Iran's top leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has instructed the head of Iranian proxy Hizbullah to leave Lebanon and move to Iran if Syria's Bashar Assad falls from power, a Kuwaiti newspaper reports.
The paper, A Siasa, explains that the Iranian leadership has been weighing two possible courses of action, in case Iran's protégé and partner Assad is toppled.
The first option includes supplying Hizbullah with state-of-the-art heavy weapons and enlarging the number of Iranian soldiers in Lebanon. This option would have strengthened the Iranian presence in Lebanon as compensation for the loss of Iran's Syrian ally.
The second option is to evacuate all Iranian Revolutionary Guard soldiers from southern Lebanon and Beirut, and to relocate Nasrallah and other senior commanders from Beirut to Tehran, for fear they would be assassinated if Assad's regime falls.
A Siasa says Iran has apparently chosen the second option.
The newspaper also says all Iranian military barracks in Syria have been moved to Lebanon. It says that Iranian soldiers who carry out operations in Syria pass into Syria from Lebanon's Bak'a valley, and then return to Lebanon when the assignments are over. The area they use for rest and regrouping is known as Hizbullah Land, and the Lebanon Army cannot enter it without coordinating a visit with Hizbullah.