Hezbollah is facing an economic crisis stemming from expenditures on the Syrian civil war, budget cuts in Iran resulting from President Hassan Rouhani’s austerity policies, and tightening of fund transfers by American and European authorities, according to a report cited by The Jerusalem Post.
The report, in the London paper Asharq Al-Awsa, states that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stopped his government’s flow of money to Hezbollah five months ago during the reorganization of Tehran’s Foreign Ministry. Khameni continues, however, some funding of Hezbollah through a separate budget he controls.
Hezbollah is also facing close monitoring of funding sources by American and European authorities, the report stated. Sources in Lebanon said that “there are continuing American-European efforts to cut off the organization’s funding.”
Just this week, the German government outlawed the Berlin-based fundraising group Orphaned Children Project-Lebanon because it was found to be transferring money to Hezbollah. European intelligence agencies have recently been cooperating in efforts to prevent the transfer of funds to Hezbollah including from South American and African countries.
The European actions follow findings that several charity organizations in Europe were attempting to transfer funds to the Shi’ite terror organization. There have also been money-transfer freezes placed on individual Lebanese citizens residing in Europe who have been tagged as “potential routes” for transferring money to Hezbollah.
Hezbollah has taken a major role in supporting the Iranian-allied Syrian government of Bashar al Assad in his civil war. Earlier this week, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah announced that Hezbollah had permanently turned the tide of the war in Assad’s favour.
Even with reduced funding, Hezbollah would still remain a major regional force, especially as a threat to Israel. It continues to be a major supporter of terror, has thousands of battle-hardened soldiers, and is loaded with weaponry, including tens of thousands of rockets capable of striking Israeli population centres.