The Iranian success in controlling Hassan Nasrallah and his followers has opened the appetite of the Iranian regime to reproduce this experience in more Arab countries with the aim of penetrating Arab societies with Arab tools. They sought to manufacture another Hezbollah in Iraq, the Arabian Gulf and Yemen. After they were deceived of the ease they found in dominating the Lebanese Hezbollah, they have thought to do it again, however, their plans have been thwarted but not until they wasted billions and plunged countries into regional wars that spread chaos and destruction in the region and made the Iranian people starving and suffering from crises and economic and social problems, prompting them to raise the slogan “leave Hezbollah and look after your country.”
In fact, Iran succeeded in infiltrating Lebanon through its terrorist agent, Hezbollah, to create a state within the state. In addition to Hezbollah’s armed militias, this terrorist group has managed to engage in the social fabric of Lebanon, establishing charities and providing services in the southern part of the country. This aid and social services boosted Hezbollah’s popularity enough to allow it to become part of the Lebanese political structure. in addition to that, in supporting these plans, Tehran created many television channels, radio and media outlets, through which it was able to influence Lebanese public opinion to serve the interests of Hezbollah as well as its own agendas.
Tehran used Hizballah as an Arab tool to hit the security and stability of the other Arab countries. It deployed the members of this party in several safe countries to carry out terrorist operations, where some of which succeeded and most of them failed. Moreover, many of the espionage networks of the Lebanese Hezbollah working for Iran have been arrested in a number of Arab countries, especially the Gulf ones. The Revolutionary Guards also used the party as a tool for its illegal trade, such as smuggling, drug and weapons trafficking as well as human trafficking.
Iran has tried to copy the “Hezbollah model” in other countries after the spread of chaos in it, by using the method of providing services, playing on the religious passion, exploiting the Palestinian cause and claiming to support resistance against arrogant forces! however, all failed miserably for many reasons, including:
First: Peoples of the region have become more aware of the dangers of the destructive policies of the Iranian regime following the exposure of the real objectives of the Iranian regime’s interventions in the countries of the region.
Second: Iran’s involvement in agendas and plans larger than it can bear, especially with its budget suffering from a large deficit and economy subject to international sanctions and pervasive corruption that drains its assets, causing it to suffer a great shortage of fund and face great problems in financing these regional projects, especially as it is subject to bank sanctions. What made things worse for Iran is that its accession to the FATF to combat money-laundering and the financing of terrorism has become imperative to save itself from economic collapse, which would in turn limit the funding of the Revolutionary Guards to Hezbollah and other terrorist groups in the region.
Third: The decisive approach of some Arab and regional countries, such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and others, towards the sabotage and Iranian terrorism by preventing to reproduce another Hezbollah on their territories because of the threat it poses on the Arab national security and stability in the region and the world at large.
Fourth: The loss of the Iranian regime to its legitimacy at home and its increasing isolation abroad, as well as its loss of the popular base and regional prestige gained at the beginning of its rule thanks to its deceptive and populist speeches and statements, exploitation of the Palestinian cause, supporting resistance and defending vulnerable peoples and other misleading ideas.
Tehran has now realized that it has failed to reproduce another Hezbollah in other Arab countries, but after wasting billions of Iranian people’s wealth for it, making it stand between the hammer of internal discontent and the anvil of external isolationism, and Hezbollah turned into a curse and a heavy burden on it and it is expected that Iran might stop supporting and funding it soon.
Al Mezmaah Studies & Research Centre
February 18, 2019