Lebanon Faces Deepening Economic Crisis as Saudis Cut Ties Over Iran

Saudi Arabia banned imports from Lebanon and, along with three other Gulf states, expelled its ambassador following remarks by an official about the war in Yemen, as long-simmering tensions over Iran’s influence in Lebanon spill over and threaten to damage its already disastrous economy.

The comments, made by Georges Kordahi in August before he left a high-profile television job to join the government as information minister, centered on the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen against Houthi rebels, who, backed by Iran, deposed the Yemeni government in 2014 and now control much of the country. “The Houthis are defending themselves in the face of foreign aggression,” he said in an interview aired by Al Jazeera.