The terrorist organization Hezbollah is partly responsible for the popular uprising in Iran against the mullah regime in which citizens are shouting slogans addressing the ayatollah such as “Aren’t you ashamed Khamenei?”
That’s according to Yves Mamou, an author and journalist based in France writing for the Gatestone Institute.
Mamou explained that the protests in dozens of Iranian cities – which have prompted President Trump to suggest the U.S. could offer support at the right time – are because of the Iranian’s regime commitment to funding Hezbollah.
“The demonstrators were demanding that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spend Iranian money for Iranian people – and only for Iranian people,” Mamou wrote.
“Ironically, Iran’s receiving more than $100 billion in frozen assets (from the Obama administration) for the hapless ‘nuclear deal’ succeeded in breaking the solidarity between Iranian people and the Ayatollahs’ regime better than the sanctions did. During the tough time of sanctions, the Iranian people stood by their leaders,” Mamou wrote.
“The [people] only broke with their leaders when they saw that the ‘liberated’ money was benefiting everyone but them,” he said.
The commentary warned: “Is Hezbollah eating the Iranian people’s bread? The answer is yes, absolutely.”
Hezbollah is essentially “an Iranian foreign legion, a tool of an imperialist Shia war being conducted in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and against Israel,” Mamou wrote.
The financial budget of Hezbollah, which was created in Lebanon by Iran, is unknown.
“Please remember that Hezbollah is not only a 30,000 to 50,000-man fighting army … [it] is also a social system with hospitals, welfare institutions, well-diggers for farmers, religious schools for boys and girls, a media conglomerate (television channels, radios, websites), a private telecommunications network inside Lebanon, and with the cyber-warfare capability to destabilize countries or companies.”
While experts previously estimated Hezbollah was receiving $200 million a year from Iran, the commentary explained there also are “charitable” groups paying directly to Hezbollah hospitals and other entities.
“Of course, as the military role of Hezbollah expanded, the cost of funding it increased, from $300 million to $1 billion annually.”
Hezbollah has other funding, the commentary said, including its narcotics trade.
WND reported last week that Attorney General Jeff Sessions was reviewing Project Cassandra, a highly classified law enforcement program by the Drug Enforcement Administration during the Obama administration, because of claims the drug-smuggling activities of Hezbollah got a pass from the president, according to reports.
The Jerusalem Post reported Sessions is looking into Project Cassandra after Politico reported the Obama administration “derailed” the law enforcement efforts “in its determination to secure a nuclear deal with Iran.”
Politico said the Obama administration foiled the law enforcers that were targeting “drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, even as it was funneling cocaine in the United States.”
The investigation began in 2008 after the DEA found evidence that the terrorist group “had transformed itself from a Middle East-focused military and political organization into an international crime syndicate that some investigators believed was collected $1 billion a year from drug and weapons trafficking, money laundering and other criminal activities.”
Legal experts at the American Center for Law and Justice said the DOJ and DEA should reauthorize the investigation “and continue their efforts to oppose Hezbollah and bring its operatives to justice.”
ACLJ said Sessions ordered a review of “allegations that certain matters were not properly prosecuted and to ensure all matters are appropriately handled.”
According to a CNBC report Thursday, the chief of Iran’s army confirmed his troops were ready to help police forces who, he said, “had already quelled” anti-government unrest, killing at least 21 people.
The report said the protests erupted over “economy hardships,” and the demonstrators were members of both the working class and educated citizens from the middle class.
The elite Revolutionary Guards Corps also had been dispatched to at least three provinces in “the clearest sign yet” the protests were causing concern.
The protests have been calling for the removal of Khamenei. VOA reported protests appeared to wane Thursday, with state television showed huge crowds massing in support of Iran’s leaders, a typical move by a repressive government when opposition starts to mount.
One of the flashpoints was President Hassan Rouhani’s decision to raise fuel prices.
The report noted the White House affirmed plans to look for “actionable information” to be the basis for new sanctions against those responsible for the crackdown on dissent.
The State Department said, in part: “Protesters have also demanded that the regime stop diverting the nation’s wealth to fund military adventurism abroad. Unfortunately, the government continues to imprison and kill those who are brave enough to venture into the street. It is limiting the flow of information into Iran, restricting free speech, and attempting to prevent the outside world from observing its own repression.”
The Los Angeles Times noted another flashpoint, “The occasional Maserati roars through the crowded streets of Tehran, past crowded buses and shabby domestic sedans, with pedestrians sometimes unleashing streams of curses in its wake.”
The ultra-wealthy in the repressive nation “flaunt $1,000 Hermes sandals and frolic poolside at lavish mansions in a capital where the desperate hawk their own kidneys to feed their families.”
The “anger” at the vast gap between rich and poor was causing unrest even before the most recent protests, the report explained.
The commentary at Gatestone noted that without Iran’s money, Hezbollah wouldn’t even exist.
“At least, not as an Iranian foreign legion, militarily engaged against Israel and in other Middle East regional conflicts. Without Iranian subsidies, Hezbollah would be only a narco-mafia.”
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