Lebanon Daily News Brief 1/26/2022

Wednesday, January 26, 2022


Ministry of Interior Seizes Captagon Concealed in Tea Shipment
In the latest publicized seizure of Captagon pills, this time concealed in a large shipment of tea bound for Saudi Arabia via Togo, Lebanese authorities accompanied the Minister of Interior and Municipalities Bassam Mawlawi at a press conference announcing the thwarted smuggling attempt. [Naharnet]


Lebanon Signs Power Deal with Jordan
The energy ministers of Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria signed an agreement in Beirut on Wednesday, marking a major step in an overland energy deal that would supply Lebanon with Jordanian electricity via Syria. Lebanon’s Minister of Energy Walid Fayad clarified that importing electricity from Jordan will cost about $200 million USD per year, funded via the World Bank. He stated, “The Lebanese people need electricity every hour, and we will provide about 250 megawatts of electricity in cooperation with Jordan and with the participation and support of Syria, which reinforces joint Arab action.”  [MTV]


Maronite Patriarch Al-Rahi Reacts to Hariri’s Resignation

According to Naharnet, Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rahi commented on Former Prime Minister and Future Movement Leader Saad Hariri’s decision to leave politics when he said, “I wasn’t expecting it, neither did I expect that his decision would include al-Mustaqbal Movement . . . If Hariri had his reasons, why did his decision include the entire movement?” [Naharnet]



Analysis: Lebanon Slips Further Into Iran’s Orbit As Hariri Bows Out
Tom Perry and Laila Bassam
Perry and Bassam write, “A decision by Sunni Muslim leader Saad al-Hariri to step away from Lebanese politics opens the way for Shi’ite Hezbollah to extend its already deep sway over the country, rendering it ever more a bastion of Iranian influence on the Mediterranean. Three times prime minister, Hariri declared on Monday he would suspend his role in public life and boycott a general election in May, citing Iranian influence as one of the reasons he saw little hope of positive change . . . Stronger financially than most in Lebanon, Hezbollah is well positioned to capitalise on Hariri’s retreat. A source familiar with Hezbollah’s thinking said the group is already eyeing potential gains for its allies in the Sunni community, typically local politicians lacking the national sway of Hariri’s party.” 

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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.