’s interests.  In response, French President Emmanuel Macron received Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati in France in his first foreign visit [24].

3.3. An Arab Return to Lebanon Subject to Security Considerations

Amid the current regional developments surrounding Lebanon; Paris has boosted its ties with Tehran while Washington resorted to strategically withdraw from the Middle East, therefore,  the region is expected to witness de-escalation. Players in the region are collecting their cards for upcoming negotiations, aiming to    settle as many differences as possible and manage conflicts. These developments will definitely include Lebanon. This is clearly evident in the two projects to supply Lebanon with electricity and fuel, which mainly aim to address  its demand for energy at this critical juncture and to curb  Iran’s influence in the country. The main question here remains: are these projects sufficient to  reduce Iran’s influence  in the region and to address the security concerns of several countries in the region over  Tehran’s growing influence? 

This question is hard to answer in light of the limitations regarding  the project to supply gas and electricity  to Lebanon, and  the recent escalation in Lebanese-Gulf political and diplomatic relations.  Within a short period of time, the Mikati government proved that it is subject to Hezbollah’s influence and hegemony  in relation to decision-making, including security decisions. Therefore,  there is little hope for Lebanon  to receive funds from the Arab states — to halt an expected economic  collapse.  Furthermore, the international community has not made  active efforts to stop the economic collapse in Lebanon.  It has not confronted  the influence of Iran and its proxy, Hezbollah, in Lebanon and the region. Moreover, betting on the nuclear talks between Iran and Washington and other international powers to address  Tehran’s nuclear program and growing influence has proved  a failure.

4.  Iran  Strengthening the Linkage Between   the Lebanese Situation and Its Regional Project

 In light of the aforementioned,  it is apparent that Hezbollah enjoys a dominant role in Lebanon. Beirut under Najib Mikati’s  government entered a new stage  characterized by openness to Damascus and    accepting Iranian fuel.   The Mikati government will remain  under Hezbollah’s influence.   The party controls Lebanon’s decision-making process  in light of domestic, regional and international developments. Therefore, Hezbollah’s economic and political power will be enhanced further.  It has become the strongest and most influential actor in the country,  controlling  the trajectories of power in  the Lebanese state.[25]

It is expected that Lebanon will witness a stronger Iranian grip through Hezbollah in the future due to the aforementioned considerations and the implicit political message conveyed during the visit of Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian to Lebanon —  which explicitly aimed at discussing economic projects.[26] The visit clearly indicates Iran’s potential strategy  concerning the future of Lebanon and the region as a whole by increasing Lebanon’s and the region’s dependence on Iran.[27] The visit came a few weeks after the Iranian foreign minister participated  in the Baghdad Conference for Cooperation and Partnership  and met with French President Macron, and amid international confusion over the US position on the well-planned  exemptions for Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and  Syria from the Caesar Act for supplying gas to Lebanon.

 The future of Iran’s role in Lebanon and its relation to  Tehran’s regional project becomes quite apparent when taking into consideration Lebanon’s security and political developments  as well as  Iranian official  and unofficial visits to the country — this is in addition to Iranian official visits  to Syria.  Moreover, Iran, by these visits, aims to collect more bargaining chips for the seventh round of nuclear talks. Abdollahian also sent provocative messages to several countries, including Saudi Arabia, that  Tehran does not intend to change the current  balance  of power  in Lebanon, neither will it include Iran’s regional role in the nuclear talks.[28] Further,  Iran will adopt the policy it believes that is best to deal with   the US administration’s attempts to curb its influence in the region, especially in   Azerbaijan,  Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and  Lebanon. Washington, and the Western powers, meanwhile, have been increasing pressure on Iran to return to the nuclear talks.  

Forecasts and Outcomes

In conclusion, upon the aforementioned analysis, the future of Lebanon is still bleak. Lebanon’s crises are expected to remain unresolved as long as it remains a bargaining chip for Iran’s multifaceted maneuvers. Amidst its surrounding complexities whether at home or abroad, Lebanon is likely to wait for longer to find a way out if its dilemma. At home, the Lebanese government reflects the internal and regional balance of power. It cannot, however, now resolve completely the country’s thorny issues neither can it make a drastic change.  The Lebanese government is merely a temporary solution to outstanding issues and crises.   

Lebanon  is in dire need  of urgent international financial aid to avoid a looming economic collapse while it is  preparing to conduct  its parliamentary elections within a few months. The Mikati government, therefore, may not be able to save the country’s economy as it takes months of negotiations. International financial support to Lebanon   is linked to  implementing internal political and economic reforms  and to  restoring Lebanon’s foreign relations with its regional and international surroundings. This is in addition to establishing foreign policies that align with  the interests of regional and international actors. Thus, it is expected that the recent tensions and events will create a major impasse, marked by incitement and tensions in the Lebanese street. Consequently, we may witness  a major imbalance of power  and no state writ while   Hezbollah will expand its influence further in the country whether by  political means or through using arms. Therefore, betting on  a competent government role in light of the aforementioned complexities seems quite unlikely,  at least in the foreseeable  future. Though multiple international delegations have visited Lebanon, providing solutions and agreements to resolve the Lebanese crisis, the complex geopolitical contradictions surrounding Lebanon may thwart all diplomatic efforts. Thus, the economic and political crises are expected to prevail in Lebanon in the near future.

[1] “Its Solutions May Take Years, and Immigration Is the Easiest Way Out… Three Crises Besieging the Lebanese,”  Al Jazeera, September 22, 2021, accessed October 10, 2021, https://bit.ly/3b59RiX. [Arabic].

[2] Mona Yacoubian, “Lebanon: Assessing Political Paralysis, Economic Crisis and Challenges for U.S. Policy,” United States Institute of Peace, July 29, 2021, accessed  October 10, 2021, https://bit.ly/30iGQyh.

[3]“Lebanon Sinking Into One of the Most Severe Global Crises Episodes, Amidst Deliberate Inaction,” The World Bank,  June 1, 2021, accessed  September 12, 2021, https://bit.ly/392DS1Q.  

[4] “Lebanon Sinking (To the Top 3),” Lebanon Economic Monitor, (Spring 2021) accessed  September 12, 2021, https://bit.ly/3Ghqgzd

[5] “In Numbers…The Size of Economic Relations Between the Gulf and Lebanon… Are They Affected After Charbel Wehbe’s Statements?” Sputnik,  May 20, 2021, accessed  September 12, 2021, https://bit.ly/3CcAjTG

[6] Jared Malsin and Nazih Osseiran, “Beirut Port Explosion Fuels Lebanon’s Collapse,” The Wall Street Journal, August 8, 2021, accessed September 12, 2021, https://on.wsj.com/3A8XfCy

[7] “How Did Hezbollah Turn the State in Lebanon Into a Servant of Its influence?” Al Arab Newspaper, July 9, 2021, accessed September 12, 2021, https://bit.ly/3nrb9fM

[8]  Giulia Dal Bello, “Hezbollah’s Economic Initiatives in Collapsing Lebanon,” Global Risk Insights, May 15, 2021, accessed  September 12, 2021, https://bit.ly/3DWOtKc

[9] Hossam Itani, “Lebanon and the Problem of ‘Turning Eastwards,’” Middle East, July 1, 2021, accessed September 12, 2021, https://bit.ly/3nmqGgR. [Arabic].

[10] Rana Sarti, “Millions of Dollars, ‘Hezbollah’ Profits From Diesel Fuel,” Al Arabiya, October 2, 2021, accessed October 11, 2021, https://bit.ly/2YEh6Mt. [Arabic].  

[11] Fares Khashan, “Nasrallah’s Economic Initiative Just a Joke at a Funeral,” Al Nahar Al Arabi, June 10, 2021, accessed  September 12, 2021, https://bit.ly/2X8nREY. [Arabic].

[12] “The Regional Repercussions of Lebanon’s Importing Gas and Electricity Through Syria,” The Future for Advanced Research and Studies,  September 6, 2021, accessed October 11, 2021, https://bit.ly/3CdkVqd. [Arabic].

[13] Ibid.

[14] Sarit Zehavi & Eric R. Mandel, “The Dangerous Impotence of UNIFIL’s Mission in Lebanon,” September 17, 2021, accessed  October 22, 2021, https://bit.ly/3B9P6NG.

[15]Lina Khatib, “Iran’s Fuel Shipment to Lebanon Requires Regional Policy Shift,” Chatham House, October 20, 2021, accessed  October 22, 2021, https://bit.ly/3B3Y6UJ

[16] Tony Badran, “Lebanon’s New Hezbollah Government,” Newsweek, September 16, 2021, accessed  September 17, 2021, https://bit.ly/3hNO6rK

[17] Johnny Fakhri, “The Government of Lebanon Is Taking Office…This Is How Hezbollah Benefits from the Ministry of Works,” Al Arabiya, September 13, 2021, accessed September 17, 2021, https://bit.ly/3kIEwIA

[18] “Raisi in a Phone Call With Macron; Sanctions Against Iran Must Be Lifted,” Tasnim News,  September 5, 2021, accessed September 17, 2021, https://bit.ly/3znrbtb

[19]  “The French Initiative Is Being Tested Beyond ‘Congratulations’ on the Formation of the Lebanese Government,” Asharq Al Awsat,  September 17, 2021, accessed September 17, 2021, https://bit.ly/39kzNX8.

[20] “Lebanon-Associated Press Thursday’s Clashes and the ‘Ruling Elite’ Bets,” Alhurra,  October 16, 2021, accessed October 16, 2021, https://arbne.ws/30DJ9w9. [Arabic].

[21] Muhammad Mansour, “The Temporary Calm, What After the Beirut Clashes?” The Egyptian Marasad, October 16, 2021, accessed October 16, 2021, https://bit.ly/3mVOBlk. [Arabic]

[22] “Lebanon: Parliament Decides to Bring Forward the Election. Bassil Vows to Appeal,” Alhurra, October 19, 2021, accessed October 22, 2021, https://arbne.ws/2Zk3RA8

[23] Hanna Saleh, “Lebanon: Parliamentary Elections Between Fraud and Obstruction!” Asharq Al Awsat, October 07, 2021, accessed October 17, 2021, https://bit.ly/3jcprOa

[24] “The Repercussions of the Submarine Deal. Lebanon Faces Difficult Choices Following Strained Relations Between France and America,” Sputnik, September 25, 2021, accessed  October 17, 2021, https://bit.ly/3CckCfg

[25] Ahmed Jaber, “The Shiite Arc Between Its Condition and the Conditions    of his Opponents,”  Al Modon, September 20, 2021, accessed  September 20, 2021, https://bit.ly/3CpWm9l. [Arabic].

[26] “Aims and Messages of Amir Abdullahian’s Trip to Beirut and Damascus, According to the Lebanese Newspaper,”  Tasnim News Agency, October 11, 2021, accessed October 23, 2021, https://bit.ly/3GerFqd. [Persian].

[27] “A Major Emphasis on Relations With Neighboring Countries and the Region,” TRT, October 19, 2021, accessed October 23, 2021, https://bit.ly/3CIL7bC. [Persian].

[28] “Hossein Amir-Abdollahian’s Visit to Lebanon Is Sovereignly Rejected: No to the Iranian Occupation,” Almarkazia, October 5, 2021, accessed  October 16, 2021, https://bit.ly/3p91ifc. [Arabic].

Norah Alsubaie
Norah Alsubaie
A researcher at the International Institute for Iranian Studies (Rasanah)