Open Letter to Tehran

(Wall Street Journal) Mohamad Chatah - Mohamad Chatah, a former Lebanese finance minister, wrote the following open letter last week to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Chatah was killed by a car bomb in Beirut Friday before he could gather signatures from members of the Lebanese parliament. Iran's Revolutionary Guard continues to maintain a strategic military relationship with Hizbullah, a military organization that Iran's Revolutionary Guard was instrumental in establishing 30 years ago. Today, 23 years after the end of the civil war and the disbanding of all other Lebanese militias, Hizbullah continues to maintain an independent and heavily armed military force outside the authority of the state. This is happening with the direct support and sponsorship of your country. The presence of any armed militia in parallel to the legitimate armed forces of the state and operating outside the state's control and political authority is not only in conflict with the Lebanese constitution, but also with the very definition of a sovereign state - any state. Hizbullah's blatant protection of five of its members who had been indicted by the Special international Tribunal for Lebanon in the case of the late Rafiq Hariri assassination has compounded the suspicions and mistrust. Over the past year, Hizbullah's direct participation in the conflict in Syria has greatly aggravated Lebanon's already precarious situation. It is, in effect, an invitation to those on the receiving end of Hizbullah's bombs and bullets in Syria to bring the war back to Hizbullah's homeland - our common homeland. Regrettably, this is happening with the support of, and in coordination with, the Islamic Republic of Iran.

2013-12-30 00:00:00

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