by Michael Rubin
2nd part of 2
In a 1996 speech to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, then-secretary of state Warren Christopher noted that Iran provides significant financial assistance to many terrorist groups that maintain offices in Lebanon. "
The arms trade continues through
Hezbollah is not the only recipient of Iranian largesse on Syrian territory. Matthew Levitt, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) terror and financial analyst, noted in congressional testimony that estimates of Iranian assistance to Hamas ranged between $20 million and $50 million each year through the 1990s. Much of this money was and still is channeled through Hezbollah. Upon Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's death in 2004, for example, Iranian intelligence reportedly channeled $22 million through Hezbollah to fund Palestinian terrorist groups more sympathetic to the Iranian line.
The assassination of Hezbollah terrorist Imad Mughniyeh in
Desire to make progress on the Middle East peace process, unravel the Syria-Iran axis, and end Syrian support for terrorism motivates the Obama administration's efforts to flip Syria diplomatically from its role as a rejectionist state into the more moderate camp populated by countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Jordan, which may not always be pro-American in the expression of their foreign policy, but at least keep their support for terrorism indirect and do not countenance Iranian influence.
There is no evidence, however, that the State Department's engagement policy has worked. Syrian concessions--allowing the American Cultural Center to reopen, for example--have been halfhearted and more than offset by revelations of continued Syrian proliferation efforts and its facilitation of terror. Nor does it appear that Tehran and Damascus have loosened their relations. Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has met Syrian president Bashar Assad repeatedly, most recently last month in Turkey.
Welcoming Syrian foreign minister Walid al-Muallim to
ON JANUARY 29, 2001, THE ISRAELI NAVY SEIZED TWO CONTAINERS OF WEAPONS, REPORTEDLY OFFLOADED IN WATERTIGHT CONTAINERS BY THE CALYPSO, A LEBANESE ARMS-SMUGGLING SHIP.
ON MAY 7, 2001, THE ISRAELI NAVY SEIZED THE SANTORINI WHILE IT WAS ON ITS FOURTH ARMS-SMUGGLING
ON JANUARY 3, 2002, THE ISRAELI NAVY INTERCEPTED THE KARINE-A, A GAZA-BOUND FREIGHTER, WHILE IT WAS ON THE
ON MAY 20, 2003, THE ISRAELI NAVY INTERCEPTED THE ABU HASSAN, A FISHING VESSEL CARRYING WEAPONS, EXPLOSIVES, AND DETONATORS.
ON JANUARY 19-20, 2009, THE
ON NOVEMBER 4, 2009, THE ISRAELI NAVY INTERCEPTED THE FRANCOP, AN ANTIGUA-FLAGGED VESSEL THAT WAS ALLEGEDLY CARRYING THREE HUNDRED TONS OF IRANIAN WEAPONRY TO HEZBOLLAH.
The importance of
The Danger of
Recent reports that Iran transshipped gas masks and chemical weapons through Syria to Hezbollah should only heighten concern as the Islamic Republic increases its defiance in international discussions about its nuclear activities. Across the U.S. political spectrum, analysts agree that, should Israel, the United States, or any other power strike at Iran's nuclear facilities, the Islamic Republic would respond, at least in part, by activating its proxy terrorist networks. Palestinian groups in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and foreign fighters in Iraq all have Syrian support in common. Not only Hezbollah's rhetoric but also its track record suggest a willingness to attack Western targets, should war against Iran erupt.
Given both the circumstances and the stakes, it is ironic that
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.
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3.Yoav Stern, "Report: Hezbollah's New
4.Quoted in Manal Lufti, "The Making of Hezbollah," Ash-Sharq al-Awsat (
5.U.S. Department of State, "State Sponsors of Terrorism," Country Reports on Terrorism 2008 (
6.Manal Lufti, "The Making of Hezbollah."
8.Patrick Seale, Asad: The Struggle for the
9.Manal Lufti, "The Making of Hezbollah."
10.Mehdi Khalaji, "
11.Robert Pape, Dying to Win (
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13.Patrick Devenny, "Hezbollah's Strategic Threat to
14.Efraim Inbar, "How
15.Nadia Abou El-Magd, "For the Majority of Arabs, Hezbollah Won,
16.Robert G. Rabil, "Has Hezbollah's Rise Come at
17.Warren Christopher, "Fighting Terrorism: Challenges for the Peacemakers" (Soref Symposium, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 1996), available at www.washingtoninstitute.org/ templateC07.php?CID=69 (accessed December 11, 2009).
18.Scott Wilson, "Lebanese Wary of a Rising Hezbollah,"
19.Josef Hufelschulte, "Neue feuerkraft für Hisbollah" [New Fire Power for Hezbollah], Focus (
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22.Matthew Levitt, "The New Lebanon: Democratic Reform and State Sponsorship" (PolicyWatch 1016,
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26."Iran Expands Its Palestinian Control; Offers al-Khadoumi Five Million Dollars," Al-Watan (Kuwait), December 13, 2004, quoted in House Committee on International Relations, Subcommittee on the Middle East and Central Asia, Subcommittee on International Terrorism and Nonproliferation, Iranian State Sponsorship of Terror: Threatening U.S. Security, Global Stability, and Regional Peace.
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28.Erich Follath, "Breakthrough in Tribunal Investigation: New Evidence Points to Hezbollah in Hariri Murder," Der Spiegel Online, May 23, 2009, available at www.spiegel.de/international/ world/0,1518,626412,00.html (accessed December 14, 2009).
29.Seymour M. Hersh, "
30."IAEA Inspects Nuclear Research Reactor in
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32."Ahmadinejad: Regional Conditions in
33.Akiva J. Lorenz, "The Threat of Maritime Terrorism to
34.Shaul Shay, The Axis of Evil:
36."Israel Navy Chief: Hezbollah-Bound Iran Ship Carried Hundreds of Tons of Arms," Haaretz.com (Tel Aviv), November 4, 2009, available at www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/ 1125807.html (accessed December 14, 2009).
38.See, for example, Barbara Slavin, "How Bush Saved Iran's Neocons," Foreign Policy (November 2007).
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40.Danielle Pletka and Ali Alfoneh, "Iran's Hidden Revolution," New York Times, June 17, 2009, available at www.aei.org/ article/100635.
42."Hezbollah Silent over Report that Group Got Chemical Weapons," Daily Star (
43.Brian Fishman, ed., Bombers, Bank Accounts & Bleedout: Al-Qa'ida's Road In and Out of