Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 25 March 2018

Narco-terrorism as a strategic tool must be stopped from spreading its poison

Drugs are being circulated to generate revenue, as well as corrupt and weaken the young, by Iran-backed Hezbollah's destructive arsenal

The most odious feature of Hezbollah, which invokes the name of god as it executes the work of the devil, is its bogus pietism. Reuters
The most odious feature of Hezbollah, which invokes the name of god as it executes the work of the devil, is its bogus pietism. Reuters

This week Lt Gen Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Deputy Chairman of Police and General Security in Dubai, told a summit in Dubai that the UAE is being flooded by narcotics brought into the country by traffickers linked to Hezbollah. On some level, the news that the Iran-backed militant group has been pushing narcotics into the UAE is hardly surprising. Since its inception, Hezbollah has progressively brought ruin and destruction to innumerable families and communities across the region and, together with its backers, is seeking to spread its malign influence. Lebanon, the fragile country where Hezbollah is headquartered, continues to be denied much-needed political stability by the group’s presence.

In Syria, which this month marks the seventh anniversary of civil war, it has helped secure president Bashar Al Assad’s bloodthirsty government with an inexhaustible supply of fighters. In Iraq, which was invaded this week in 2003, Hezbollah’s belligerent Shia brigades continue to play a baleful role. Both nations are victims of the Iranian regime’s overreach. There is much that is abhorrent about its tactics but perhaps one of the most insidious is drug trafficking, a lucrative stream of revenue for Hezbollah and its sponsors to finance terrorist activity by generating money from drugs and creating new addicts to fund crime.

Hezbollah’s malevolent purpose is to generate cash but also to corrupt the young in GCC countries that the Iranian regime seeks to weaken in pursuit of its hegemonic goals. The UAE is among the nations resolutely standing up to a regime trying to map a strategic march through the Middle East. Rising to defend freedom and sovereignty comes at a steep cost. In Yemen, members of the UAE Armed Forces have sacrificed their lives to restore that country’s legitimate government, which was toppled by Iran-backed Houthi militias in 2015. Yesterday trained by the UAE were targeted by a suicide bomber in an attack, killing and wounding at least five. As Lebanon prepares for elections, the region must not be cowed by Hezbollah or its backers. The work of curbing the spread of the Iranian regime’s toxic influence deserves urgent attention.