US House of Representatives Urges EU to designate Hezbollah in its entirety as terrorist
The US House of Representatives approved a resolution “urging the European Union to designate Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization.”
The draft proposed by Democratic and Republican representatives aims to pressure the EU to follow the US and include Hezbollah’s political wing in its terrorist lists.
The bill’s sponsor, Representative Ted Deutch, said: “Hezbollah is a proxy for Iran. It’s time for the EU to join the US, Germany, Argentina, the Arab League, and others in saying […] that it is one, a unified terrorist organization.”
Deutch said that the approval of the House of Representatives of this resolution sends an “important message to our European allies: more can and must be done to counter the Iranian proxy (Hezbollah), which begins with calling them what they are: a terrorist organization in its entirety that is committed to the destruction of our ally Israel and continues to undermine the values and interests of both US and Europe.”
The Rep. reiterated there is no difference between Hezbollah’s branches, and the military wing cannot be separated from the political wing.
The Democratic representative called on the European Union to stop allowing Hezbollah’s political wing to operate freely in some EU countries and join the United States in targeting the terrorist group and its global criminal networks.
For her part, Congresswoman Kathy Manning praised the bill, noting that Hezbollah is a “terrorist group responsible for thousands of civilian deaths, not just in the Middle East but around the globe.”
The MPs urged the European Union to impose sanctions on all wings of the party and share intelligence information with the United States to end the party’s influence in the region.
– The bill in details
The proposed draft resolution aims to obstruct Hezbollah’s fundraising efforts to finance its terrorist activities worldwide and seeks to reduce the support it enjoys aiming to weaken it.
It recalled the sanctions imposed by the Department of the Treasury in July 2019 on two Hezbollah-backed lawmakers, Amin Sherri and Mohammad Hasan Raad, noting that the party uses its operatives in parliament to advance its violent activities.
It referred to Hezbollah’s support to the Assad regime in Syria and the training it provides to thousands of militants in Iraq and Yemen, further destabilizing the region.
It also mentioned that Hezbollah activities continue to “plague Lebanon with profound economic and political instability and violence,” indicating that in August 2020, at least 220 people died and thousands more were injured when a massive stockpile of ammonium nitrate exploded in Beirut’s port.
The Department of the Treasury and Department of State estimate that Iran provides as much as $700 million annually to Hezbollah through financial and logistical support, weapons, and training.
The bill stated that Europol’s June 2020 European Union Terrorism Situation and Trend Report outlined that Hezbollah is “suspected of trafficking diamonds and drugs and of money laundering via the trade in second-hand cars.”