News / Middle East

Iran Condemns EU's Blacklisting of Hezbollah

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Iran condemned on Tuesday the European Union's decision to put the armed wing of Lebanese militant group Hezbollah on its terrorism blacklist and said the move was “contrary to all political and legal norms, surprising and unacceptable.”

Hezbollah was set up with the help of Iranian funds and military advisers some three decades ago and, along with Syria, is still Tehran's most important ally in the region, positioned as it is on the “frontline” with Iran's sworn enemy Israel.

Pressed by Britain and the Netherlands, the European Union blacklisted Hezbollah's military wing on Monday over accusations it was involved in a bus bombing in Bulgaria that killed five Israelis and their driver a year ago, and its deployment of thousands of fighters to help Syrian President Bashar al-Assad turn the tide of Syria's civil war.

Many EU capitals had previously resisted lobbying from Washington and Israel to blacklist the group, warning such a move could fuel instability in the Middle East, especially in Lebanon where Hezbollah is part of the Lebanese government and has dominated politics in Beirut in recent years.

“To label a resistance group, which has campaigned against invasion and occupation and has a legal presence with the people's support in the government of Lebanon, shows it is based on loose logical foundations,” Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said in a statement on the ministry website.

“This action was accomplished with the direction of some influential members of the European Union and is contrary to all political and legal norms, surprising and unacceptable,” he said.

Israel, which welcomed the EU decision, would be the main beneficiary, according to the Iranian foreign minister.

“This action will be to be benefit of the illegitimate Zionist regime and its supporters,” he said.

While there may be a softening of Iran's tone toward Israel once outgoing hardline Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is replaced with moderate President-elect Hassan Rouhani on August 4, Tehran's official hostility to the Jewish state is very unlikely to change.

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Comment Sorting
by: Anonymous
July 24, 2013 3:14 AM
Irans voice doesn't matter in the international community anyways, not after their behavior. Too bad for the Iranian people, they are great, it is just their government that is terrible. All Iranians I know dislike their government and wish it was different but can't do anything about it. They say someday they will overthrow their government , the same as in Syria.

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
July 23, 2013 2:05 PM
Resistance Movement that plants bombs and assassinate opposition even foreign lands? It really took quite a long time for Europe to wake up from sleep to do the right thing. With the foreign ministry in Tehran still toeing the same lines as Ahmadinejad carved out for the country, nothing seems likely to change even if Rouhani was called moderate. If Iran continues to make itself enemy of the world by remaining a terror sponsor, then the election victory of the moderates means nothing.

Iran must prove it wants to abandon terrorism and fueling of Arab and Islamic hatred of Israel as a shift from its old ways to be welcomed as a true democracy and lover of freedoms and rights of the people. If it continues in Ahmadinejad's ways and prove hatred for Israel, then there may be no way of proving to the West that such hatred will not be extended to it, if not immediately, some time sooner than later.

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