Hizbullah & French-Iranian Diplomacy in the 1980s.

Herein an excellent French documentary film aired on France 2 in December 2010 on the Lebanon hostage crisis between 1985 and 1988, providing a precious account on the secret diplomatic negotiations between France and the Islamic Republic of Iran during that time.

The report shows that the kidnappings were directly, if not exclusively, linked to two contentious affairs between the French and the Iranian states (the famous Eurodif affair, and the release of Iranian and pro-Iranian criminals such as Anis Naqqash), totally unrelated to the Lebanese crisis.

The Hizbullah of the 1980s appears here to be a pure pawn of Khomeiny’s Iran, half of his staff being Iranian and totally unacquainted with the Lebanese question, obediently executing the orders of Teheran. The Lebanization process of Hizbullah will only start years later, with its participation in the Parliamentary elections of 1992.

We also have an interesting story about Imad Mughnieh’s past (barely 23 years old back then), the man pulling the strings while staying in obscurity; and something to refresh our memory as to the random kidnapping and killing of Lebanese patriots of Jewish faith in 1985.

Enough words, let the witnesses speak. And I apologize to all my non-French speaking readers.

Further reading:

Ranstorp Magnus, Hizb’allah in Lebanon: The Politics of the Western Hostage Crisis, New York, St. Martins Press, 1997.

Lorentz Dominique, Secret atomique: La bombe iranienne ou la véritable histoire des otages français au Liban, Les Arènes, 2002.

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