In July, Turkish customs agents reportedly seized $18.5 billion in foreign currencies and gold from Iran en route to Lebanon. Sources believe the cargo was on its way to Hezbollah.
According to Al-Arabiya, the money was meant to establish an Iranian-Lebanese bank, supervised by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah. Tehran hoped the bank would help circumvent international sanctions that continue to cripple the Iranian economy.
The United States first imposed sanctions against Iran shortly after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. As U.S. Treasury Undersecretary Stuart Levey told inFOCUS, Iran is the primary supporter of various terrorist groups, including Hezbollah. Unfortunately, as Jonathan Schanzer recently noted, the current administration appears to lack the will to impose tougher unilateral sanctions against Iran, and has also failed to gain international support.