Hezbollah ‘cashing checks’ from Iran
Hezbollah receives substantial funding from Iranian religious endowments, known as Bonyads, which are controlled by Khamenei, according to Amal Saad-Ghorayeb, a Lebanese expert on Hezbollah and author of a forthcoming book on Iran’s relations with Syria, Hezbollah, and the Palestinian Hamas movement. Hezbollah refuses to discuss the amount of funding it receives from Iran, although it is thought to amount to hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
Any major changes in Iran arising from the current instability – especially to the status of the supreme leader – could have significant repercussions for Hezbollah and the influence it wields in Lebanon and the region.
“No one admits that Hezbollah gets funding from the Bonyads as they are supposed to be for developing Iran. The [administrators of the Bonyads] don’t need permission to give money to Hezbollah, but the supreme leader gives the general tone over who are the legitimate recipients of funds,” says Mr. Saad-Ghorayeb.