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January 30, 2012

Iran launches an anti-Saudi media offensive ... from Beirut!

January 30, 2012

January 30, 2012

(Houthi leader, Abdel Malik al-Houthi)

The Arab Digest has learned from different sources that Iran is launching a media offensive from Beirut through establishing Arabic Satellite TV channels for anti-Saudi groups. One source told the Arab Digest that plans are underway to open two new channels, one for the Houthi rebels in Yemen, known as the Houthis, and another for Shiites in Eastern Saudi Arabia. According to this source, an already existing TV channel for the Bahrain Shiite opposition might move to Beirut, as it has been suffering from mounting pressure in the United Kingdom (The U.K. has been accused of supporting the Bahraini royal family in its bloody crackdown against the opposition).
Another source referred to two already existing channels financed by Iran. The first is the Aletejah TV, an Iraqi channel for the pro-Iranian "Hezbollah Brigades", a small military organisation that is diverting its attention to "social issues" after the American withdrawal. The second is Eden Life, a TV channel for South Yemen's former president, Ali Salem al-Beidh. He is calling for the independence of South Yemen, a demand much opposed by Saudi Arabia.
Hezbollah is backing this media offensive for various reasons, one of which is economic. While Lebanon's economy is slowing down, and U.S. is driving Shiites out of their jobs in the diaspora, these new TV channels are expected to create 1000 jobs. Presenters are all from the targeted country, whether South Yemen, Eastern Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Iraq. The remaining positions are usually staffed by Lebanese citizens. Such an offensive will most likely create more tension in Lebanon amid the escalating violence in Syria. For Iran experts, such a move is most likely a bargaining chip to be employed in future negotiations with Saudi Arabia, or who knows, maybe the United States, the "devil" himself.

The Arab Digest has received a statement from Ali Salem Al-Beidh's office denying the allegation that Eden Life is supported or financed by Iran. His financial situation is very much capable of sustaining and running such a channel. 


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