Ahmadinejad's Lebanon Visit and the Fate of the Hariri Tribunal

(Washington Institute for Near East Policy) Ash Jain and Andrew J. Tabler - One purpose of Iranian President Ahmadinejad's trip to Beirut this week may be to influence the fate of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), charged with investigating the 2005 assassination of former prime minister Rafiq Hariri. As the tribunal inches closer to indictments that reportedly include Hizbullah operatives, both the group and Syria - apparently backed by Tehran - have stepped up what seems to be an orchestrated campaign to pressure Prime Minister Saad Hariri and his Western allies into ending their support for the judicial process. The Obama administration should use its nascent dialogue with Damascus to make clear that Syrian efforts to undermine the tribunal will have adverse consequences. Washington should continue to reaffirm support for the tribunal and make clear that it will not countenance any political deal over its future.

2010-10-13 09:39:41

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