Will Lebanon Help Iran Circumvent Sanctions?

(Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Shimon Shapira - As part of its efforts to break the grip of Western sanctions, Iran is working intensively to develop its economic ties with Lebanon. Tehran believes it can breach the ban on financial transactions imposed by the international banking system (SWIFT) through the ongoing covert activity of one of the largest Iranian banks, Saderat, which has five Lebanese branches. None of the branches engages in regular banking activity, and it is just about certain that they are almost completely at the service of Hizbullah's economic activity. On Nov. 24, 2011, Maj. Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi, the military advisor to Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei, warned: "There will be no need for Iran to launch ballistic missiles at Israel because all the Zionist cities are within the range of our ally Hizbullah's Katyushas." Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Dr. Shimon Shapira is a senior research associate at the Jerusalem Center.

2012-05-22 00:00:00

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