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June 06, 2018

U.S. Official: Iran’s Support for Hezbollah Greater Than Previously Thought

Hezbollah head Hassan Nasrallah

The Islamic Republic of Iran’s support for Hezbollah might be greater than previously thought. Tehran gives the Lebanese-based terrorist group $700 million a year, according to recent remarks by the U.S. Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, Sigal Mandelker.

Mandelker’s comments were made on June 5, 2018 at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a Washington D.C.-based think tank. The figure supplied by the treasury official is “three times? what was “previously estimated,? according to a report by The National, a daily newspaper published in the United Arab Emirates (“Iran pays Hezbollah 700 million a year, says U.S. official,? June 5, 2018).

As CAMERA noted in its 2016 backgrounder on the terror group, Hezbollah calls for the destruction of Israel and has carried out attacks against Jewish people throughout the world. The organization exerts de facto control over the Lebanese state and has launched wars against Israel, most recently in 2006. The group is also deeply anti-American; prior to the Sept. 11, 2001 al-Qaeda terrorist attacks, Hezbollah was responsible for murdering more Americans than any other terror group.

Hezbollah engages in illicit activities to raise funds, including narcotics trafficking and smuggling arms, ivory, and diamonds. In a June 2016 speech, Hezbollah head Hassan Nasrallah stated: “We are open about the fact that Hezbollah’s budget, its income, its expenses, everything it eats and drinks, its weapons and rockets, come from the Islamic Republic of Iran.?

Prior to Hezbollah’s involvement in the Syrian civil war—in which the terror group and Iran fought to keep Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in power—the group was thought to receive $200 million a year from Tehran. However, Mandelker’s comments indicate that Hezbollah is thought to receive at least three times that figure.

Joyce Karam, a reporter for The National, noted that Ms. Mandelker also "accused the Iranian regime of using shell and front companies, and forging documents to conceal its tracks in order to ‘fund terrorists, support weapons of mass destruction proliferation or exploit its own people through corruption and human rights abuses.’?

The U.S. Treasury official also stated that Iran’s Central Bank is guilty of moving funds on behalf of Hezbollah and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Quds Force, which is responsible for training terror groups abroad. In previous years, the IRGC Quds Force has trained operatives from Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hamas and al-Qaeda, among other U.S.-designated terrorist organizations.

Posted by SD at June 6, 2018 12:53 PM


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