Another reason for its financial crisis is the effect of US sanctions that is reducing its ability to spend. (The top members of course are making sure they do not lose out though.)
It seems like the group has had to resort to other ways of bringing in money – drug trafficking, money laundering, counterfeiting and property schemes.
Around 70 per cent of Hezbollah’s annual finances is provided by Iran – approximately $1 billion. However, Iran is forcing Hezbollah further and further into the Syrian war, but is not providing any additional finance.
It is said that the group has been extorting donors and Lebanese expatriates around the world. This has angered those high up in the group because Lebanese Shiites have had to sell property and assets to keep the Hezbollah operations going.
The group has started to collect tariffs on goods in place of the government in areas of south and east Lebanon that border with Syria.
The war in Syria and the cost of fighting there has made a real impact on the group’s financial situation, but the US sanctions has just made it much worse.
The US sanctions restricted Lebanese banks from doing business with the group and Shiite businessmen in Lebanon want to steer clear in case they face sanctions too.
Hezbollah, no doubt feeling like it is in an impossible situation, is still funding the numerous social programs it supports to help the Shiite community in Lebanon. It is also still making payments to the families of fighters that have died or been hurt. This is clearly because it does not want to lose support.
The terror group leaders, however, seem to have disregarded the financial difficulties and are still helping themselves to the money pot. Apparently the son of Hassan Nasrallah – the Hezbollah leader – has helped himself to enough money to fund a whole chain of cafés in Beirut. And it must be noted that his father is worth around $250 million.
Last year Nasrallah said that there were no financial problems in the group and confirmed that everything it needed comes from Iran. He said: “We are open about the fact that Hezbollah’s budget, its income, its expenses, everything it eats and drinks, its weapons and rockets, are from Iran regime. As long as Iran has money, we have money (…) Just as we receive the rockets that we use to threaten Israel, we are receiving our money. No law will prevent us from receiving it.”