Sunday, July 30, 2006

Al-Sharq Al-Awsat: interview with an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Officer on Iranian and Korean aid to Hezballah

From MEMRI's translation in July 29th's issue of Al-Sharq Al-Awsat
"Hundreds of Hizbullah fighters currently confronting Israel's military array took part in special training courses at the Revolutionary Guards bases in Tehran, Isfahan, Mashhad and Ahvaz. According to a high-ranking [Revolutionary] Guards officer, who trained one of the Hizbullah naval units, Hizbullah has many surprises up its sleeve. Until now, there has been no direct confrontation between Hizbullah and the Israeli navy, [but] one of the Israeli navy's ships was attacked with C802 missiles with the help of Revolutionary Guards [fighters] stationed in Lebanon. Hizbullah has a divers' unit and a naval commando unit [equipped] with Chinese-made Ho-Dong speedboats, which are capable of dealing [serious] blows to the Israeli navy."

The Iranian officer added that "thanks to the presence of hundreds of Iranian engineers and technicians, as well as North Korean experts brought [into Lebanon] in the guise of [domestic] servants by Iranian diplomats and by the staff at the Iranian representations and offices in Lebanon, Hizbullah has managed to build a 25-kilometer underground [tunnel]. Each opening in this [tunnel] measures 12 to 18 square meters, and has a mobile floor and a semi-mobile ceiling. Each four openings are connected by a passage that allows fighters to pass easily [from one opening] to the other.

"The [Revolutionary] Guards has also built Hizbullah underground storerooms in the Beka' Valley, at a depth of no more than eight meters, which hold huge amounts of missiles and ammunition. In the Beka', there is [also] a central command room operated by four Revolutionary Guards officers and four Hizbullah [fighters]. Each sector has its [own] command and operations room.

"Hizbullah's missile unit includes some 200 technicians and experts trained in Iran. Hizbullah has three missile units, each supervised by a staff of 20."

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