With the Iranian economy failing, Hezbollah chief Nasrallah tells followers to “look east” to Communist China for rescue.
The Islamic terror group Hezbollah is hoping for a Chinese bailout as Lebanon suffers its worst economic crisis in decades. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah in a televised speech told his Lebanese followers to “look east” to Communist China for their economic rescue, media reports said.
The Hezbollah chief is backing a Lebanese government effort to seek Chinese support in salvaging the ailing economy. “Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s government — supported by the Iran-backed Hezbollah and its allies — is seeking help from China, an approach that the Shiite militant group strongly supports,” the Associated Press reported this week.
Hezbollah chief Nasrallah’s statement comes as Iran is close to striking a similar deal with China. Beijing is expected to invest around $400 billion in Iran in return for unbridled access to the country’s oil and natural resources, as well as access to Iranians militarily and air bases.
Communist China wants to bring the tiny, but strategically-located, Mediterranean nation within its sphere of influence as it rolls out the One-Road-One Belt Initiative, Beijing’s strategy of global dominance. “China has long expressed interest in Lebanon’s northern port of Tripoli as a link for its Belt and Road Initiative,” Hong Kong-based newspaper Asia Times reported last month.
Hezbollah in February joined an Iranian call for worldwide jihad against the United States following the killing of the wanted terror mastermind Qassem Soleimani. The Shia-Islamic terrorist group has been increasing its activities in Iraq, targeting U.S. diplomats and servicemen stationed in the country.
Europe-based Radio Farda reported Hezbollah chief’s remarks on Thursday:
While beating on the drums of war for years by Lebanon’s Hezbollah has driven major foreign investors out of Lebanon, the group’s leader Hassan Nasrallah has called for turning to China to rescue the country’s failing economy.
This comes while Hezbollah has opposed taking loans from the International Monetary Fund to save Lebanon’s economy. (…)
The statement by Nasrallah was made as Hezbollah’s main financial and ideological sponsor, the Islamic Republic of Iran is striving to finalize a 25-year economic cooperation pact with China that translates into selling Iran’s cheap oil to Beijing and giving a strategic economic foothold to China, against Beijings economic and diplomatic support.
Lebanon will soon find itself in the same economic situation as Venezuela. The Lebanese currency has lost its value at least fourfold during recent months dragging most of the Lebanese middle class below the poverty line.
The Lebanon-based Hezbollah terror outfit has been receiving an estimated 700 million each year from the Islamic Republic of Iran. This funding was greatly disrupted after U.S. President Donald Trump pulled the plug on the Obama-era nuclear deal in May 2018, imposing stiff sanctions on Iran, the world’s biggest sponsor of terrorism.
With terrorist Hezbollah running Lebanon — controlling parts of the government and security forces — foreign companies have shied away from putting their money in the nation’s economy. In the wake of the current economic crisis and regional instability, outside investors are fleeing the country in droves, latest economic data shows. According to the DC-based Institute of International Finance (IIF), around $30 billion worth of capital fled the tiny Mediterranean nation between October 2019 and the April 2020.
China is promising cheap loans and lucrative investments to countries across the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa in order to promote its One-Belt-One-Road Initiative. Beijing wants to get its hands on highways, railroad and ports as its seeks global dominance. Last month, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo again warned developing countries to resist the lure of cheap Chinese money to avoid the debt trap. Poor countries defaulting on these loans are forced to transfer key infrastructure and ports into Chinese ownership.
Beside Iran, Pakistan is another country to sign a wide-ranging trade and military agreement with China. Both of these Islamic countries are widely regarded a leading exporters of jihad terrorism around the world.
Financing and thereby bolstering terrorist entities in the region could adversely affect China as well. The China-Pakistan ‘Economic Corridor,’ $62 billion infrastructure project part of Beijing’s One-Belt-One-Road strategy, has increasingly become a target for armed separatist groups. Last month, Baloch separatists attacked a China-owned stock exchange building in Karachi, Pakistan. China’s One-Belt-One-Road network running through Muslim-majority Middle East and Central Asia could turn into China’s Achilles heel, if rogue actors like Iran and Hezbollah are empowered though huge investments.
Hezbollah vows revenge after U.S. airstrike kills top Iranian terror operative Soleimani
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