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It was obvious several years ago, when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was Iran's president and the Islamic Republic was expanding its power in Iraq, Lebanon, the Palestinian areas and Yemen, that this endeavor would provoke a backlash from the Sunni Arab states. And it was just as clear that this backlash, to compensate for Iran's demographic and military superiority, would be primarily sectarian in nature. Today, we are living through the sectarian response to Iran's sectarian strategy throughout the region. The potential consequences are frightening, and we are already seeing the precursors of this in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. In Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, Iran bolstered Shiite or Alawite regimes or parties that sought as best they could to marginalize the Sunni community.Iraq is breaking apart, Syria's regime is pursuing an active policy of partition and Hezbollah is facing an increasingly dangerous Sunni challenge in Lebanon that it will not be able to contain.While most of Lebanon's Sunnis have no patience for ISIS, they are caught between two very disturbing realities: The absence of a moderate leadership on the ground that can contain the more radical elements in the street; and a perception among many in the community that the regional sectarian tide is turning, so that the million and a half Syrian refugees in the country, most of them Sunnis, are regarded as a welcome addition in the perceived struggle with Hezbollah and the Shiites.
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