Guardian | December 5, 2010
by Ian Black

Cable exposes deep regional and international concerns about volatile situation in Lebanon following 2006 war

Lebanon’s western-backed government warned its friends that “Iran telecom” was taking over the country two years ago when it uncovered a secret communications network across the country used by Hezbollah, according to a US state department cable.

The discovery in April 2008 came against a background of mounting tensions between the Beirut government and the Iranian-backed Shia organisation, which escalated into street fighting in the capital just weeks later.

The US document, classified secret/noforn (not for foreign eyes) exposes deep regional and international concerns about the volatile situation in Lebanon amid fears of a new clash with Israel following the 2006 war.

Information on the Hezbollah fibre optics network, allegedly financed by Iran, was immediately passed to the US, Saudi Arabia and others by Lebanese ministers. The French president, Nicolas Sarkozy was “stunned” by the discovery, the US embassy reported.

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