Saudi Arabian daily Okaz says that Iran-backed Lebanese Hezbollah has asked Iran for $25 million in addition to the annual funds it receives from Tehran.
Okaz cited informed sourcesas saying on Wednesday that the extra funds may be spent to finance the group’s activities for parliamentary elections in Lebanon, which will be held next month.
According to the unnamed sources, Hezbollah asked Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s office to make its utmost efforts to secure a minimum amount of $25 million in addition to the annual budget it receives from Iran, noting that this amount will be allocated to finance media campaigns for personalities and parties allied with the Shiite group that wants to preserve its considerable influence in Lebanese politics.
The sources said Hezbollah understands the difficult economic situation in Iran as the nuclear agreement has not yet been signed and Iranian funds frozen in banks are not released but said that strengthening its own and Iran’s political position in Lebanon is worth the funding.
Lebanese media say the latest visit by Iran’s foreign minister to Beirut was also related to this request by Hezbollah.
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian travelled to Lebanon late in March to bolster relations with senior Lebanese authorities.
During his visit, Amir-Abdollahian met with President Michel Aoun, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Najib Mikati, and Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib.
Late in 2021, a large group of Lebanese politicians established a new opposition group to end what they call Iranian occupation of Lebanon represented through Hezbollah.