The sudden briefing cancellations come as some lawmakers, particularly Democrats, continue to question the administration’s justification for killing Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. Senators appear likely to rebuke President Donald Trump soon in the form of a vote on a war powers resolution to limit his military actions in Iran.
There is a suspicion that the claim is invented, to circumvent the War Powers Resolution. While I cannot refute this suspicion, any similar question about Hezbollah is a special circumstance.
The English translation of “Hezbollah” is “Party of God.” Hezbollahs exist in three countries, as separate organizations of native Shiites, all organized by Iranian “missionaries.”, of whom Qasem Soleimani was the recent chief. Lebanon’s Hezbollah was the second, dating to the early 1980’s. The first Hezbollah was organized in Iran itself, in 1979. Iraq’s Hezbollah dates to about 2003.
Prior to 9/11, Hezbollah (Lebanon) was considered the most dangerous terror threat to U.S. soil. In contrast to other terror groups then extant, Hezbollah (Lebanon) was noteworthy for competent command/control, execution, and even counterintelligence. (CBS) Major CIA network unraveled by Hezbollah, in 2011. Hezbollah skillfully exploited an encryption error in the group’s secure radios.
The similarity of characters of the three Hezbollahs is the result of Iranian leadership. Opinions vary whether the 1983 United States embassy bombing in Beirut was an Hezbollah operation, disguised by the adoption of a “brand” in the form of the Islamic Jihad Organization. But there is general agreement that the attack was ordered by Iran.
The Iran Hostage Crisis of 1979-1981, in which the revolutionary government of Iran seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran, hints at a pattern. It continues with the 12/31 attack on the Baghdad embassy. Iran is unrestrained by diplomatic norms from attacks on U.S. embassies.
Iran wants to kick the U.S. out of Iraq. Even with no intelligence, the embassy and consulates are at risk as targets of opportunity.
This does not address whether the intelligence about 4 embassies is fabricated. If it is not, the fearsome capabilities of Hezbollah counterintelligence puts sources at risk from disclosure. (CNN) 3 detained on suspicion of leaking Soleimani’s movements to US. If informants survive Iraq’s justice, they will not survive Hezbollah’s.
Sources for this kind of intelligence must be protected by the narrowest possible distribution. To reveal which embassies are known to be targeted could be fatal to some.