Iranian intelligence spies smuggle millions to terrorists in Lebanon and Syria
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- Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is a branch of Iran's...[+]
- Hezbollah Hezbollah is a Shi’a Islamist militant group and political party based...[+]
Sources within the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) have revealed intelligence protection officers are personally delivering the hard currency to support cash-starved Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon and Syria. The daily deliveries are helping to finance newer and more sophisticated missile systems as well as military infrastructure in Syria, including bases.
The news comes just three weeks after the Islamic Republic begged the International Monetary Fund for a £4billion emergency loan to fight the Middle East’s worst Covid-19 outbreak.
Official figures say the coronavirus pandemic has already claimed more than 6,000 lives in the region.
Additional millions are being delivered in “special packages” or via Sarrafies – money exchanges – through transactions facilitated by Iranian businessmen in Beirut, says opposition group The People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK). Reports by IRGC sources describe a “money tube” using passenger and cargo flights from Iran to Hezbollah-controlled Beirut airport. Other funds are being delivered into Syria.
Iran had a gross domestic product of £1.3trillion in 2017, with 60 percent of its national assets controlled by four main institutions. It also has a sovereign wealth fund worth £90billion which was forced last week to pay £1.2billion to give Iranians economic relief.
But the triple whammy of US sanctions, tumbling oil prices over coronavirus pandemic and the economic consequences of the virus at home have seen Hezbollah’s cash supply cut by 40 percent, from an annual £575million to £400million over the past two months. And it has emerged that General Qassem Soleimani, the notorious IRGC Quds Force commander killed by the US in January, had applied for a loan to pay the wages of mercenaries in Syria last year.