Iran is utilizing European ports as a cover to smuggle weapons to Hezbollah, a report by The Telegraph has uncovered.

According to the British newspaper, Iran is engaging in a covert operation to smuggle weapons to Hezbollah, utilizing a sophisticated route that leverages both maritime and land pathways across multiple countries. The operation begins with the shipment of weapons from Iran to the Syrian port of Latakia. The route involves docking at major European ports in Belgium, Spain, and Italy, exploiting the busy nature of these ports to disguise the shipments. Once the shipments reach Latakia, they are then transported over land to Lebanon into Hezbollah’s waiting hands.

The report identifies five Iranian ships — Daisy, Kashan, Shiba, Arezoo, and Azargoun — that have been instrumental in this arms smuggling operation since the outbreak of the Gaza war in October.

The orchestration of these transfers is allegedly managed by Iran’s elite Quds Force Unit 190 and Hezbollah’s Unit 4400. The new route was chosen to avoid Israeli airstrikes targeting weapon shipments coming in by land into northern Syria via Iraq.

A senior Israeli intelligence officer fdescribes the operation as a continuous game of “cat and mouse” which has been going on for years.

“Using Europe helps to hide the nature and the source of the shipments, switching paperwork and containers to clean the shipments,” the source told the Telegraph.

“Europe has huge ports so Iran is using that as a camouflage. It’s very easy to do manipulations in those big ports where things have to get moved quickly, rather than a small port where there will be more scrutiny. It’s like a cat and mouse between us and the Iranians. They’re trying to smuggle and we’re trying to stop it. It’s been at least three years like this.”

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