US Sanctions on Iran Limit Funding for Hizbullah
US sanctions reimposed on Iran following Washington’s withdrawal last year from the 2015 nuclear deal have significantly limited the Islamic Republic’s funding of its Lebanon-based proxy, Hizbullah, The Washington Post says. “There is no doubt these sanctions have had a negative impact,” an unidentified Hizbullah official told the newspaper. He added that while Hizbullah’s leadership was still paying salaries to full-time fighters (although some had been pulled from the field or made to enter the reserves) and stipends to the families of those killed battling in Syria, other programs, such as the distribution of free medication and groceries, have been slashed or canceled. The Iranian regime had been transferring upwards of $700 billion annually to its proxy, accounting for 70 percent of the terror group’s budget. However, the anonymous Hizbullah members cited by the Post claimed that Tehran’s financial crisis was not influencing the organization’s ability to wage war. “We are still getting arms from Iran. We are still ready to confront Israel. Our role in Iraq and Syria remains,” one said.