Whilst the exact cause of Tuesday’s huge explosion in the Port of Beirut hasn’t yet been confirmed, links between the explosion site and Lebanese-based terror group Hezbollah haven’t been ruled out.
In July 2019, the then Israel Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, shared Israeli intelligence information with the UN Security Council showing Iran-backed Hezbollah’s exploitation of the civilian maritime channels, specifically the Port of Beirut, which he described as the “Port of Hezbollah”.
“In the years 2018-2019, Israel found that dual-use items are smuggled into Lebanon to advance Hezbollah’s rocket and missile capabilities,” Danny Danon revealed to the Security Council.
Danon said that Iran’s Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), which directs Iranian interventions abroad, had begun “to advance the exploitation of the civilian maritime channels, and specifically the Port of Beirut.”
“The Port of Beirut has become the Port of Hezbollah,” Danon said.
Danon disclosed that Iran and Hezbollah were aided by Syrian agents who purchased the dual-use equipment — meaning it can be used for both civilian and military purposes — from foreign civilian companies and transferred it to Lebanon. These agents misled the companies when they officially unloaded the equipment at the Port of Beirut, Danon said, which was then transported to Hezbollah’s missile production facilities.
Danon said that Hezbollah regularly uses civilian centers in Lebanon to illegally transport arms, in “flagrant violation” of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which calls for the disarming of the terrorist organization. Danon also presented the Security Council with a map of various weapons transfer routes.
The Israeli envoy urged UN member states to take extra precautions with regard to the sale of dual-use equipment.
“Are you absolutely sure your companies are not the ones selling dual-use equipment to the hands of Hezbollah?” Danon asked. “Are you sure your citizens know the end-users of these dual-use items?”
The Iranian regime is transferring weapons in various ways. The Quds Force exploits civilian airports in Damascus and Beirut, the Syria-Lebanon border to smuggle weapons, dual-use items and other capabilities, and, today, the Port of Beirut is now the Port of Hezbollah. #UNSC pic.twitter.com/5Cee1iYDr7
— Ambassador Danny Danon | דני דנון (@dannydanon) July 23, 2019
“In Lebanon, Iran is directing Hezbollah to build secret sites to convert inaccurate projectiles into precision-guided missiles, missiles that can target deep inside Israel within an accuracy of 10 metres,” he said.
A source was quoted in The Telegraph saying the ammonium nitrate was to be used for “proper organized terrorism” and could have caused “a lot of damage.”
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