|The foreign ministers of the Islamic Republic of Iran|
and the United States of America, together at a gathering
in Oslo eleven days ago [Image Source]
Hezbollah illustrates the point: it is formally classified as a terrorist organization by the Arab League, all the monarchic Gulf states (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates), United States, France, Australia, Canada, Netherlands, and Israel.
On the other hand, the European Union, New Zealand and the United Kingdom have decided they view only its so-called military wing as terrorist; the rest of they are presumably OK with. Russia says Hezbollah is legitimate and China "remains neutral" [source; Wikipedia].
Key points made in Hassan Nasrallah's Friday speech:
- All its funding and all its arms come from the Islamic Republic of Iran...
- And therefore US and other Hezbollah-directed sanctions will have no impact.
- "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..."
- "As long as Iran has money, we have money..."
- "Just as we receive the rockets that we use to threaten Israel, we are receiving our money. No law will prevent us from receiving it."
The Al Arabiya report reminds us that Iran was instrumental in creating Hezbollah - oriented, like Iran, to the Shi'ite strand of Islam - 1982. Iran’s financial, military, intelligence, logistical and advisory help to Hezbollah has "well known" in the years since. Iran's Revolutionary Guard along with its Quds "elite" force transformed Hezbollah to become one of Iran’s most important and powerful regional and international proxies.
the US is now seemingly playing a critical role in assisting and facilitating the ways through which Hezbollah receives this significant aid from the Iranian government. The Obama administration and Hassan Rouhani ’s government were two key players in getting the nuclear agreement signed. When the nuclear terms started being implemented, the Obama administration began immediately transferring billions of dollars to Iran's Central Bank. One of the payments included 1.7 billion dollars transferred, in January 2015. Two of the major primary beneficiaries of these sanctions reliefs and flow of money are Hezbollah and the IRGC. Iran also immediately increased its military budget by $1.5 billion... Nasrallah’s speech also indicates that the US money transfer to Iran’s bank and the sanctions reliefs appear to have empowered and emboldened both the Iranian government and the Hezbollah leader… Thanks to Washington, the money that Iran is receiving from the US or the market is again going on its way to Hezbollah, the major benefactor.If you're not deeply concerned about what this means and how it happened, you might not understand what terrorism does to civilized societies. And if you think it's a problem that impacts only Israel, you might not understand the Iranian game-plan. Here's a little suggested homework:
- 21-May-16: Darker sides of the JCPOA, the agreement that never was, emerge
- 25-Aug-15: Hard to ignore how much Iran believes its old goals are the right goals
- 29-Jul-15: Built not on trust but on... verification [a key document]
- 29-May-15: Wary eyes on Hezbollah's Cyprus and Southern Lebanon battlefields
- 01-Apr-15: More under-reported aspects of the Iranian reality
- 8-Oct-13: Neither a state nor a government, Hezbollah has a phenomenally large missile arsenal and means to attack