Is New Saudi Ruler MBS Planning Proxy Wars with Iran via Lebanon and Yemen?

Saudi Arabia appears to be preparing for confrontation with Iran, through flanks in both Lebanon and Yemen. This comes just as the Islamic State is about to be defeated in Syria and Iraq.

On Nov. 4, Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri traveled to Saudi Arabia where he suddenly resigned from his post in a televised statement, implicitly accusing Hizbollah and Iran of attempting to assassinate him and of stirring up a civil war-like situation in the country. He threatened to “cut Iran’s arms” in Lebanon, meaning Hizbollah. Lebanese media and experts have said that Hariri, who is also a Saudi citizen with billion-dollar business relations with the Kingdom, is most certainly under arrest in Riyadh and that his speech was written for him by the Saudis. Lebanese President Michel Aoun rejected the resignation, demanding that it be be submitted personally. A national campaign, including of Hariri’s party Al-Mustaqbal which is the largest Sunni Muslim party in the country, has been launched to demand the return of the PM.

Read also: Lebanese President Michel Aoun Receives Jacques Cheminade on the Need for Peace in the Middle East

In the meantime, Saudi ruler Mohammed Ben Salman (MBS) called on all Saudi citizens to leave Lebanon as quickly as possible, as did the Kuwaiti Foreign Affairs Minister a few hours later, after the government of Bahrain had already done on Nov. 5, raising fears of military attacks.

MBS seems to be acting on behalf of a faction in the Middle East and in the West (including Israel), which is intent on stopping Iranian expansionism in the region, which came about as a result of the military combat against jihadist terrorists in Iraq and Syria since 2011. Saudi Arabia, under the rule of the brutal MBS, is attempting to take Lebanon hostage in a proxy war against Iran, considering even military action.

Saudi Arabia, Great Britain and even French President Macron have also implicated Iran in the war in Yemen. The same night as Hariri was making his speech, a ballistic missile launched from Yemen hit King Khaled Airport in Riyadh. While the Saudis were first reluctant to admit this embarrassing event, having spent billions on U.S anti-missile systems, they later found it to be an excellent propaganda tool against Tehran. The claim was made that the missile originated from Iran, which is supporting the Houthi militias to attack Saudi Arabia. The media reports were soon followed by an official statement of concern from Great Britain and by Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, the commander of U.S Air Forces Central Command, claiming the missile was definitely provided by Iran.

Following the missile attack, Saudi Arabia imposed a total blockade of Yemen, preventing even UN relief organizations from entering the country. This puts more the lives of more than 10 million Yemenis directly at risk. MBS likely calculates that if the Saudis provoke a military conflict with Iran, the United States, Britain and its allies in Europe would be forced to support them.