In 2005, law-enforcement agencies in Romania looked deeply into the business activities of Talal Mohammad Kansou, a Lebanese-restaurant owner in Bucharest. Born in Lebanon, he had lived in Qatar with his family for several years in the late 1980s and moved to Romania in 1991. But on Feb. 18, 2005, the Romanian government rejected his request for permanent resident status.
The reasons are stated in a U.S. Embassy cable. The diplomatic mission had “uncorroborated information indicating that subject has connections to Lebanese Hizballah and may in fact have provided support to active Hizballah members in Romania.” “Subject has ongoing business connections with Lebanon. Further, the Romanian Ministry of Justice has implicated subject in drug trafficking,” the cable read.
Kansou’s case is hardly a singular one in Europe. One of Hezbollah’s most important financiers, billionaire Kassim Tajideen, who was blacklisted in 2010 by the U.S. Department of Treasury for his links to the Party of God, was arrested in 2003 in Belgium. But the charges, “large scale tax fraud, money laundering and trade in diamonds of doubtful origin,” were not proven at the time, and he was released. His links to Hezbollah, as is the case with many other businessmen’s links to the same group, don’t seem to be a problem for the European authorities. Supporting an ideology or an organization is not illegal, as long as the supporters don’t harm others.
The United Kingdom, supported by France and Germany, recently submitted an official request to the European Union to list Hezbollah’s military wing as a terrorist organization, after the United States and Israel pressured and lobbied the forums in Brussels for months. The move came after a bombing in the Bulgarian seaside resort of Burgas in July 2012 that left six dead in a bus transporting Israeli tourists; the subsequent investigation incriminated Hezbollah. In a separate case, a Hezbollah courier in Cyprus confessed in court that he was ordered to stalk Israeli tourists on the Mediterranean island. European politicians and bureaucrats have suggested that their real objection is to Hezbollah’s increasing involvement in the Syrian conflict. But what Europe should really be worried about is the group’s European business empire and its ramifications for the continent.
Qassem Soleimani, un om important în ierarhia statului iranian, puțin regretat
de țările arabe unde el a lucrat in interesul consolidarii influentei iraniene,
dar si venerat de militanti islamisti siiti de pretutindeni, poate aduce consecinte
nefaste nu doar pentru Orientul Mijlociu. Multi se intreaba
cum va riposta Iranul la asasinarea directa si asumata de catre Statele Unite a
unui oficial Iranian pe care doua administratii americane au evitat sa il ucida,
desi îi puteau ataca convoiul oricand. Scenariile abunda, insa inainte de a
oferi scenarii e bine sa analizam in ce anume consta influenta iraniana in Orientul
Mijlociu, dar si in zone ale lumii unde e greu de banuit ca ar putea avea vreo prezenta.
Strategia iraniana a avut in ultimele doua decenii doua fatete: pe de o
parte replicarea modelului Hezbollahului libanez in mai multe tari din Orientul
Mijlociu sau Africa, pe de altă parte, răspândirea unor companii și afaceri care
au hranit buzunarele Gardienilor Revoluți…
Ashura was different in Nabatieh in 2015. The town in South Lebanon attracts every year hundreds of
Shiites who mark the commemoration
of theBattle of Karbalawhen ImamHussein ibn Ali, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, was killed by the
forces of the second Umayyad caliphYazid IatKarbala,
Iraq. Blood flows in Nabatieh during the procession that takes place in the
central square of the town: men, teenagers and even little boys as well as a
few women who made a pledge to perform the bloodletting ritual make and
incision with a sword into their foreheads and let the blood flow on their
faces in sign of mourning. In order to keep the blood flowing, they also hit
the incision with the flat of the sword chanting Haidar! Haidar! [ Lion!
Lion!],the nickname of Imam Ali, Hussein’s father, the son-in-law and cousin of
Prophet Mohammad. In religious terms this is the Tatbir; in slang it is called “to
hit Haidar.” Often, some of
the members of the procession are rushed out from the central square i…
Era deja 10 seara când au
început tirurile de mortieră și fermierii au adus masa și scaunele albe, de
plastic, ca să le așeze în mijlocul curții pentru spectacol. Abou Fakher Zaarour, un
fermier libanez bătrân care refuza să plece din căsuța de la granița cu Siria,
începuse deja să se impacienteze. Nevastă-sa, o femeie înaltă, uscată de muncă
și de vântul roșcat ca pământul în care plantase cartofi o viață în Valea
Bekaa, se uita în jos cu jenă că nu le oferiseră oaspeților de la Beirut
spectacolul promis. Își pusese cerceii
și medalionul de aur la gât și invitase și vecinii la o cafea mică, amară, cu
cardamom, pe prispa casei de lemn. “Nu știu cum de nu au început
încă. Aseară, la ora asta, bătălia era în toi,” explică femeia, iar fiică-sa dă
din cap aprobator, legănându-și copilul nou-născut. “Poate s-au liniștit în
seara asta. Dar nu cred eu. Războiul ăsta nu o să se termine prea curând. Assad
o să distrugă Siria, nu-s oameni care să lase puterea în câteva zile,” spune
femeia mai …