Lebanon Daily News Brief 05/26/2022

Thursday, May 26, 2022







Lebanese Lira Hits All-Time Low
Based on today’s reporting, the black market value of the Lebanese Lira against the US Dollar dropped to a record-low of 35,600 LL to 1 USD. In the last two weeks alone, the Lira dropped from 26,800 LL with petrol prices surging by almost 25 percent. [Al Jazeera]




Demonstrations and Sit-Ins Permeate Lebanese Capital
In Beirut today numerous disgruntled public sector employees and protesters conducted sit-ins and placed roadblocks around the Capital. Bakers, fuel truck drivers, and healthcare professionals, among others, also held protests. [The National]




US Special Envoy: Future of Iran Deal In Question
According to US Special Envoy for Iran Rob Malley during testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, “We do not have a deal with Iran and prospects for reaching one are, at best, tenuous . . . To the extent that there is a disagreement in this room, it boils down to this: Are we better off reviving the nuclear deal and, in parallel, using all other tools at our disposal — diplomatic, economic and otherwise — to address Iran’s destabilizing policies? Or are we better off getting rid of the deal and banking on a policy of pressure alone to get Iran to accept more onerous nuclear constraints and curb its aggressive policies?” [Al Monitor]




UN Security Council Calls For Rapid Formation of Government
According to L’Orient Today, “the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday called in a unanimous statement for ‘the rapid formation of a new inclusive government’ in Lebanon after its parliamentary elections took place on May 15 . . . On Monday, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that he was ‘impatiently awaiting the rapid formation of an inclusive government’.” [L’Orient Today]








Voice of America
Lebanon’s New Parliament Faces Problem of Hezbollah’s Weapons

Dale Gavlak
Gavlak writes, “Habib Malik of the Lebanese American University told VOA that he sees the anti-Hezbollah forces in the new parliament potentially taking on the controversial issue of Hezbollah’s insistence of keeping its weapons. ‘The unlawful arms of Hezbollah,’ he said. ‘This new parliament should never be used as a means to legitimize Hezbollah’s arms. That was one of their aims. And it’s not going to happen right now because there (are) enough votes to block that. Similarly, anti-Hezbollah MPs should get together to press for Lebanon’s neutrality. This weapon that Hezbollah wields all the time by accusing people right and left of being a Zionist agent whenever they did disagree with them—this accusation of treason needs to be pointed out as well.’ Recently, Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah tried to argue that with the many challenges engulfing Lebanon, including a finance meltdown and difficulties with food, medicine, and fuel supplies, he urged for ‘postponing’ discussion of Hezbollah’s weapons for a further two years.”




AP News
In Lebanon, A Nascent Reform Movement Faces Tough Road

Zeina Karam and Lujain Jo
Karam and Jo write, “The unexpectedly strong showing by civil society activists restored some hope among despairing Lebanese that change in their ailing country is possible. But the nascent reform movement is fragmented, and faces enormous challenges in fighting an entrenched ruling clique. Many worry the incoming parliament will exacerbate polarization and paralysis at a time when the country is dealing with one of the worst economic meltdowns in history. It is hobbled by divisions between the old guard and newcomers, as well as between supporters and opponents of the powerful militant group Hezbollah.”





Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the American Task Force on Lebanon, a non-profit, nonpartisan leadership organization of Lebanese-Americans.