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UK's MI6 chief says Hezbollah has 'become a state within a state' which weakens Lebanon

UK's MI6 chief says Hezbollah has 'become a state within a state' which weakens Lebanon

Hezbollah soldiers in the Bekaa on Nov. 13. (Credit: AFP)

BEIRUT — The head of Britain’s foreign intelligence service MI6, Richard Moore, said Tuesday that Hezbollah has become “a state within the state” and lamented the fact that this reinforces “political instability” in Lebanon.

Here’s what we know:

    • Speaking at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a London-based think tank, Moore noted that “Hezbollah, incubated in Lebanon by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, was Iran’s first foreign insurgent force.”

    • “Since then, it has developed into a state within the state, which directly contributes to the weakening of the state and political instability in Lebanon,” he added.

    • The pro-Iranian Hezbollah is the only militia to have kept its weapons, in the name of resistance against Israel, after the Taif agreement that ended the Civil War in Lebanon in 1990. London has classified the party in its entirety — i.e., both its political and military branches — as a terrorist organization since 2019.

    • The head of MI6 noted, moreover, that “Iran has repeated the model [of Hezbollah] in Iraq, where it has exploited a fragile transition to democracy to seed the country with armed gangs that undermine the state from within, assassinating those who seek to enforce the law.” He also noted that “this month, one of the armed and trained Iranian gangs attempted to kill the Iraqi prime minister,” adding “we see attempts to pursue similar policies in Syria, Yemen and the Gulf.”


BEIRUT — The head of Britain’s foreign intelligence service MI6, Richard Moore, said Tuesday that Hezbollah has become “a state within the state” and lamented the fact that this reinforces “political instability” in Lebanon. Here’s what we know:    • Speaking at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a London-based think tank, Moore noted that “Hezbollah,...