Iran shipped to Hezbollah 650 tons of ammonium nitrate in 2013 /14 report

This August 4, 2020 file photo, is the scene of an explosion that hit the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon. 218 killed , 7000 Injured , after 2,750 Tonnes of Ammonium Nitrate Exploded . They were stored there for nearly 7 years. . President Michel Aoun and PM Diab knew about the Ammonium Nitrate 2 weeks before the explosion but did nothing about it . Judge Fadi Sawan who was initially in charge of the investigation was fired for charging Hezbollah backed Lebanese government officials with negligence over the explosion . Judge Tarek Bitar replaced Judge Sawan and Hezbollah has been for months trying to get him fired too , reportedly because it is concerned about exposing its role in supplying the Syrian government with the explosive chemical for use in its barrel bombs (AP Photo/Hussein Malla, Beirut, Lebanon(Photo by Anwar Amro/AFP)

According to report by the German newspaper “Die Welt”, about 650 tons of ammonium nitrate , the same type of chemical that exploded at the Beirut port on August 4 was also shipped by Iran directly to Hezbollah in 3 shipments via air, sea and land between July 2013 and April 2014 while the ammonium nitrate that exploded at the port was confiscated from a Russian ship in September 2013 and stored at warehouse number 12 at the port since early 2014.

Beirut Explosions: 180 killed dozens still missing , 6500 Injured after 2,750 Tonnes Of Ammonium Nitrate Exploded in Beirut port . They were stored there for nearly 7 years. The shelf life of the product is supposed to be 6 months according to experts

Beirut , Lebanon – German newspaper “Die Welt” revealed details of 3 shipments of ammonium nitrate, estimated at 650 tons, received by the Lebanese Hezbollah from Iran in late 2013 and early 2014.

The German daily newspaper quoted information, which it said was “exclusively from European intelligence sources” documenting Hezbollah’s receipt of these quantities of ammonium nitrate, almost simultaneously with the storage of the ammonium nitrate that was deposited in the Beirut port at the time, which led to a huge blast on August 4.

The invoices for these materials, according to Die Welt, showed that On July 16, 2013, a total of 270 tons of ammonium nitrate was delivered from Iran to Lebanon, Months later, on October 23, another 270 tons of the chemical were delivered, The article added that a third shipment was made on April 4, 2014, but the amount delivered was uncertain.

In total, the three deliveries are for a quantity of 630 to 670 tons of ammonium nitrate,” the WELT article conjectured.

The cargo arriving in October 2013 was transported via plane, presumably on an Iranian airline, such as Mahan Air, which is sanctioned by the United States. The other deliveries were made via land or sea, the article alleged.

It is not certain if the ammonium nitrate at the port was the same that was shipped around the same time to Hezbollah in 2013 and 2014, according to the report. Some was shipped through the port, and some was imported via airport and overland through Syria, the report said.

The report named Hezbollah official Muhammad Qasir as responsible for these shipments, as he and other senior Hezbollah officials were working from Damascus with Quds Force Unit 190, which specialized in “smuggling” weapons to Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Gaza, under the supervision of slain former Quds Force chief Qassem Soleimani. Qasir who heads Hezbollah Unit 108 was sanctioned by the US government for financing Hezbollah.

Matthew Levitt, a leading Hezbollah expert who serves as the director of the Washington Institute’s Reinhard Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence said Qasir who heads Hezbollah Unit 108 was sanctioned by the US government for financing Hezbollah.

Levitt added: “The first link in the weapons transportation chain is Qasir’s Unit 108, which is responsible for moving weapons across Syria to the Lebanese border and then, together with Unit 112, transport weapons across the border into Lebanon. 

Another Hezbollah unit, Unit 100, runs a ratline in the reverse direction, from Lebanon to Syria to Iran, ferrying Hezbollah trainees to and from advanced training in the handling and use of the rockets delivered from Iran.”

“Qasir, aka Hajj Fadi, is uniquely qualified to head a unit as sensitive and important as Unit 108,” he said. 

“One of Qasir’s brothers, Hassan, is reportedly the son-in-law of Hezbollah secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah. Another brother, Ahmed Qasir, was the bomber who carried out the November 1992 attack on an Israeli military headquarters in Tyre, South of Lebanon.

 Nasrallah referred to Ahmed as the ‘prince of martyrs’ at a Martyrs Foundation event marking the anniversary of the attack.”

The Die Welt report listed Iranian Quds Force member Sayyed Mojtaba Mousavi Tabar as the official who organized the Iranian transfer of ammonium nitrate to Hezbollah.

It is noteworthy that, last April, the German government banned Hezbollah and listed it as a terrorist organization after it found out out that” it held a large stock of ammonium nitrate in Bavaria”.