Recap, Iran’s proxy drug empire, learning, geography, models, and more

Brief Look Back, drug proxy network discussion with Tsukerman, Schorr, and Hage 

May 7, 2021 
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This week, Republic Underground hosted an exclusive panel on the drug proxy network of Iran. The panel was moderated by Irina Tsukerman, media vice president at Timberwolf Phoenix LLC. Special guests included Captain (res) Eric Schorr, a former IDF intelligence officer, and Charbel Hage, a Lebanese activist with insider knowledge.

Tsukerman opened the panel and turned the floor over to Schorr. Shorr explained his background specifically investigating the Iran proxy network of drug trafficking in Latin America. He noted that IRGC-backed criminal proxy networking has collaborated with the Los Zetas cartel out of Mexico.

He noted that the criminal side of drug activity is funding the economic side of the proxy activity. He said that, while the panel was staged to highlight Yemen, he did not want to discount the importance of the Latin American drug aspect in terms of trafficking products. He noted that Iran and Hezbollah have had a “heavy” presence in Latin America over the last 20 years.

See the discussion that breaks down Iran’s drug empire in this recap of our live event. 

He summarized the Hezbollah model of IRGC export. He also gave some insights into Hezbollah’s bank and its financial aspects. He summarized the Hezbollah model of IRGC export. He also gave some insights into Hezbollah’s bank and its financial aspects. The government integrated Hezbollah with hopes to deradicalize them, for over a decade, said Hage, who noted that from 2010-2020 this created a national disaster. The opposite of the intended outcome happened, and Hezbollah became the major power player of the nation.

Tsukerman then asked Schorr for more information about the geographic profile of Hezbollah’s trafficking.

Tsukerman then asked Schorr for more information about the geographic profile of Hezbollah’s trafficking.

He noted that Iran had assisted Colombia by providing submarines for smuggling drugs at a great maritime depth. He stated that, as far as land trafficking, he would refer to his time in Israel and the impact that it had on the Israeli state based on his experience. He noted that Israel’s affected interests were important to the discussion because of the Israel-Lebanon border. Lebanon is the major trafficker of drugs into Israel, throwing packages over the border and collecting cash. He also stated that it could be turned “the other way around.” He stated also that Lebanon exploits the chaos of Syria and sneaks drugs through various other paths such as Jordan, Egypt.

The point is to exploit the lack of law enforcement and to exploit existing trade routes. He stated it could be as easy as driving it across the border, or as complex as smuggling it within food products. The primary point to note was that the groups were “very innovative” in the way in which they smuggled. He likewise noted that the criminal drug enterprises educate one another on an interegional basis, so that IRGC forces can learn from the Mexican cartels, and vice versa. An example is that tunnel-digging innovation was information shared between Hezbollah cartels and the Mexican cartels.

Hage then broke down the Hezbollah model, and how it worked. 

He noted that the enterprise is “complex” and manages to recycle funds. He stated the Hezbollah uses corruption. He states that Hezbollah is more prone to operate outside of areas where the rule of law is enforced. 

He broke down Hezbollah’s model into four demographics. 

  • Equip, organize, and train assassinations 
  • Organize political alliances and dominate a political scene
  • Takeover government departments and port of entry 
  • Exploit foreign reserves and “resistance economy” 

He noted that Hezbollah is not a typical cartel, but a militia, which has militarized training and weaponry. Hezbollah is known to come after U.S. servicemembers and any agent that acts against them. He stated that the Hezbollah model is quite unique. He noted that Hezbollah had organized political exploits in their native Lebanon as well as throughout Latin America, building alliances with political parties. He stated that they had an active influence in Venezuela. Likewise, he noted that Hezbollah has a strong growth model by seizing and taking over government departments, having taken over agriculture, telecoms, and other ministries in Lebanon and in counterparts in Iraq. Hezbollah uses the idea of building good faith in exchange not to order killings.