Lokman Slim's assassination is an Iranian message to the international community

Mohammed Al Shaikh
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The assassination of Lebanese Shia activist Lokman Slim at the hands of Hezbollah militia sends a clear message to Lebanese Shia in particular, and, most importantly, the entire international community in general. This terrorist party, which is funded and influenced by Iran, wanted to assert its dominance as the main decision-maker in the country, and signal to the Lebanese people that whoever rebels against it, even if they were Shia like Lokman Slim, should expect retribution.

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Hezbollah has nothing to fear from the international community thanks to its affiliation with the Iranian terrorist system, which unquestionably follows the Iranian regime and seeks to implement its agenda. This party does not care about the Lebanese people or their living conditions. Lebanon is a mere podium for Iran to send its messages to the world as the Lebanese President and the majority of the politicians are unfailingly loyal to Hezbollah and its leader, Hassan Nasrallah.

These conditions are favorable for Hezbollah’s rodomontade and retaliation as they are confident that they will not be held accountable by the international community, and especially the US.

A Hezbollah flag flutters in the southern Lebanese village of Khiam, near the border with Israel, Lebanon July 28, 2020. (Reuters)
A Hezbollah flag flutters in the southern Lebanese village of Khiam, near the border with Israel, Lebanon July 28, 2020. (Reuters)

This assassination cannot be interpreted in isolation from the Belgian court ruling which sentenced the Iranian diplomat Assadollah Assadi to 20 years in prison for plotting to bomb an Iranian opposition rally and attempting to kill hundreds in France back in 2018. Were that attack to happen, it would have become the biggest terrorist act in the history of modern Europe.

Assadi’s trial should have been a trial against the entire nation ruled by mullahs since he was a diplomat stationed in the Iranian embassy in Vienna. Placing the responsibility for this crime on the criminal alone instead of extending it to implicate his country implies that the European Union is trying to avoid accusing Iran of terrorism. Against this backdrop, the terrorist operation in Beirut came to announce to the EU that Hezbollah militias cannot be deterred; rather, they are ready and willing to escalate.

It seems that this assassination is the first of a series of assassinations to come if the EU remains unwilling to address Iranian terrorism. It should also be noted that Lokman’s murder was how the Iranians chose to inaugurate the new US administration. Biden’s leniency towards Iranian terrorism in the past has tempted the mullahs in Tehran to keep the new US President and EU countries under pressure through terrorist attacks in the hopes of reversing the economic sanctions that afflict Iran.

Hezbollah has been carrying out similar assassinations since 2004, the most famous of which was the assassination of the Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri. The International Court convicted a Hezbollah member of this crime, but the party simply ignored the ruling and did not turn him over. Both the international community and the Lebanese government remained silent on the matter and did not demand the criminal’s extradition.

This phenomenon of Hezbollah and its terrorist attacks with Iran openly and publicly supporting it suggests that there are actors who refuse to level accusations at the nation of the mullahs and limit terrorism to Sunni Muslims; thus, absolving Iranian Shia of all the consequences. Sunnis, who make up the majority of Muslims in the world, have started feeling the sting of this bias, which seems to have no other explanation except for yielding to Iranian blackmail.

This article was originally published in, and translated from, Saudi Arabian outlet al-Jazirah.


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Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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