The Saudi Arabian daily Okaz says the Iran-backed Lebanese Hezbollah has asked Iran for $25 million in addition to the annual funds it receives from Tehran.
Okaz cited informed sourcessaid Wednesday the additional funds could be used to fund the group’s activities for Lebanon’s parliamentary elections, which will be held next month.
According to the unnamed sources, Hezbollah asked the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s office to make every effort to secure a minimum amount of $25 million on top of the annual budget it receives from Iran, noting that this amount will be used to fund media campaigns for figures and parties allied to the Shia group, which aims to retain its considerable influence in Lebanese politics.
The sources said Hezbollah understands the difficult economic situation in Iran as the nuclear deal has not yet been signed and Iranian funds frozen in banks will not be released, but said strengthening its own and Iran’s political position in Lebanon is worth the funding may be.
That’s what the Lebanese media say the recent visit of the Iranian foreign minister to Beirut was also related to this Hezbollah request.
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian traveled to Lebanon at the end of March to strengthen ties with senior Lebanese authorities.
During his visit, Amir-Abdollahian met with President Michel Aoun, Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib.
In late 2021, a large group of Lebanese politicians formed a new opposition group to end what they call the Iranian occupation of Lebanon represented by Hezbollah.