Ali Hashem describes how U.S. “maximum pressure” on Iran is wrecking Lebanon and simultaneously making Lebanon more dependent on Iran:
The more the United States ratchets up its pressure on Lebanon, the more opportunities will open up for Iran to exert power and influence in the disintegrating state. This will not necessarily come via the Iranian government; influence could flow directly through Hezbollah, which has vowed not to allow Shiites in Lebanon to die of hunger. The United States’ maximum pressure strategy could therefore easily play into the hands of its avowed enemy.
The administration’s cruel and destructive Iran policy has wreaked havoc on the civilian population in Iran for the last two years, but its harmful effects on other countries in the region tend to get overlooked. When the U.S. wages relentless economic war against an entire country, every other country that is connected to the targeted state economically suffers. Lebanon has been hit particularly hard because Hezbollah has also been targeted as part of the coercive campaign. The effect on the Lebanese economy has been devastating:
As part of the U.S. government’s campaign of maximum pressure on Iran, and because of Hezbollah’s footprint, maximum economic pressure is being brought to bear on Lebanon. To say this has sent Lebanon into free fall is an understatement: Banks are empty of dollars, power cuts in the capital are widespread, businesses are closing their doors for lack of customers, and the dollar value of the national minimum wage has fallen from around $450 per month to $80 as of this writing. A government minister whose monthly salary a few months ago was around $8,500 today earns roughly $1,500. Much the same can be said of the country’s president, speaker, and prime minister – and they are the fortunate ones.