Dr Mike Evans

Iran increases weapon shipments to Hezbollah in efforts against Israel

The Iranian regime has ramped up its weapons shipments to the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah in recent months, amid diplomatic efforts by the U.S. and European countries to prevent a full-scale conflict between Hezbollah and Israel.

Among the significant arms systems recently provided by Iran are additional anti-aircraft defense systems, which could threaten Israel’s air superiority. Hezbollah has attempted to shoot down Israeli aircraft multiple times, successfully intercepting five IDF drones.

Israel responded with strikes on Hezbollah’s aerial defense installations, destroying several launchers. Iranian deliveries also reportedly include advanced Almas anti-tank missiles, based on Israeli Spike missile technology obtained by Hezbollah during the 2006 Second Lebanon War.

The Iranian regime regularly supplies weapons to Hezbollah, its principal military proxy in the region, via a complex network of smuggling routes spanning Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. Over the past decade, the IDF has targeted trucks and convoys transporting these shipments multiple times.

Diplomatic efforts are ongoing, although recent visits by U.S. envoy Amos Hochstein and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock to Jerusalem and Beirut have reportedly yielded no serious changes. U.S., European, and Middle Eastern mediators have reportedly cautioned Hezbollah against overestimating its capabilities in a potential conflict with the Israel Defense Forces.

Former senior U.S. diplomat Gerald Feierstein noted that while hostilities have somewhat subsided since a recent peak, both sides have not fully restrained their attacks to avoid escalation into a broader war.

The U.S. has issued multiple warnings to Hezbollah, including a recent statement emphasizing that Hezbollah should not expect U.S. intervention to restrain Israel in a regional war potentially involving Iran.

Last week, the U.S. bolstered its naval presence in the Eastern Mediterranean with the deployment of the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp, citing deterrence as its objective.