A more effective Administration response to Nasrallah’s “only” Iran funds us statement
The Obama administration should push back hard against the right-wing use of Nasrallah’s recent statement by employing several arguments (instead, it resorts to the line that, yes, we know Iran funds Hezbollah, and that they should stop):
First – that Nasrallah is exaggerating because of the effective (though I have argued, somewhat ill-applied) pressure of financial sanctions (by saying only Iran gives Hezb cash via smuggling and not banks, Nasrallah is reinforcing the arguments being used to blunt the new financial regulations): The US, Israel, the EU all estimate that Iran contributes only a part of Hezbollah’s budget (perhaps 200-300$ million per year).
Second – Hezbollah gets much of its weaponry from Syria and Assad, and also the black market (as Nasrallah has repeatedly said).
Third – Hezbollah gets a sizable amount of cash from religious donations, businesses and illegal enterprises (as the US has long argued) all of which are increasingly vulnerable because of the congress and admin’s new financial pressure tactics.
So, essentially, Nasrallah’s exaggeration/statement is one sign (of many) that the US is wielding an effective, non-violent tool int eh containment effort vis-a-vis Hezbollah… and that this is a logical and effective corollary to the logical and effective Iran Deal (relative to the other options that were available).