On June 24, 2016, Hezbollah secretary general Hassan Nasrallah delivered a speech dealing with Hezbollah’s current challenges. One of the issues discussed at length was the pressure exerted by the United States on certain Lebanese banks to prevent them from collaborating with Hezbollah (an American-designated terrorist organization since 1995). However, the Hezbollah mouthpiece bragged that President Barack Obama’s pressure on Lebanon did little, if anything, to hurt the terrorist group’s finances, according to officials at the Israeli think-tank Meir Amit Information Center.
Secretary General Nasrallah blasted Lebanese bankers for caving in to avoid continued American pressure and the threat of freezing the accounts of charitable institutions and individuals [affiliated with Hezbollah].
But despite actions against Lebanon by the Obama administration, he claimed, the measures taken would not affect the organization because Hezbollah’s whole budget came from Iran and not through Lebanese banks.
“Hezbollah’s budget, salaries, funds, food, drink [and] weapons all come from Iran… As long as Iran has money, we have money,” he said. Recently, Conservative Base ran a news story regarding the enormous number of missiles and rockets being stockpiled by Hezbollah, with about 130,000 of them being held in reserve for an attack on Israel.
Hassan Nasrallah’s, according to the Meir Amit Information Center in Israel, is probably a reaction to the US Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act of 2015, whose objective was “to prevent Hezbollah and associated entities from gaining access to international financial and other institutions, and for other purposes,” passed on December 18, 2015.
The bill, which had unanimous support in the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, resulted in the imposition of sanctions on Lebanese businesses, organizations and individuals who are known affiliates of the radical Shi’ites in Hezbollah. In less than six months after the act was signed into law, the Central Bank of Lebanon completely blocked the accounts of those suspected of being affiliated with Hezbollah.
It wasn’t long until these Lebanese financial institutions received threats from Hezbollah about bending to the will of the American government. For example, on June 12, 2016, an improvised explosive device (IED) hidden in a decorative concrete planter exploded in front of the headquarters of Blom Bank in Beirut.
“The objective of Nasrallah’s speech was probably to relieve the pressure exerted by the Americans on the Lebanese banking system and keep Hezbollah from being blamed for destroying the Lebanese economy,” said a report from Meir Amit.
Iran has generously given Hezbollah extensive military aid as well as support for its social institutions estimated to be hundreds of millions of dollars a year. The terrorist group possesses a military infrastructure in Lebanon that equals or surpasses the military might of many nations in the Middle East and North Africa.
The additional Iranian support is intended to be used against Israel to further Iran’s own anti-Israel interests. That was confirmed in a July 1 speech given by Gen. Hossein Salami, the deputy commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). It was meant for the people of Israel who were celebrating Global Jerusalem Day.
The IRGC deputy commander claimed that in Lebanon alone — and it’s been confirmed by U.S. sources — there were more than a hundred thousand missiles for use exclusively against the Jewish State. Also ready for launching were tens of thousands of long-range missiles being stockpiled in other areas of the Muslim world. All these missiles were for removing the Jews once and for all from the Middle East and possibly the entire world.