Iran

Spotlight on Iran (August 25 – September 8, 2019)

The responses of senior Iranian officials to the Israeli strike in Syria on August 24, which aimed to stop the launch of attack drones toward Israel, reflected a media strategy intended to prevent Iran’s implication in the operation. In the economic domain, Iran and Syria continue to expand their cooperation in the spheres of finance and trade. The Iranian consul in Erbil met with the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in northern Iraq and discussed ways to expand ties between Iran and the Kurdish region. A senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad official declared in an interview with a Palestinian news website that his organization does not take orders, but only support, from Iran.
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Paraguay has designated Hezbollah a terrorist organization, joining Argentina. It gives Paraguay’s government better tools to deal with Hezbollah’s activities, especially in the Tri-Border Area, which serves as the center for smuggling and organized crime.

On August 19, 2019, Paraguay's government announced it was designating Hezbollah a terrorist organization. At the same time, ISIS and al-Qaeda were also designated as international terrorist organizations. According to Paraguay's minister of the interior, that will allow financial enforcement institutions to intensify and coordinate their efforts to combat the threats posed by those organizations.
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Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah said he would retaliate for the quadcopter attack in Beirut which he claimed Israel had carried out, and for the killing of two Hezbollah operatives in an Israeli attack in Syria.

On August 25, 2019, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah gave a belligerent speech claiming Israel was behind the two attacks in Lebanon and Syria: a quadcopter attack on the southern Shi'ite suburbs of Beirut (Israel did not claim responsibility) and the aerial attack on a base southwest of Damascus (Israel did claim responsibility).
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Art and culture used by Hezbollah as instruments of indoctrination

One of the civilian spheres of activity to which Hezbollah dedicates much attention is art and culture. Hezbollah’s activity in this field includes, among other things, lectures to Hezbollah operatives and supporters given by clerics, MPs, academics and military operatives; organization of painting exhibitions and “jihadi exhibitions” (displaying weapons used by Hezbollah and belongings of shahids); production of films, plays, and concerts (including an extensive import of culture products from Iran); and the publication of books on Shiite Islam, with an emphasis on support of Hezbollah and the Islamic Revolution in Iran.
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Spotlight on Iran (August 11 – August 25, 2019)

In light on the ongoing escalation between Iran and the United States in the Persian Gulf, the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran, Ali Shamkhani, threatened that in the event of a military confrontation between Iran and the United States, Tehran will utilize proxies against the United States and its allies in the region. The spokesman of the Iranian ministry of foreign affairs labeled the understanding reached between the United States and Turkey concerning the establishment of a joint operations room near the Turkish-Syrian border “provocative and concerning.” He reiterated that there is no need for intervention of foreign powers to maintain security in northern Syria. The Iraqi Minister of Interior, Yassin al-Yaseri, visited Tehran in mid-August to discuss the coordination between the two countries ahead of the Arabeen ceremony, the pilgrimage to the Shi’ite holy sites in Iraq. The secretary general of the Iraqi pro-Iranian militia, Kataeb Hezbollah, visited Iran and declared that the Iraqi Shi’ite militias see the leadership of Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, as a continuation of the rule of the Prophet Muhammad and the first Shi’ite Imam, Ali.
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The Islamic Health Organization: Hezbollah institution providing health services to Hezbollah operatives and the Shiite population in general as a means for gaining influence and creating a Shiite mini-state within Lebanon

One of the most important social institutions is the Islamic Health Organization, which provides medical services to Hezbollah operatives and the entire Shiite population. This organization, has an extensive network of hospitals, medical centers and clinics among the Shiite population throughout Lebanon. This medical infrastructure provides medical services to nearly two million people, i.e., most of the Shiite residents of Lebanon. These services are either subsidized or provided free of charge, so they are most attractive in a country where medical services are very expensive.
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