The Iranian Roots of Hizbullah

[MEMRI ] Nimrod Raphaeli - Mohammad Hassan Akhteri recently completed 14 years as Iran's ambassador to Syria. Akhteri distinguishes between the spiritual father of Hizbullah, the one who initiated the idea, and the "field father." Akhteri considers himself the latter, while his predecessor in Damascus, Ali Mohtashemi, was the former. Mohtashemi was quoted by Al-Sharq Al-Awsat as telling an Iranian newspaper that Hizbullah gained part of its battle experience through its participation in the war against Iraq. According to Mohtashemi, more than 100,000 young Lebanese received military training both in Lebanon and in Iran in groups of 300 fighters. Akhteri has also conceded that elements of Hizbullah fought in the war with Iraq "either within our ranks or by themselves." Hizbullah was created and sustained by Iran. Iranian financial support has made it possible for it to build a network of schools, hospitals, social welfare organizations and above all, military prowess. It now serves as an extension of Iran's strategic expansion into the Mediterranean.

2008-06-18 01:00:00

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