The negative consequences of IRGC’s Hezbollah to Lebanon due to its ongoing complicity in the production, transport and trade of illegal drugs have been in full view in the past few weeks.
After the US sanctions and the fall of Iran’s currency, Iran-backed militias in numerous countries resorted to drug-trafficking in order to raise money for their fighters.
Two major events — the recent bust of a large shipment of Captagon(amphetamine) pills in Saudi Arabia and the arrest of the “Emperor of Captagon” in Lebanon — have exposed how IRGC’s Hezbollah attempts to generate revenue for its fighters via illegal drug trafficking undermine Lebanon’s relationships with countries in the region and its ability to trade with them.
“Hezbollah puts its own interest ahead of the interests of the Lebanese people and the Lebanese state,” said Fathi al-Sayed, an Iranian affairs specialist at the Middle East Centre for Regional and Strategic Studies.
“The party and its leaders knew full well that if the last shipment of Captagon were to be busted, the consequences would be dire, not only for the party but also for the Lebanese economy,” he said.
The shipment, intercepted at the port of Jeddah on April 23, contained millions of Captagon pills hidden inside pomegranates that were packed in Syria and transported to Lebanon, before making their way to the kingdom.
Predictably, he added, “The spontaneous stance taken by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was to halt the import of all agricultural products from Lebanon and also their transit through its territory, to protect its national and social security.”
“Lebanon’s agricultural exports to Saudi Arabia represent 16% of its total exports, amounting to 50,000 tonnes valued at $24 million,” he noted.
Also affected will be exports to all Gulf states, whose total value amounts to $145 million, as a consequence of the decision to ban the transit of Lebanese goods.
Hezbollah’s literal meaning is “Party of Allah” but it seems like this terrorist organization in specific is the “Party of Drugs” instead.