Hezbollah is an indigenous Lebanese armed resistance group that owes its popularity to Israeli atrocities, biased American policies, and corrupt Lebanese politicians. It was created in the early 1980's and, before the 2006 Israeli attack on Lebanon, was given millions of dollars of cash, medicine, and arms by Iran, its most vocal supporter. However, Hezbollah is not an Iranian proxy; it makes its decisions independently. Iran no longer helps Hezbollah overtly, to avoid direct confrontation with Israel and the USA.
-- NYT Op Ed piece, 8/24/06, by Maziar Bahari