A picture taken from Dbayeh, north of Beirut, shows smoke from a huge fire raging at the port in the Lebanese capital on September 10, 2020. Photo: Joseph Eid / AFP

BEIRUT — Squeezed geographically between a closed border with Israel and a sanctioned Syria, dominated by a proxy of Iran, and watching the last of its foreign reserves being ferried out of a collapsed financial system, Lebanon risks becoming the next Gaza. .

France, the last major Western power to recognize Hezbollah as a diplomatic partner, is today under increasing pressure to blacklist the movement in its entirety as a terrorist group. .

That pressure comes not only from Washington, which since the start of the year has ushered about similar designations by the United Kingdom and Germany, but from what Macron called a "betrayal" of the Lebanese political class to stick to the script of his roadmap for reform following a cataclysmic explosion that rocked Beirut on August 4.

Alison Tahmizian Meuse

Alison T Meuse is the Asia Times Middle East editor and correspondent.