Published December 02, 2009
On Jan. 1, 2010, Hezbollah and its de-facto ruler Iran could have a direct line to the Security Council and gain access to all the confidential information to which Security Council members are privy.
In October the U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly voted for Lebanon to be the Asian bloc's new non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for a 2-year term.
Earlier today the Lebanese Government endorsed Hezbollah's demand allowing it to keep its huge weapons arsenal. In doing so the Lebanese government is able to maintain its shaky unity government in which Hezbollah, a designated terrorist group by the U.S. state department, holds two ministries.
Critics worry that the Lebanese will essentially be sitting on the Security Council while ignoring Security Council resolutions that call for the disarming of armed militias, in other words Hezbollah.
Analysts point to the influence wielded by the Iranian-funded Hezbollah in Lebanon as a cause for concern over Lebanon's acceptance into the Security Council. Walid Phares, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and Fox News contributor on terrorism, was one of the architects of U.N. Resolution 1559 which passed in 2004 and called for the immediate disarmament of armed militias. Given the new structure of the Lebanese government that now includes Hezbollah, he says the organization will have "an arm and an eye inside the Security Council."
Hezbollah's acceptance of joining the national unity government came with a promise of not having to disarm as well as receiving the power of veto following months of complicated negotiations.
While repeated calls to the Lebanese foreign ministry in Beirut went unanswered, Lebanon's ambassador to the U.N., Nawaf Salam, was recently quoted in reports as saying that once on the Security Council, Lebanon would "work for a more just and democratic international system."
Hezbollah spokesman Ibrahim Moussawi told Fox News that he had no comment as to what the organization wants from the Security Council and denied that his organization was bound by U.N. resolutions that called for disarming militias, telling Fox News that "the organization is not a militia" and to look at Wednesday's announcement by the Lebanese government that leaves Hezbollah in full control of its arms.
Phares says that one needs to look no further than the group that controls the Lebanese foreign ministry: AMAL, the Lebanese Resistance Detachments. The small Shiite party is strongly allied with Hezbollah. It holds influence over Lebanon's foreign policy, which in turn gives Hezbollah enormous influence over what goes on at places like Lebanon’s United Nations Mission.
The consequences of Lebanon's membership on the Security Council will be far-reaching in two important areas says Phares: "It will be more difficult for the council to disarm Hezbollah, and problematic in sanctioning Iran."