June 11, 2015

KNOWING YOUR ALLIES:

U.S. Strategy in Lebanon Stirs Fears (JAY SOLOMON, June 9, 2015 , WSJ)

[T]he U.S. move feeds into an alarmed narrative held by many Arab leaders who say that U.S. and Iranian interests appear increasingly aligned--at their expense. Both Washington and Tehran are fighting Islamic State forces in Iraq and Syria, with U.S. conducting airstrikes against the militants, but notably not against Mr. Assad's Iran-backed regime.

Hezbollah, which the U.S. classifies as a terror organization, receives extensive funding and arms from Iran. It has deployed 10,000 soldiers in Syria to back Mr. Assad's forces and counter Islamic State, U.S. officials estimate.

Saudi Arabia's leadership, which supports the exiled leader of Yemen, was concerned when the U.S. last month met secretly with the Iran-backed Houthi rebels there that caused him to flee.

Most significantly, the Obama administration is seeking to conclude a deal with Iran by June 30 to curb its nuclear program in exchange for a lifting of international sanctions.

Some pro-democracy activists in Washington also voiced concern that cutting Hayya Bina's funding will send a message that the U.S. is tacitly accepting Hezbollah in an effort to appease Iran.

Posted by at June 11, 2015 7:28 PM
  

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