Argentina moves closer to blacklisting Hezbollah

Argentina creates public registry of persons and entities connected to acts of terrorism, expected to add Hezbollah to it.

Elad Benari ,

Hezbollah supporters
Hezbollah supporters

Argentina took a step closer to declaring Hezbollah a terrorist group, JTA reported on Wednesday.

The government announced Tuesday that it was creating “a public registry of persons and entities connected to acts of terrorism and its financing.”

While neither Hezbollah nor any other group or person being considered for blacklisting are listed, Security Minister Patricia Bullrich indicated that Hezbollah will be added.

The announcement came two days before the 25th anniversary of the deadly bombing of the AMIA Jewish center that Argentina and other countries say was carried out by Hezbollah.

President Mauricio Macri said last week that Argentina will consider Hezbollah a terrorist organization.

Hezbollah, which is a proxy of Iran, has long been linked to the 1992 attack on the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, which killed 29 people, and the 1994 AMIA attack that killed 85.

The Iranians are accused of ordering Hezbollah to carry out the AMIA bombing, which was the deadliest terror attack in the South American country's history.

Argentine investigators accuse five former Iranian former officials, including ex-president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, of orchestrating the July 18, 1994 car bombing.

Iran denies involvement and has repeatedly rejected Argentine demands for the accused to testify.

The Argentine government and judiciary had been using the UN Security Council registry, which does not include Hezbollah. The United States considers Hezbollah a terrorist organization, even though members of its political wing serve in the Lebanese government.

“The decree allows for organizations that attacked in Argentina, like Hezbollah, and are not on the lists of the United Nations to be considered by us as terrorists because they perpetrated an attack on our national territory,” the news site Clarin quotes Bullrich as saying.

The move to blacklist Hezbollah came several days after the US imposed sanctions for the first time on Lebanese lawmakers who are affiliated with Hezbollah.