Feature

Quenching the fires

The week's news at a glance.

Beirut

Iran and Saudi Arabia took the lead this week in trying to mediate an end to Lebanon’s political crisis. Hezbollah, a Shiite militant party funded by Iran and Syria, paralyzed Lebanon last week with a violent strike, demanding more power within the government. Saudi King Abdullah invited Hezbollah leaders to talks, while a Saudi prince flew to Tehran to confer with the Iranians. Yet even if a deal is struck, Hezbollah might not obey Iranian dictates. Hezbollah’s leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, said that an agreement “between two governments does not bind the Lebanese, because the Lebanese must seek their own interests and not the interests of Saudi Arabia and Iran.” Saudi Arabia has close ties with Lebanon’s governing Sunni elite.

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