Iran is using the expected financial windfall it will receive from the nuclear deal to increase its funding of the terrorist groups Hezbollah and Hamas, Avi Issacharoff reported in The Times of Israel today.
Since the deal was signed, Iran has significantly increased its financial support for two of the largest terror groups in the region that have become political players, Hamas and Hezbollah. In the years before the deal was signed, the crippling sanctions limited this support, which had significantly diminished along with Iran’s economy. But Tehran’s belief that tens, or hundreds, of billions of dollars will flow into the country in the coming years as a result of sanctions relief has led to a decision to boost the cash flow to these terror organizations.
This support, for example, has enabled Hezbollah to obtain highly developed new armaments, including advanced technologies that many militaries around the world would envy. Al-Rai, a Kuwaiti newspaper, reported Saturday that Hezbollah has received all the advanced weaponry that Syria has obtained from the Russians. The report cited a security source involved in the fighting in Zabadani, on the Syria-Lebanon border, where Hezbollah is fighting the al-Nusra Front, the Islamic State, and other groups. It is evidently the growing Iranian financial support that is enabling the Lebanese Shiite militia to purchase advanced weapons, including ones that were hitherto outside of its reach.
Iran reportedly sent “suitcases of cash” to Hamas in Gaza, which the terrorist group will use to improve its military capabilities.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said in April that “Iran is expected to use new revenues chiefly to address those needs, including by shoring up its budget, building infrastructure, maintaining the stability of the rial, and attracting imports,” rather than funding terrorism. President Barack Obama similarly said last month in his speech at American University that “our best analysts expect the bulk of this revenue to go into spending that improves the economy and benefits the lives of the Iranian people.”
Issacharoff noted that Iran and Hezbollah have “decided to dispatch sizable forces to the Syrian front in the past few weeks to prevent the collapse of Bashar Assad’s regime.” Iran extended a $1 billion line of credit to Assad a week before the nuclear deal was signed.
According to the report, Iran is also “investing more effort and money after the nuclear deal to carry out attacks against Israel from the Golan.” Last month, Ha’aretz military analyst Amos Harel predicted that the nuclear deal with Iran would boost its support of anti-Israel terror groups operating in Syria. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, boasted earlier this year that the nuclear deal presented Iran and its proxies a “historic opportunity” to confront Israel.
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