Hassan Nasrallah meets Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian
Hassan Nasrallah meets Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-AbdollahianHezbollah Media Office/Handout via REUTERS

The Telegraph revealed on Thursday that Iran is using European ports to provide cover for shipments of weapons to the Hezbollah terrorist organization in Lebanon.

Sources quoted by the British newspaper said that Hezbollah has received missiles and bombs on ships that go on to dock in ports in Belgium, Spain and Italy.

Iran has switched to shipping weapons by sea after Israel’s air force began to target consignments coming in by land into northern Syria via Iraq, one source said.

Weapons and other goods are now shipped to the Syrian port of Latakia before the vessels go on to ports in Antwerp, Valencia and Ravenna, The Telegraph said, in an attempt to disguise the purpose of the journeys.

From Latakia, the weapons are transported south to Lebanon.

“Using Europe helps to hide the nature and the source of the shipments, switching paperwork and containers… to clean the shipments,” a senior intelligence source in Israel said.

“Europe has huge ports so Iran is using that as a camouflage. It’s very easy to do manipulations in those big ports where things have to get moved quickly, rather than a small port where there will be more scrutiny. It’s like a cat and mouse between us and the Iranians. They’re trying to smuggle and we’re trying to stop it. It’s been at least three years like this.”

According to The Telegraph, since the beginning of the Gaza war in October, five Iranian ships – Daisy, Kashan, Shiba, Arezoo and Azargoun – have unloaded goods in Syria, starting their journey in Bandar Abbas in Iran.

Coordinated by Iran’s Quds Force Unit 190, the weapon transfers are then managed by Hezbollah’s Unit 4400, which is responsible for arms shipments.