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Iranian ForMin In Beirut: Who Knew? - Peter Brookes

While the U.S. media focused on the U.N. Security Council's passage of a resolution today, giving Iran until the end of August to suspend uranium enrichment--or face the possible implementation economic and diplomatic sanctions--an equally important story regarding Iran escaped notice.

Today, the Iranian Foreign Minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, was scheduled to meet with his Lebanese counterpart, Fawzi Salloukh in Beirut. While no one is fooled by Iran's hand in the ongoing crisis, Tehran has so far kept a very low, public profile since it all started three weeks ago.

So why has Iran reared its head in Beirut at this moment? Three reasons: a) To weigh in with the Lebanese government about its interests in the outcome of the conflict as the pace of crisis diplomacy accelerates; b) Show support for--and encourage--its terrorist cat's paw, Hezbollah; and c) Warn the international community that how it deals with Iran's nuclear program, for example at the U.N. Security Council, will affect how Iran deals with Hezbollah and Lebanon. Unfortunately, this means we can only expect more troublemaking from Iran in the weeks ahead.

Heritage Foundation senior fellow, Peter Brookes, is the author of: "A Devil's Triangle: Terrorism, WMD and Rogue States." peterbrookes@heritage.org