Iran

Iranian Defense Minister Takes Credit For Drone Dispatched by Hezbollah

Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi took credit Sunday for the drone dispatched by Hezbollah in early October. The unmanned aircraft penetrated Israeli airspace before being intercepted and shot down by the Israeli Air Force. Vahidi’s remarks echo those of Iranian parliamentary Defense Committee Chairman Esmail Kowsari, who said the drone succeeded in transmitting intelligence on “sensitive bases” in Israel, and unapologetically illustrate Hezbollah’s role as an Iranian proxy. Hezbollah’s status has sometimes seemed to confound Western analysts, some of whom have suggested that the terror group is moving away from Tehran, becoming an indigenous Lebanese organization pursuing Lebanese interests, and ought to be diplomatically engaged. That position, already undermined by Hezbollah’s military role in propping up the pro-Iranian Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, may become unsustainable in light of Vahidi’s admission and others like it. TIP’s outline of Iranian control over Hezbollah is here.