UK authorities put all Hezbollah branches on terrorism watchlist
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The British Finance Ministry on Friday announced it had added all of Hezbollah’s branches to its terrorism watchlist, thus subjecting the group to asset freezing.
Established in 1982 by Iran as its proxy in Lebanon, Hezbollah has been designated as a terrorist group by several western countries, including the US, the UK, Canada, Argentina, Paraguay, and Israel, as well as Arab League member Bahrain. Some countries, such as Australia, France, and Germany, only classify Hezbollah’s military wing as a terrorist organization.
The UK Treasury states that the Iranian-backed group had “publicly denied a distinction between its military and political wings. The group in its entirety is assessed to be concerned in terrorism and was proscribed as a terrorist organization in the UK in March 2019.
“This listing includes the Military Wing, the Jihad Council and all units reporting to it, including the External Security Organization,” the statement said.
Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz lauded the decision.
“I applaud the British government for its decision to include all Hezbollah organizations, including the political echelon – under the legislation that allows freezing all of its assets as a terrorist organization,” Katz said on Twitter.
“This is a great achievement for the State of Israel in the fight against Iran and its proxies in the region, mainly Hezbollah.”
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan also welcomed the move, tweeting, “Hezbollah and its Iranian backers are behind numerous attacks which have murdered innocent civilians all over the world. Europe is waking up to Iran’s terrorist activities and their murderous proxies.”
Erdan further urged the EU and others to follow London’s example.
“Hezbollah and its Iranian backers are behind numerous attacks which have murdered innocent civilians all over the world. I call on the EU and all governments which have not yet designated Hezbollah in its entirety a terrorist organization to do so without delay,” he said.”
Brian Hook, the US special representative for Iran, said the United States was “very pleased” with the UK’s decision, adding that it had long been seeking such a move from European allies.
“We would like to congratulate the United Kingdom. There is no distinction between Hezbollah’s political arm and its military arm,” he told reporters in Washington
Britain currently proscribes 75 international terrorist organizations under terrorism legislation passed in 2000.
Source: Israel Hayom