Former President Barack Obama’s administration derailed efforts by the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration to prosecute a Hezbollah crime syndicate over fears it would disrupt efforts to sign a nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran, Politico reports.
The Obama administration’s efforts included using elements of executive power like the Department of Justice and Department of State to quash efforts by law enforcement to drastically reign in Hezbollah operations. “They serially ripped apart this entire effort that was very well supported and resourced, and it was done from the top down,” an analyst on the law enforcement effort told Politico.
Iran is the main sponsor and supporter of Lebanese Hezbollah, which has a substantial presence in South America. The terror group has long used South America as a money laundering and cash generating base for its operations abroad, much of it directed and supported by Iran.
Obama officials reportedly became deeply worried that U.S. law enforcement efforts began to reach into the highest echelons of the terror regime. Many of the ensnared Hezbollah operatives were associates and of major geopolitical actors like Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and within Iran. These actors had major sway over the then ongoing negotiations between the P5+1 powers and Iran over the nuclear deal.
The malign actors included Ali Fayad, a “Ukraine-based arms merchant suspected of being a Hezbollah operative moving large amounts of weapons to Syria,” and associate of Putin. A cocaine trafficker connected to chemical weapons procurement for the Syrian regime and another weapons dealer with deep ties to the Iranian regime.
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