Iran denounces Britain for blacklisting Hezbollah

Iran’s foreign ministry says British government’s move to ban Hezbollah's political wing is “irresponsible”.

Elad Benari,

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah
Reuters

Iran’s foreign ministry on Saturday strongly condemned the British government’s move to ban the political wing of the Hezbollah terrorist organization, calling it “irresponsible”, according to The Associated Press.

The British government formally announced this past Monday that it intends to ban the political wing of the Hezbollah terror organization.

In a statement, the government said it would bring a proposal before Parliament to ban Hezbollah and two other radical Islamic organizations as terrorist groups.

On Saturday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said the “wrong move” will not serve stability and security in Lebanon and ignores the will of a “large portion” of the Lebanese people.

Ghasemi said the Lebanese people support Hezbollah, which “defends the territorial integrity of Lebanon and fights terrorism.”

The British move follows warnings by MPs that the UK had drawn a false distinction by proscribing Hezbollah’s military wing but not its political side.

This loophole in British law has allowed participants in the annual Al-Quds Day to march through central London to wave the Hezbollah flag, featuring an assault rifle.

In 2013, the European Union similarly blacklisted Hezbollah's “military wing” as a terrorist organization, while failing to blacklist the group’s political arm.

Members of Congress in the United States have urged the EU to designate all branches of Hezbollah as a terror group, after several Hezbollah parliamentarians in Lebanon were caught on camera calling for terror against Israelis.

Iran is a key supporter of Hezbollah. Last October, American and western intelligence sources said Iran was supplying Hezbollah with Global Positioning System (GPS) components to make previously unguided rockets into precision guided-missiles.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif recently met Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah during an official visit to Lebanon.




top