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August 11, 2016 No.
6568

Officials In Lebanese, Gazan Terror Organizations Confirm: Iran Funds Our Activity

 Arab media have recently published statements by officials in the Lebanese Hizbullah and the Gazan Hamas and Islamic Jihad organizations, and by their supporters, confirming what has long been known - namely that these Lebanese and Gazan terror organizations receive substantial financial and military assistance from Iran. These statements join many reports, especially in the anti-Iranian media, regarding Iran's funding of various terrorist organizations across the Arab world. According to these reports, the assistance comes mainly from the office of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and from the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

The following are some examples of these statements and reports from the last two months:

Hizbullah Secretary-General Nasrallah: Hizbullah's Entire Budget Is Provided By Iran

In a speech he delivered on June 24, 2016, marking 40 days after the killing of Mustafa Badr Al-Din, who was considered to be Hizbullah's chief operations officer, and following the imposition of U.S. sanctions on Hizbullah that threaten its financial infrastructure and income, Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah clarified: "Hizbullah's budget - its salaries and expenditures, [the money that pays for] its food and drink, weapons and missiles - [all come from] Iran. Is that clear?... As long as Iran has money we have money. Do you require greater transparency than that[?] The funds earmarked for us do not reach us through the banks. We receive them the same way we receive our missiles, with which we threaten Israel."[1]       

Hamas Official Abu Marzouq: Iran's Assistance To Hamas Is "Not Comparable" To Any Other Assistance

The deputy head of Hamas's political bureau, Moussa Abu Marzouq, tweeted on June 15, 2016: "The aid extended by Iran to the Palestinian resistance, in provisions, training and funds, is not comparable [to any other aid], and most other countries cannot match it."[2]


Abu Marzouq's tweet

Former Lebanese Minister Wiam Wahhab: Iran Has Funded Resistance In Palestine

On June 25, 2016, in response to a remark by former Lebanese prime minister Sa'd Al-Hariri that Iran funds fitna (internecine strife) in the Arab world,[3] former Lebanese minister Wiam Wahhab, a known supporter of Hizbullah and the resistance axis, tweeted: "O Sheikh Sa'd [Al-Hariri], Iran has funded resistance in Palestine to restore Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa and the Church of the Sepulcher [to Palestinian hands, whereas] Saudi Arabia paid to destroy Syria, Iraq and Yemen." In another tweet he wrote: " O Sheikh Sa'd, Iran funded resistance in the Arab homeland rather than fitna, [whereas] your kingdom [Saudi Arabia, who supports Al-Hariri and his faction in Lebanon,] sponsors and funds terrorism. The funds of all the terrorist [organizations] in the world are Wahhabi [i.e., Saudi] funds."[4]   


Wiam Wahhab's tweets

Saudi Daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat: Hizbullah's Weapons Come Directly From IRGC; Iran Has Renewed Regular Aid To Islamic Jihad Organization

The anti-Iranian press, such as the London-based Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, also reported on Iran's funding of terrorist organizations in Lebanon and Gaza. On June 29, 2016, Al-Sharq Al-Awsat confirmed Nasrallah's statements regarding the Iranian funding. The report stated that Hizbullah's funds came from the office of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei while its weapons are provided by the IRGC. It quoted the director of the Umam Research and Documentation center in Lebanon, Luqman Salim, a Shi'ite known for his opposition to Hizbullah, as saying that between 70% and 80% of Hizbullah's funds come from Iran. According to Salim, Iran also invests about $400 million of the IRGC's budget in the Islamic Radio and Television Union, a group of stations which includes the Iranian Al-Alam but also Hizbullah's Al-Manar and Al-Mayadin and the Hamas-affiliated Al-Quds (all of which broadcast from Lebanon) and Hamas's Al-Aqsa station, which broadcasts from Gaza.

The daily also cited a "knowledgeable source" as saying that until 2005 Iran transferred to Hizbullah between $200 million and $250 million annually, but since then the allocation has increased: After the 2006 Lebanon War it rose to $850 million, and since Hizbullah entered the Syria war its budget has become unlimited, because it has become part of Tehran's war effort there.[5]

On May 25, 2016, the daily reported, citing sources close to the Islamic Jihad organization in Gaza, that Iran had renewed its regular financial aid to the organization after the two sides agreed to renew their mutual relations.[6] According to these sources, an Islamic Jihad delegation headed by the organization's secretary-general Ramadan Shalah visited Iran in April 2016, and during this visit Tehran renewed its sponsorship of the organization after the latter accepted its terms. In meetings held by the delegation during this visit, including with IRGC commander Mohammad Ali Jafari and Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani, Iran clarified its vision of Islamic Jihad's course in the coming years. The sources claimed further that Soleimani decided, in coordination with the organization's military and political bureaus, to grant $70 million a year out of the IRGC budget to Islamic Jihad's military wing, Saraya Al-Quds, and to reorganize this body and appoint Khaled Mansour, who is close to Tehran, as its commander.[7]    

 

   

Endnotes:

 

[1] Alahednews.com.lb, June 24, 2016.

[2] Twitter.com/mosa_abumarzook, June 15, 2016.

[3] Al-Mustaqbal (Lebanon), June 26, 2016; Al-Hariri's remark was a response to Nasrallah's  statement one day earlier that Hizbullah's entire budget comes from Iran. 

[4] Twitter.com/wiamwahhab, June 25, 2016.

[5] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (Lebanon), June 29, 2016.

[6] Reports in the Arab media in the passing year indicated that Iran had suspended its assistance to Islamic Jihad following disagreements between them on the crisis in Yemen. According to these reports, the Islamic Jihad refused Iran's demand to declare its opposition to the Arab Coalition's activities in Yemen. See for example Aljazeera.net, May 26, 2016, Janoubia.com, April 3, 2016.

[7] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), May 25, 2016.