Sakset/Fra hofta

Ekspertene diskuterer Hizbollahs rolle som agent for Iran i Irak. Magnus Ranstorp tror de fyller en slik funksjon, og sier Hizbollahs kontakter i shia-byen Najaf går flere tiår tilbake.

Ranstorp arbeider ved Senter for asymmetriske trusler ved den svenske Forsvarshøgskolen. Han kommenterer arrestasjonen av en høytstående Hizbollah-offiser i Irak.

Analysts are debating the significance of the arrests, what they indicate about Iranian-Hizbullah ties and their scale in Iraq, and their impact on the broader US-Iran confrontation.

«We’re really talking about [Hizbullah] instructors, tacticians, and technical experts who are able, with the Iranians, to work hand in hand [with Iraqis],» says Magnus Ranstorp, an expert at the Center for Asymmetric Threat Studies at the Swedish National Defense College in Stockholm.

«This sort of technical expertise rests with half the key in Beirut and half the key in Iran,» says Mr. Ranstorp, noting a «very small» Hizbullah presence in Iraq since 2003.

Men mest interessant er at Ranstorp sier at Hizbollahs kontakt til Irak går flere tiår tilabke, til Najaf, og derfra videre til Qom og Teheran.

But Hizbullah has another link to Iraq that reaches back three decades, when much of the leadership had religious training in Najaf. «The ties that bind Hizbullah with the Iraqi Shiite community are deep, longstanding, and brotherly,» adds Ranstorp. «There is a natural line running through Beirut, and Baghdad and Najaf, to Tehran.»


A gauge of Iran’s hand in Iraq