Newly declassified U.S. intelligence reports reveal that terrorists in the Middle East are going broke due to U.S. sanctions on Iran.
“For the first time ever, Hizballah, Iran’s top beneficiary, has been forced to publicly appeal for financial support,” said Morgan Ortagus, spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State, on May 29. Hizballah is a Lebanon-based global terrorist organization that receives weapons, training and money from Iran. The Washington Post reports that Hizballah is now asking for donations on billboards and posters. Donation boxes are cropping up in public areas in Lebanon.
“Our pressure on Iran is simple,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during his visit to Lebanon in March. “It’s aimed at cutting off the funding for terrorists, and it’s working.”
‘Golden days are gone’
“The golden days are gone and will never return. Iran doesn’t have enough money to give us,” a fighter with an Iranian-backed militia in Syria told the New York Times in March. And the new intelligence shows, according to State Department officials, that in the Palestinian Territories, Hamas is enacting an “austerity plan” due to lack of Iranian funding.
U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook recently told Fox News that the U.S. sanctions have made operations harder for terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hizballah, the Houthis in Yemen or armed groups in Iraq and Syria.
Also short on cash: the cyber command unit of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. in April 2019.
Maximum pressure is working
State Department officials say the U.S. “maximum pressure campaign” on Iran, designed to deny the regime the means to fund terror, is achieving its objective.
The U.S. maximum pressure campaign is working. It’s starving #Iran’s proxies, like Hizballah and Hamas, of the funds they rely on to operate on behalf of the regime. As one fighter said: “The golden days are gone and will never return. Iran doesn’t have enough money to give us.” pic.twitter.com/zRtQUaulDx
— Morgan Ortagus (@statedeptspox) May 30, 2019
“The campaign is starving Iran’s proxies of the funds they rely on to operate on behalf of the regime,” Ortagus said.