News : Terrorism

Did Iran Nuclear Deal Allow Hezbollah to Evade Justice for Drug Smuggling?

By INU Staff

INU -“Project Cassandra,” the top-secret Drug Enforcement Administration operation and government initiative, was created to target Lebanon-based Hezbollah’s $1 billion annual drug revenue.

The DEA team worked for nearly a decade, with the objective of bringing down Hezbollah’s sophisticated drug ring. Hezbollah’s network smuggled cocaine into the US and laundered the profits by, among other enterprises, purchasing used cars in the United States and reselling them in Africa, according to Politico.

The Justice and Treasury departments turned down the DEA team’s prosecution and sanctions requests — some say to facilitate the signing of the JCPOA.

According to Bloomberg, the DEA had two operatives, Ali Fayad and Abdallah Safieddine, who were to face justice.

The first operative, Fayad, was suspected of being Hezbollah’s operative, and Bloomberg said that evidence showed he directly reported to Russian President Vladimir Putin, supplying weapons in Iraq and Syria.

Former DEA agent Jack Kelly, who established the task force, discussed the other operative, Safieddine. “Hezbollah operates like the Gambino crime family on steroids, and [Safieddine] is its John Gotti,” he said. “Whatever Iran needs, Safieddine is in charge of getting it for them.”

A global Hezbollah network is believed to have been responsible for the movement of large quantities of cocaine in the United States and Europe. This global network, referred to by law enforcement as the Lebanese Hezbollah External Security Organization (BAC), was founded by slain Hezbollah Senior Leader Imad Mughniyeh and subsequently operated under the control of Abdallah Safieddine and recent U.S.-designated Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) Adham Tabaja.

However, Safieddine was never prosecuted, and Project Cassandra was shut down after the nuclear deal was sealed, according to the report.

The landmark Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was designed to ensure that Iran's nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful. The agreement was reached on July 14, 2015, between the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States), the European Union (EU), and Iran.

Some claim the deal was merely able to pause Iran’s march to obtain nuclear weapon, and that the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, was ineffective, as it was unable to inspect military sites. US President Trump called it “an incomprehensibly bad” deal, as also provided around $150 billion to Iran to boost its failing economy, but was said to have been used to channel more state sponsored terror across the region.

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