Hezbollah has been taking advantage of the chaos in Syria to smuggle advanced anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles into Lebanon, according to new reports. The WSJ says that Iran appears to be behind these shipments:
Iran wants to upgrade Hezbollah’s arsenal to deter future Israeli strikes—either on Lebanon or on Iran’s nuclear program, U.S. and Israeli officials say. In addition, these officials said they believe the transfers were meant to induce Hezbollah to commit to protect Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as well as supply lines used by both his regime and Hezbollah. […]Current and former U.S. officials say Iran’s elite Quds Force has been directly overseeing the shipments to Hezbollah warehouses in Syria. These officials say some of the guided missiles would allow Hezbollah to defend its strongholds in Lebanon, including Beirut, and attack Israeli planes and ground targets from regime-controlled territory in Syria.
For the people in Jerusalem and Riyadh making the case that the two countries need to cooperate against Iran before it’s too late, work just got a little bit easier. For those in Western capitals making the case that Iran is ready for a real reconciliation and change of policy, work just got a little bit harder.At this point, it doesn’t appear that the Saudis and the Israelis have much to gain by acting in concert with Washington (nor do they appear to have much to lose by going it on their own). Similarly, there is little evidence that Iran has all that much to lose by pressing on with its regional ambitions.