REPORT: Beirut Blast Caused by Hezbollah Material Acquired From Iran, Intended for Israel

Media sources cited anonymous intelligence sources of western countries claiming that the explosion in the Beirut Port on August 4 was caused by ammonium nitrate that belonged top the Hezbollah terrorist organization. The massive amount of ammonium nitrate, intended to be used to make explosives, originated in Iran.

On August 4, a massive explosion at the port of the city of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, caused at least 180 deaths, 6,000 injuries, and $10–15 billion in property damage, leaving an estimated 300,000 people homeless. Immediately after the explosion, Hezbollah claimed it was due to 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate that had been stored at the site since 2013. The material can be used both as a fertilizer and to create bombs.

The German Die Welt newspaper published a report on Wednesday citing anonymous western intelligence sources who claimed that around this date, Hizballah took delivery of at least three shipments of ammonium nitrate from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Al Qods. Die Welt claimed to have seen invoices for the purchase, though it admitted there was no concrete evidence connecting Hezbollah to the material. The report did suggest that the Lebanese government’s failure to remove the dangerous material despite several official complaints was due to Hezbollah’s involvement. The report claimed the first delivery is believed to have taken place on July 16, 2013, and involved 270 tons of ammonium nitrate that was sent from Iran to Lebanon. The invoice was for €179,399. On October 23, 2013, the second delivery of 270 tons was delivered for €140,693. The amount of the third delivery could not be determined. Hezbollah is said to have paid a billion Iranian rials (around $70,000) for 670 tons of ammonium nitrate on April 4, 2014. The chemical was transported by both sea, air and land with the airfreight being transported by private Iranian airlines, many of which are sanctioned by the US government for their connections to terrorism.

The report added that some of the ammonium nitrate may have been intended to support Syrian President Bashar al Assad in his fight against rebels. Another intended use for the explosives may have been as part of a plan to infiltrate into northern Israel via tunnels and to carry out devastating attacks. Several terrorist tunnels from Lebanon were discovered by Israel last year.


Israel in the News