Iran’s newly appointed defense minister, Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan, has links to the 1983 U.S. Marine barracks terrorist attack in Beirut that killed 199 American and French servicemen, says an Israeli think tank.
According to the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA), Dehghan, who has spent his entire military career in Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards, was sent to Lebanon in the early 1980s to help organize and train Shi’a militia units that would become known as Hezbollah. Part of his mission was to establish Iranian control over Hezbollah through the creation of a central command center.
According to JCPA’s Dr. Shimon Shapira, “It was from this headquarters that Iran controlled Hizbullah’s military force and planned, along with Hizbullah, the terror attacks on the Beirut-based Multinational Force and against IDF forces in Lebanon.”
“The order to carry out the attacks was transmitted, and the funding and operational training provided, with the help of the Revolutionary Guard in Lebanon under the command of Hossein Dehghan,” Shapira wrote for JCPA.
Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, has called for direct talks with the United States regarding the Iran nuclear program. But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called such talks a ploy for Iran to continue to enrich uranium.