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Tel Aviv Expects Iranian Pressure On Hezbollah over Border Demarcation Talks


Asharq Al-Awsat


Observers in Washington expect positive outcomes from the direct talks between Lebanon and Israel on disputed land and maritime borders, however, sources in Tel Aviv believe that Hezbollah, which gave its green light for the negotiations, would withdraw at a certain phase following pressures from the Iranian leadership.
Israeli military sources said there is a possibility that the two sides could reach an agreement on the maritime and even land borders.
“Lebanese officials involved in the negotiations hope that a deal with Israel would allow them to launch a gas exploration plans and therefore, ameliorate the country’s dire economic crisis,” the sources said, adding that it is in Iran's interest that tension remains at the Israeli northern borders.
An Israeli official said that Lebanon has two choices today: Either war and destruction or peace and prosperity.
“To be more honest, the decision is in the hands of Hezbollah secretary general Hassan Nasrallah. We know that he is under major pressure from the Iranian leadership to keep the situation tensed on the borders,” the official said.
He added that Iran has an interest to keep the situation unstable in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Lebanon.
“The majority of Lebanese realize that such tension does not serve their country. They have enough problems: COVID-19 crisis, a government crisis, and an economic crisis threatening the bankruptcy of their State,” the official said.
The official noted that Nasrallah stands today at a historic crossroad: Either he chooses to become a Lebanese Shiite and places the interest of his country above all other considerations or he becomes an Iranian Shiite who serves Tehran’s agenda and damage the interests of his country, Lebanon.
Negotiations between Lebanon and Israel over the maritime borders are expected to kick off next Oct. 14 in Naqoura.

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