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June 6, 2022       Share:    


"Iran's Strategic Goal in Lebanon Has Been Achieved"

(Ha'aretz) Interview with Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Dr. Shimon Shapira by Amos Harel - The generally accepted view holds that Hizbullah arose as an authentic Lebanese response to the Israeli invasion in 1982, which had actually targeted the Palestinians. A different view is held by Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Dr. Shimon Shapira, who tells Ha'aretz that the decision to establish Hizbullah was in fact made in Tehran, three years before the outbreak of the Lebanon War. As a young officer in Military Intelligence, Shapira visited Lebanon half a year before the 1982 war, during secret talks held by the Mossad and the Phalangists. A year after the war's outbreak, he was assigned to coordinate the Shi'ite desk in the Lebanon branch of the MI research division. In 1989, he established the Iranian branch in MI. Shapira, 70, is currently a senior research fellow at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. "In 1979, in Iran after the revolution, a decision was made by the leadership of the Revolutionary Council under Ayatollah Khomeini," he explains, "to export the revolution to the Arab and Muslim realms. The Iranian conception was: 'We will establish Islamic movements around the world that will recognize the principle of loyalty to the spiritual leader in Iran.' To get things going, Iran needed a country where there was a large Shi'ite community and where Iranian activity could be undertaken. Lebanon fit the bill....The Israeli invasion of Lebanon did not trigger [Hizbullah's] establishment." "Iran forged a new Shi'ite-Islamic society in Lebanon, whose loyalty is to the supreme leader in Tehran. It also built a military arm that has caused Israel to be apprehensive....Around 2013-2014...they began talking about conquering the Galilee." "In 2018, it turned out that some of their plans entailed a surprise attack that would take place in the future via six offensive tunnels the organization had dug in the course of years under the Lebanese border, and which were only then detected by the IDF....We must ask ourselves whether there are more tunnels. Their military force is a kind of Iranian corps that is stationed in Lebanon." "An enthusiastic attempt is being made by the Americans to find moderate Shi'ites and even to inject funds to organize them in Lebanon. At the same time, they are trying to strengthen the Lebanese army. But it won't be a pro-American army. That's naive. The army in Lebanon understands that power lies with Hizbullah and they will not act against it." "Lebanon has become a failed state, in which the state institutions have ceased to function....Iran's strategic goal was achieved: Hizbullah has taken control of the Lebanese state through its legal institutions."

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