Moh. Chatah’s Open Letter to Tehran, Dead Week Later, Car Bomb

Hezbollah undoubtedly carried this out this hit as Iran’s proxy in Lebanon. As the internal Islamic split between Sunni and Shia factions fight for Mid East regional dominance, consider this “Quotation of the Day” from the NY Times:

“I think we are witnessing a turning point, and it could be one of the worst in all our history. The West is not there, and we are in the hands of two regional powers, the Saudis and Iranians, each of which is fanatical in its own way. I don’t see how they can reach any entente, any rational solution.”
Elias Khoury, Lebanese novelist and critic who lived through his own country’s 15-year civil war.

A former Lebanese finance minister prepared this missive, written one week earlier:

by Mohammad Chatah  in Wall Street Journal  December 28, 2013

Editor’s note: Mohamad Chatah, a former Lebanese finance minister, wrote the following open letter last week to Iranian President Hasan Rouhani. Chatah was killed by a car bomb in Beirut before he could gather signatures from members of the Lebanese parliament.
Mohamad Chatah, 1951-2013  (Photo credit: Reuters)
Your Excellency,We are taking this exceptional step to address you and other regional and global leaders because these are exceptionally dangerous times for our country. Not only is Lebanon’s internal and external security being seriously threatened, but the very unity of our state is in real jeopardy. It is our obligation to do all we can to protect our nation from these l threats. And today, more than ever before, the choices made by the Islamic Republic of Iran will play an important role in determining our success or failure. That’s why we are writing to you, as the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran.But these are exceptional times for Iran as well. After many years of confrontation between Iran and a major part of the international community, your election as president last summer has signaled to many in the region and the world that the Iranian people want to set their country on a new path; a path of reform and openness and peaceful relations with the rest of the world. The recent interim agreement between Iran and the P5+1, and the statements you have made since your election, have raised expectations that Iran may indeed be taking the first concrete steps along that positive path. We sincerely hope that this is the case.But for us, as representatives of the Lebanese people, the real test is not so much whether Iran reaches a final agreement with Western powers on its nuclear program, nor whether domestic economic and social reforms are successfully put in place—important as these objectives are to the world and to the Iranian people. For us in Lebanon, the real test is whether Iran is genuinely prepared to chart a new course in its policies toward the rest of region, and most specifically toward Lebanon.Your Excellency,It is an undisputed fact that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard continues to maintain a strategic military relationship with Hezbollah, a military organization that Iran’s Revolutionary guard was instrumental in establishing 30 years ago. At that time Lebanon was still in the midst of a terrible civil war and southern Lebanon was under Israeli occupation. Today, 23 years after the end of the civil war and the disbanding of all other Lebanese militias, and 13 years after the liberation of the south from Israeli occupation (in which the Lebanese resistance played a crucial role), Hezbollah 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.

 As we are sure you would agree, 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. This is the case irrespective of the religious affiliations of such non-state militias or the causes they claim to champion.
Read more, at this WSJ link:
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