The following information was obtained by the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK):
- Based on reports obtained by the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) sources from within the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), the Quds Force is continuing to transfer cash to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Part of the money is sent in the form of special packages and suitcases carried by the Quds Force’s Intelligence Protection Officers on flights from Tehran to Lebanon.
- Passenger and cargo flights between Tehran (IKA) and Beirut (BEY) are continuing. Controlled by Hezbollah, The Beirut airport is a bridgehead to ferry combat forces and cargo to Damascus.
- Seyed Morteza Bakhtiari, the head of the Komiteh Emdad-e Imam (Khomeini’s Assistance Committee) in Tehran, is responsible for sending parts of the cash to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
- Several Iranian merchants residing in Beirut are also transferring IRGC’s funds for Hezbollah in Lebanon through Sarrafies (money exchanges).
- Parts of the transferred cash pay for the expenses of Hezbollah forces in Lebanon, and other parts pay Hezbollah forces deployed in Syria and their families.
- Considering the regime’s dire economic situation following the coronavirus outbreak, the money sent by Komiteh Emdad-e Imam from Tehran to Beirut has been cut in half in the past two months. This has alarmed Hezbollah officials because they fear discounts and defections among Hezbollah forces in Syria. Another difficulty Hezbollah is facing is that banks in Lebanon are inactive, resulting in limited money transfers.
Transfer of Coronavirus to Lebanon from Iran by Hezbollah recruits:
- During the first week of March, around 30 Hezbollah forces receiving training in the Quds Forces’ training bases around Tehran returned to Beirut. Initial testing of these individuals showed that ten had contracted the virus and were hospitalized in Beirut.
- On March 20, 2020, some 40 Hezbollah forces who had received training in IRGC training bases in Iran returned to Beirut. Most of them tested positive for coronavirus and were hospitalized.
- The same month, a number of Lebanese theology students who studied at Qom’s Howzeh Elmiy-e (Seminary) also contracted coronavirus, and several of them died. Others are hospitalized in Qom.
- A group of Hezbollah personnel who had contracted the coronavirus in Tehran returned to Beirut after the Iranian New Year (Nowruz- March 20). They are undergoing treatment. Some of them are in serious condition and hospitalized in Tehran’s Baqiyatallah Hospital, which is allocated to IRGC and senior regime figures.
- In a government-orchestrated maneuver by the IRGC, Hezbollah forces were filmed disinfecting different Tehran and Qom districts, which appeared on social media. They are mostly theology students and members of Hezbollah-affiliated groups residing in Iran.
- Because of the spread of the virus among Hezbollah personnel, the group’s Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah has canceled all his face-to-face meetings and is holding them remotely.