Has Iran stopped funding Hezbollah?
Hezbollah is facing an economic crisis stemming from its involvement in the Syrian civil war, and budget cuts in Iran as a result of new president Hassan Rouhani's austerity policies, Lebanese sources say.
According to a report from the London paper Asharq Al-Awsat, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei continues to fund Hezbollah through his separate budget, though the Iranian president stopped the government's flow of money to Hezbollah five months ago during the reorganization of Tehran's Foreign Ministry.
Adding to Hezbollah's problems is close monitoring of funding sources by American and European countries, the report stated. For example, on Tuesday, Germany outlawed the Berlin-based fundraising group Orphaned Children Project-Lebanon because it was found to be transfering money to Hezbollah. The sources in Lebanon said that "there are continuing American-European efforts to cut off the organization's funding."
Lebanese media also reported that European intelligence agencies have recently been cooperating in efforts to prevent the transfer of funds to Hezbollah, especially from South American and African countries. This European effort comes after several charity organizations in Europe were found to be attempting to transfer funds to the Shi'ite organization. Money transfer freezes have been placed on individual Lebanese citizens who live in Europe as well, since they have been marked as "potential routes" for transferring money to Hezbollah.