Hezbollah supporters
Hezbollah supporters Reuters

Germany will not follow Britain’s lead in declaring Hezbollah a terrorist organization, a senior official was quoted as saying on Friday, according to Reuters.

German Minister of State Niels Annen reportedly told the weekly news magazine Der Spiegel that the Shiite Muslim organization remained a relevant factor in Lebanese society and the European Union had already added its military wing to a list of proscribed groups in 2013.

Britain announced on February 25 it would seek to make membership of the group or inviting support for it a crime.

The British move followed 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.

Hezbollah, which is backed by Iran, has a strong presence both militarily and in Lebanon’s parliament, where it is a main partner in the recently formed Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

Annen, who spoke to Der Spiegel after a visit to Lebanon, said Germany was interested in Lebanese stability and Britain’s decision would have no direct impact on the position of Germany or the European Union.

Britain’s move to blacklist Hezbollah’s political wing was welcomed by the United States and by Israel. Iran, not surprisingly, strongly condemned the move, calling it “irresponsible”.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)