June 13, 2011

Hezbollah and its allies rose to a position of unprecedented dominance in Lebanon’s government on Monday, giving patrons Syria and Iran greater sway in the Middle East.

Lebanon’s prime minister announced a new Cabinet dominated by the militant group and its allies Monday, after five months without a functioning government. The feat caps Hezbollah’s steady rise over decades from resistance force against Israel to Lebanon’s most powerful military and political power.

Opponents of Hezbollah — which the U.S. considers a terrorist organization — say having Hezbollah in control of Lebanon’s government could lead to international isolation. The group’s most ardent supporters are Iran and Syria, which dominated Lebanon for 29 years.

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