Strategic Intent: Iran Sets up Underground Rocket Factories in Lebanon

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Iran has reportedly built underground rocket factories in Lebanon.

Iran has established rocket factories in Lebanon that are under the full control of the Hezbollah terror group, a top Iranian general told a Kuwaiti newspaper.

Citing one of the deputy heads of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, the al-Jarida newspaper reported Monday that Iran in recent months has established factories for manufacturing both rockets and firearms in Lebanon.

The report came just days after Iran’s Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan, a former brigadier general in the IRGC, said Hezbollah is now capable of producing rockets that can hit any part of Israel. Dehghan offered no details of the new capabilities.

The new factories, said to be located underground, have reportedly been in operation for the past three months. …

The manufacturing sites are located some 50 meters (160 feet) underground, according to the report, and are protected by multiple layers of defenses from potential Israeli aerial bombardment. No facility produces rockets in their entirety; rather, each site produces separate parts that are then collected and assembled into complete rockets.

It’s a credible report.  The capability claimed is fully feasible.  Iran has been able to build and operate something like this for at least 30 years; doing it in Lebanon is a matter of access and resources, not know-how.

It’s by Obama’s hand that Iran has had access and resources.  The access bonanza came in the years since 2011, which opened a constantly-available route from Iran across Iraq and Syria, instead of by sea.  Iran used to have to try to deliver arms to Hezbollah by highly interdictable routes, where detection was almost guaranteed because surveillance was intensive, and Iran’s attempts were occasional.

The Arab Spring threw Syria into chaos, making outside surveillance a more difficult task.  It also served as the pretext for Iran to increase her force presence there tremendously.  The more traffic between the two countries, the more materiel Iran could sneak back and forth.  Obama never pushed back against this.

Once Obama pulled the U.S. strategic-level presence out of Iraq at the end of 2011, the intensity of quality surveillance there plummeted dramatically, and there was nothing to counteract the weak-hand posture of the ineffective Iraqi national government.  Iran quickly became able to simply exploit Iraqi airspace to get to and from Syria on a routine basis.  The only thing stopping Iran from using the main land route between Baghdad and the Syrian border was ISIS.  (Hence Iran’s interest in pushing ISIS westward through the Euphrates Corridor.)

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