November 21, 2013 | Quote
Analysis: Hezbollah and Iran – Two Branches of the Same Tree
When Lebanese MP Walid Sukkarieh of Hezbollah said last week the Shi’ite-dominated axis of Hezbollah-Iran-Syria could bleed Israel to death by sustaining losses that the Jewish state could not match – while at the same time making ominous insinuations about Iran’s nuclear desires – he provided a valuable insight into the mindset of radical Shi’a and the alignment of forces in the region.
“If Hezbollah can tolerate 1,000 martyrs, they [Syria, Iraq, and Iran] can tolerate 100,000 martyrs, and if Hezbollah can tolerate 10,000 martyrs, they can tolerate 1 million. Israel, on the other hand, has a population of 5 million,” Sukkarieh told Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV, according to a transcript provided by MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute).
He also cited Iran’s nuclear program, hinting that a nuclear bomb would further tip the scales in favor of the Shi’ite axis.
Tony Badran, a columnist for the Beirut-based website NOW Lebanon and a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told the Post that after the success of the Iranian revolution in 1979, “the new regime moved immediately to export the Islamic Revolution to the Arab and Islamic world.”
To carry this out, a special office – the precursor of today’s Quds Force – was established by one of the closest associates of the founder of the regime, Ayatollah Ali Khomeini, explained Badran. The purpose of this was “to set up and support ‘Islamic liberation movements’ around the world who would follow the leadership of Khomeini.
“Lebanon was the most attractive and most viable place to begin,” said Badran, especially since most senior members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps at the time had lived and trained in Lebanon during the 1970s.
“The first fruit of this effort, and its crown jewel, remains Hezbollah,” which continues to pursue the goals of the Iranian regime, he said.
Badran points out that “the second most successful front for Iran today is Iraq, where the Iranians have spawned and sponsored a number of Iraqi Shi’ite militias, who follow the ‘line of Imam Khomeini,’ and who we now see are an essential part of Iran’s fighting force in Syria.”