World

Israel believes sanctions on Iran hit Hezbollah

TEL AVIV — International sanctions are forcing Iran to cut back aid to its anti-Israel Hezbollah allies in Lebanon, but the Lebanese guerrilla group remains a potent force, a top Israeli military official said Monday.

He said Hezbollah has an arsenal far larger and more sophisticated than it possessed during a monthlong war in 2006, when it fired thousands of rockets at Israel.

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The official said Israel remains worried that Syrian arsenals of chemical weapons might be raided by militants including Hezbollah, which is also backed by the Syrian regime. At present the government in Syria, which borders both Israel and Lebanon, appears to be maintaining control over its chemical weapons arsenals, he added.

‘‘There are no signs now’’ that chemical weapons are being moved out of secure government warehouses, he said. But he said Israel fears ‘‘that could change overnight’’ because of the chaos of Syria’s civil war.

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The official, a senior officer in the northern command, spoke with foreign reporters on condition of anonymity under military rules.

There was no immediate reaction from Hezbollah, which does not usually comment on military or security matters.

In a separate development Monday, Ismaeil Kowsari, a senior Iranian lawmaker, said Iran has images of Israeli military bases.

Associated Press

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