Hizbullah - Outpost of the Iranian Revolution

(Weekly Standard) Tony Badran - Hizbullah and the Islamic Republic of Iran have been joined at the hip even before the 1979 Iranian revolution. Thanks to the efforts of Israeli Hizbullah expert Shimon Shapira, we now know that one of the men responsible for the Oct. 23, 1983, attack on the barracks of the U.S Marines and French paratroopers stationed in Beirut, killing 241 U.S. and 58 French servicemen, was an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander named Hossein Dehghan - the man Iranian President Hassan Rouhani recently tapped to be his defense minister. For Iranian revolutionary activists, Lebanon in the early to mid-1970s was a free zone in which to pursue their anti-shah activity. The Palestine Liberation Organization ran military training camps in Lebanon where the anti-shah opposition could operate and organize freely, acquire military training and weapons, make contacts with other revolutionary organizations, and establish networks of support for their fight against the Pahlavi regime. One faction of Iranian revolutionaries operating in Lebanon was made up of devotees of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. After the Iranian revolution, many members of this faction became top commanders in the IRGC and the Office of Liberation Movements (OLM), the precursor of the Quds Force, the IRGC's overseas operations arm. By the time of the 1983 Beirut attack, the Khomeinists had been active in Lebanon for over a decade. The writer is a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

2013-11-22 00:00:00

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