Solana's most revealing statement pointed a finger at Iran and Syria, when he unmistakably suggested that the "forces we don't know" could have been run out of Tehran and Damascus: "Somebody I know well - Ali Larijani - has said 'we are supporting Hamas'... All this is connected. It didn't happen by accident or miracle, it was probably planned ... It would be difficult to understand without seeing other important regional players behind it," he added, referring to "other forces" in Iran and Syria.
In their discussion of Lebanon, Ban told Assad that Syria had "an important role" to play to end Lebanese divisions. The secretary general also called on Syria to support the Hariri tribunal, which had not yet been established under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. Assad responded: "In Lebanon, divisions and confessionalism have been deeply anchored for more than 300 years. Lebanese society is very fragile. [The country's] most peaceful years were when Syrian forces were present. From 1976 to 2005 Lebanon was stable, whereas now there is great instability."The Syrian president then issued what Ban could plainly see was a threat: "[This instability] will worsen if the special [Hariri] tribunal is established. Particularly if it is established under Chapter VII. This might easily cause a conflict that would degenerate into civil war, provoking divisions between Sunnis and Shiites from the Mediterranean to the Caspian Sea ... This would have serious consequences beyond Lebanon."
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