How Are Iran Sanctions Impacting on Hizbullah?

(Financial Times-UK) Chloe Cornish and Asser Khattab - Brian Hook, U.S. special representative for Iran, said Iran has slashed its defense budget by 28% this year, although official Iranian figures do not corroborate that claim. Several Western diplomats and regional analysts said they were skeptical of U.S. claims to have curbed Iran's funding of Hizbullah. The militant group has been armed and trained by Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps for nearly 40 years, giving Tehran a presence on Israel's border and the Mediterranean. Since 2015 it has deployed fighters to support Bashar al-Assad's Syrian regime. Hizbullah has long been Iran's most successful and important foreign asset. A central goal of U.S. sanctions is to force Iran into reining in its regional policy. But analysts report no meaningful change. One Western diplomat said Iran was unlikely to restrict support to its overseas allies because the relatively small investments pay off so handsomely for Tehran in terms of regional influence. Amal Saad, an academic at the Lebanese University in Beirut, said, "No one is pretending [sanctions] don't have an impact. [But] nobody's been laid off."

2019-06-05 00:00:00

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