Against the backdrop of the rising tensions between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, following the Lebanese foreign minister's refusal to side with Saudi Arabia in the passing of anti-Iranian resolutions, commentators and politicians from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf hurled venomous remarks at Hizbullah. Former Saudi MP Muhamamd Aal Zulfa said that Lebanon is no longer the same as it used to be and that it is ruled by Hizbullah, "a foreign body which Lebanon had not known in the past." Bahraini MP Jamal Bu Hassan added that "Hizbullah is a cancer" and Lebanon "an Iranian province." These comments were made in a Sky News Arabia show, aired on February 21.
Following are excerpts
Muhammad Aal Zulfa: Hizbullah is, of course, an Iranian faction. It doesn't have a say of its own. Unfortunately, however, it has gained power, with the support of Iran and the Syrian regime, while the other Lebanese players have grown weaker. Saudi Arabia has realized that Lebanon is not the Lebanon we used to know. Saudi Arabia has realized that Lebanon is not the Lebanon we used to know. Today, I'm sad to say, Lebanon is ruled by Hizbullah, a foreign body, which Lebanon had not known in the past. Lebanon does not need this rigid, demogogic rhetoric of Hizbullah, in the service of Iran - which talks about resistance, and which sends the beautiful Lebanese people into a vicious circle. This means that the Lebanese people will continue to be held hostage by the will of Hizbullah, under the pretext of resistance. All the while, Hizbullah is fighting alongside Bashar Al-Assad, who is collaborating with Israel.
Any Arab undergoing any hardship would go to Lebanon, which was a welcoming home for the Arab nation. All of a sudden, the Lebanese, who had opened their gates welcoming all Arabs, found themselves being held hostage by Hizbullah. Any Arab thinks a thousand times before travelling to Lebanon. They are all afraid to go to Lebanon, because of what this party's domination has led to. The (Lebanese) government is crippled and is incapable of doing anything to confront this political party, which is armed. They brazenly bear arms, saying that this is for "resistance." What resistance?! We have seen what they do with these weapons - they blocked roads, they blocked the Beirut airport, and they attacked Beirut. Saudi Arabia is concerned for the safety of the military and security institutions in Lebanon, the role of which is to protect the Lebanese people from chaos. But the fear today... Some Lebanese commentators are saying that within the military there are people who might try, some day, to take control of these weapons, which were purchased by Saudi Arabia, and to use them against us and against the Lebanese people.
Jamal Bu Hassan: I call upon the Lebanese parliament and the Lebanese people to take a stand against this cancer, Hizbullah, which has spread in Lebanon, and has harmed its development and progress in all aspects of life.
This party is the long arm of Iran in the Arab countries. Iran supports all the separatist movements and terrorist groups in Arab countries. It is Iran that supports Hizbullah in Lebanon, with plans and agendas aimed at controlling the decision makers in the Arab countries. Today, Lebanon is an Iranian province. I consider it to be an Iranian province, because of this Fascist party.