Map of Lebanon showing a telecommunications network laid by an Iranian company for Hezbollah. The blue lines refer to the completed telecom lines and the green lines to the ones under construction. Source: www.asharqalawsat.com
The Lebanese Minister of Telecommunications accused an Iranian entity of constructing a telecommunications network to be specially geared for Hezbollah that extends across all Lebanon and allows the (Shi’ite) party to eavesdrop on the state’s telephone network.
“The Iranian Association Participation in Lebanon’s Reconstruction” is building the network construction-related operations, the minister said, hinting that Lebanon might bring the matter to the Arab League and the UN Security Council.
The lines extend in the South and the Bekaa regions, Beirut's southern suburb and is also deployed in the Kesrwan area that has a Christian majority, the minister said. A report by ministerial committee headed by the Defense Minister says the lines could be connected to the Syrian network.
Walid Jumblatt, the outspoken anti-Syrian and anti-Iranian progressive politician, accused Hezbollah of plotting an assassination attempt of a political person, and of trying to take control over the security at Beirut airport and secure the shipment of smuggled Iranian weapons through the airport. He demanded the dismissal of the airport security director - a Hezbollah associate, the expulsion of the Iranian ambassador to Lebanon and the prevention of Iranian aircrafts from landing at Beirut International Airport, Lebanon’s only airport.
In a news conference, Jumblatt also spoke about the telephone lines network that belongs to Hezbollah. Hezbollah responded without denying that it is constructing the network, but said that Jumblatt’s talk is kind of “News to the Enemy”.
Meanwhile, the Lebanese police arrested 4 Iranians in the vicinity of the Lebanese Forces Commander Samir Geagea, who belongs to the ruling coalition, and found cameras in their possessions that were taken for inspection. Later on, the Iranian embassy said that the Iranians are tourists who were wandering in Ma’rab streets “and enjoying its natural beauty”.
al-Sharq al-Awsat, London, May 4, 2008