The drug war against Saudi Arabia

Abdullah bin Bajad al-Otaibi

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The drug war is an unconventional war run by global mafias, with a trade estimated at hundreds of billions of dollars worldwide. Some countries have adopted it as a key source of funding, with Iran at the top of the list; the country has built special networks for its drug trade across the Americas, Africa and Europe.

Saudi Arabia announced last Friday that it had foiled an attempt to smuggle several million amphetamine pills from Lebanon hidden inside fruits and vegetables. In response to the systematic and continued targeting of Saudi Arabia and its people with drugs coming from Lebanon, Saudi Arabia decided to place a ban on vegetables and fruits from Lebanon. It will consider imposing the same on any other consignments the smugglers might use in lieu of fruits and vegetables.

It is no longer possible to deal with Lebanon as a state, as it is clear that it is a hijacked country, a state that is taken over by Iran’s Hezbollah from a Christian party that has a monopoly on power. Neither of the two parties care about the Lebanese state or its citizens, and therefore they must be made to bear any consequences for hostile practices and policies towards the countries of the region and the world.

Lebanese farmers, along with the country’s economy, will suffer the most from this decision. But any country in the world would place its security and the security of its citizens as a top priority beyond any sympathy for another nation, as stated by the Saudi Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Nayef in a tweet that, “The Kingdom’s security is a red line.” The Lebanese state was notified through official channels of this decision, and any similar decisions that may follow, unless Lebanon provides guarantees that Saudi Arabia will not be a repeat target of the drug war.

Captagon pills are displayed along with a cup of cocaine at an office of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF), Anti-Narcotics Division in Beirut on June 11, 2010. (AFP)
Captagon pills are displayed along with a cup of cocaine at an office of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF), Anti-Narcotics Division in Beirut on June 11, 2010. (AFP)

The drug war is active in various places around the world. In Mexico, it is run by professional cartels and has caused tens of thousands of deaths, with a similar situation in Colombia. The Taliban in Afghanistan used the drug war to obtain funding, and in the Philippines another war rages on. The drug war is enduring, and there is only talk of limiting it, criminalizing it internationally, and interfering militarily in some cases to put an end to it.

The problem with the Iranian regime and the Taliban movement is that they claim to represent Islam as a religion, which is the biggest distortion of Islam that anyone could do. However, like all political Islam movements, they merely use the name of Islam to cover up their political goals and their crimes against humanities.

The Iranian regime’s involvement in a drug war against Saudi Arabia needs no evidence, it is occurring in plain sight. The world is well aware of Iran’s networks for drug smuggling and trade, which it uses as a weapon against its enemies as well as to fund its militias such as Hezbollah, the Houthis in Yemen and others. What we can expect in the near future is that as America withdraws from Afghanistan, the Taliban will have free reign, and the drug trade and wars will flourish around the world.

Last Friday, Greece announced the seizure of four tons of cannabis hidden in cupcake machines originating in Lebanon and bound for Slovakia. Greece praised the full Saudi assistance it received in seizing this shipment, estimated at thirty-three million euros. Last August, Italian authorities seized a shipment of amphetamine coming from Syria and Hezbollah, part of the drug war waged by the Iranian regime and its affiliates in the region. Dubai, Egypt, Greece and Jordan have all been targets of this ongoing strategy.

Hezbollah’s involvement in the drug trade is well-known and proven by various security services in America, Europe and Arab countries. Hezbollah, which hides behind religious and sectarian slogans, uses religion and doctrine to trade drugs, from manufacturing to smuggling and to marketing. It is obvious that the Lebanese state is providing full cover for these activities, regardless of sweet diplomatic statements that suggest otherwise. The reality on the ground shows that the hijacked Lebanese state cannot do anything of value that could deter this professional organization in the drug trade and war.

America, the most powerful country in the world, which is negotiating with the Iranian regime indirectly in Vienna, does not wish to open up the Pandora’s box of shady practices or stand up to the criminal strategies of the Iranian regime, including the drug trade that the Iranian regime has adopted for many years. Nonetheless, the Americans, like many of their counterparts, have arrived at a serious conviction, which is that the Lebanese state is a completely incapable state, and it may be just one step away from being a failed state, according to Alarabiya.net.

From the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan to the coasts of the Mediterranean, passing through Iran, Iraq and Syria to Lebanon, a new route of drug trade will be drawn, reducing the costs of production and smuggling, and searching for new markets in the region and the world. This drug war is a strategy that supports all of Iran’s strategies targeting the region and the world, meaning it is not only a security war, but rather a political war par excellence. Had this war not been allowed to thrive, the impact of the “maximum sanctions” strategy adopted by the previous US administration would have been greater and its taming of the Iranian regime faster.

Saudi Arabia is a rich country with a population of more than 30 million, making it one of the biggest targets for drug traffickers around the world, and the Iranian regime in particular. Targeting Saudi youth with drugs is one of the deadliest weapons used against Saudi Arabia and its allies, as it undermines future peace, security and development.

Finally, Saudi aid and support for the Lebanese people has been ongoing for decades as part of Saudi Arabia’s support for the stability of neighboring friendly countries. But what is different today is that Lebanon has started to wage a direct war against the Saudi government and people, and any country in the world considers its country and its people a top priority that cannot be undermined in any way. The ones who have forced the hand on choosing between the interests of the Saudi people and those of the Lebanese are the hijackers of the Lebanese state of all parties and affiliations. The Lebanese people have the right to know what some of their leaders are reaping for them now and in the future.

This article was originally published in, and translated, from pan-arabian outlet Asharq al-Awsat.

Read more:

Saudi Customs foils 2.4 mln narcotic tablet smuggling attempt

Saudi Arabia announces ban on fruits, vegetables from Lebanon due to drug smuggling

Hezbollah behind shipment of seized Captagon in Saudi Arabia: Independent Persian

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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