The Iran Deal's Bigger Loser

Hezbollah's Uncertain Future

Lebanese Hezbollah supporters gesture as they march during a religious procession to mark Ashura in Beirut's suburbs, November 14, 2013. Sharif Karim / Reuters

The decision to fork over $100 billion in sanctions relief to Iran as part of last summer’s nuclear deal could be the worst thing that’s happened to the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah in years.

Of course, Hezbollah publicly embraced the news. Iran provides an estimated $100–$200 million to the group each year. And now, with sanctions relief rolling in, even more Iranian cash might find its way to Hezbollah’s stronghold in the Beqaa Valley, where it can turn into new weapons, training programs, and other materiel.

Hezbollah’s payday, though, comes at a time when Iran’s Gulf Arab foes are out to punish the group for stoking the region’s sectarian wars. Hezbollah’s position on the front lines in Syria, where it wants to shore up embattled dictator—and Iranian proxy—Bashar al-Assad hasn’t gone unnoticed. Nor have reports of it warring alongside Yemen’s Houthi

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