Iran’s crackdown on drug trafficking is so severe that it has landed even underage offenders in jail – and in the hangman’s noose. But as always, there’s another side to the story, revealing Iran’s hypocrisy and duplicity: Iran, the so-called “vanguard” of the global war on drugs, is actually benefiting from the drug trade. So much so that it’s Lebanese proxy, the Shi’ite Hezbollah, is funded by the sale of drugs – substances that are considered haram, or prohibited, in Islam.
Earlier this month – while Iranian President Hassan Rouhani smilingly shook hands all over Europe – US and European authorities announced that they had uncovered a “massive” drug and money laundering scheme run by Hezbollah and its backer, Iran. According to a statement on the matter by the US Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA, the drug and money laundering ring was international, maintaining business relationships with South American drug cartels, in order to “provide a revenue and weapons stream for an international terrorist organization responsible for devastating terror attacks around the world.” In other words: money obtained by Hezbollah from selling cocaine in the US and Europe was being laundered and used to buy weapons for Bashar Assad and carry out terrorist attacks.
The DEA’s dramatic announcement prompted commentary on Hezbollah’s drug trade from major news outlets, investigating the link between terrorism and drug dealing. Meanwhile in Lebanon, drug lord Nouh Zeitar boasted on Lebanese TV of his close ties with Hezbollah, saying drug traffickers are Hezbollah’s “shield” – and that the terrorist organization “arms” drug traffickers in return. Not a bad arrangement for the “party of God” and its Iranian backers, who hang hundreds for drug offenses while funneling drug profits to Syria to spread yet more death and chaos there.