*This article is part of a series of articles dealing with the structure of Hezbollah in general with the various councils and the executive council on its various civilian entities in particular (see introduction here).
The Council was founded in 1995. The Council’s functions are to provide political and governmental consulting to the Shura Council and maintain contact through designated branches with influential groups and opinion leaders from all walks of Lebanese politics, civilian power elements in Lebanon, and even with Hezbollah’s contacts throughout the Middle Eastern countries. The Council and its departments are engaged in the planning and maintenance of political programs, composing election campaigns, campaign planning, and establishing and maintaining political alliances. This is an advisory body only that does not make decisions.
Head of the Political Council, Ibrahim al- Amine al-Sayyid, was born in 1953. Al-Sayyid is a former member of Parliament, and he holds a Doctorate of Physics and Chemistry from the University of Orléans, France. Al-Sayyid is a cleric who studied in Qom. He has served as chairman of the Political-GovernmentalCouncil since 2001, replacing Mohammad Raad. He was a member of the Amal movement, and he served as a representative of the Amal movement in Iran but was persuaded by the Iranians to join Hezbollah.
Al-Sayed’s deputy is Mahmoud Kamati, a former minister of parliamentary affairs for Hezbollah, and also a liaison to the Christian parties. No sanctions are known against him.
The Council is made up of several dedicated-thematic divisions, the main ones of which are:
- The Islamic Parties Division – we do not know the director’s identity of this division.
- The National Party Division, headed by Bilal al-Laqees. No sanctions are known against him.
- The Christian Parties Division is headed by Mahmoud Kamati (who also serves as the Council’s deputy head, see above).
- The Palestinian Organizations Division is headed by Hassan Haballah. No sanctions are known against him.
- Relations with Arab States Division, headed by Hassan Izz al-Din and Mohammad Kuthrani. Hassan Izz al-Din is a member of the political party representing Hezbollah in the Lebanese parliament (the “Resistance Bloc”). Representative of the Tire Area. No sanctions are known against him.
Mohammad Kuthrani has dual Iraqi-Lebanese citizenship. Has several different names and dates of birth. Married to an Iraqi and considered an opponent of the Saddam Hussein regime and imprisoned. Was involved in numerous attacks against American forces in Iraq. There have been U.S. sanctions against him since 2013. There is a monetary reward from the U.S. for providing information about him.
- Relations with the International Community Division headed by Syed Ammar Al-Moussawi. No sanctions are known against him. For the past five years, he has met with ambassadors from Russia and Sweden and with a delegation from the European Parliament. His brother Jamil Almasawi was killed in the village of Meidoun in 1988 in a battle with the IDF.
- Women’s Affairs Division is headed by Rima Fakhri. Council member since 2004. Holds a degree in engineering from the American University of Beirut since 1990. Holds a master’s degree in international relations since 2016. Holds a doctorate with honors from January 2018. She is an enthusiastic supporter and works for women’s participation in elections and has received positive publicity from the UN in Lebanon.
- Relations with the Lebanese and International Media Division, headed by Mohammad Afif. No sanctions are known against him. Observed mainly at events in which many reporters participate and is expressed in matters of communication. In June 2021 he issued an official statement on behalf of Hezbollah in which he condemned the US blockade on websites related to the Iranian government. On “Shahid” Day in 2021, he appeared at a tribute event in the city of Tire in honor of all the field reporters affiliated with Hezbollah.
- The Private Sector Relations Division is headed by Hassan Hijazi. No sanctions are known against him. Deals with public relations and meetings with representatives of private companies in Lebanon while examining “collaborations” that are in fact fundraising. Observed in attendance at festive Iftar dinners with owners of various companies in the Lebanese economy. His deputy/assistant is Hussein Nasser. Another person who works closely with him is Hussein Hashem – head of the Hezbollah Bar Association.