On Monday, July 26, U.S. Representative Ted Deutch, Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and Global Counterterrorism, along with eight other representatives introduced a resolution urging the European Union to fully designate Lebanese Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.
On July 26, @RepTedDeutch,@RepGusBilirakis,@RepKManning,@VoteMeijer introduced a resolution urging @coe to fully designate #Iran-backed #Hezbollah a terrorist organization.@ElectFrench,@RepTedLieu,@Schneider4IL10,@RitchieTorres,@RepAnnWagner,@RepJoeWilson sponsor the resolution. pic.twitter.com/IwEk5i65H3
— Iran News Update (@IranNewsUpdate1) July 29, 2021
According to Rep. Deutch, the resolution has been co-sponsored by Reps. Gus Bilirakis, Kathy Manning, Peter Meijer, French Hill, Ted Lieu, Bradley Schneider, Ritchie Torres, Ann Wagner, and Joe Wilson, Ranking Member of the Middle East, North Africa, and Global Counterterrorism Subcommittee.
They believe that Hezbollah does not have separate military and political arms because it is one organization, and the EU’s labeling of the ‘military wing’ as a terror group is an incomplete action. They called on EU leaders to follow the U.S., which makes no distinction between its branches and includes Hezbollah in its entirety on the U.S. Foreign Terrorists Organization list.
“I’m pleased that many European countries took action to designate Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization, as the Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council have also done. But we need the European Union to cease allowing Hezbollah’s so-called political wing to freely operate by joining us in fully targeting this terrorist group and its global criminal network,” said Rep. Deutch.
“It is critical for members of the EU to designate the entire Hezbollah regime as a terrorist organization. This designation will make it more difficult for Hezbollah to raise money to fund its terrorist activities around the globe. Additionally, it will hopefully weaken the organization’s support and eventually render it obsolete,” said Rep. Bilirakis.
“Hezbollah is a terrorist organization, responsible for thousands of civilian deaths in the Middle East and around the globe. Their impact on the disintegration of Lebanon has been devastating; they amplify the destructive influence of Iran, and they pose a danger to the entire region,” Rep. Manning said.
“The European Union’s distinction between Hezbollah’s ‘military’ and ‘political’ wing is both dishonest and does little to address its fundraising and recruitment efforts. This resolution urges the EU to recognize the reality that Hezbollah—in its entirety—is a terrorist organization and takes steps to better combat its nefarious operations around the world,” said Rep. Meijer.
Since its establishment in 1985, Hezbollah has acted as an instrument for Iran’s ayatollahs to extend their influence in Lebanon and its neighboring countries. Furthermore, Tehran employed Hezbollah agents for terror activities on European soil. For instance, the organization was recruited by the Iranian embassy in Buenos Aires to bomb the AMIA building in July 1994.
Also, the Lebanese Hezbollah was managing a massive network of drug smuggling dubbed Project Cassandra, which was funneling cocaine into the EU and U.S., according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
The organization is also a threat to the people of Lebanon. To fulfill the ayatollahs’ regional ambitions, Hezbollah receives around $700 million every year, according to Amb. Nathan Sales, the former U.S. Coordinator for Counterterrorism.
On August 5, 2020, Beirut was shocked by an immense blast, leading to hundreds of deaths and many more injuries. Several parts of the Lebanese capital were completely destroyed, and an atmosphere of fear and horrify swept the country and the people.
Following investigations, it was revealed that the blast was due to the insecure accumulation of several tons of ammonium nitrate by Hezbollah. The group had reportedly stockpiled this toxic material for a possible attack on Israel. However, the people of Lebanon practically paid the price of Hezbollah’s loyalty to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The blast prompted many reactions inside the country and abroad. Even Subhi al-Tufaily, the first secretary-general of Hezbollah, slammed Hassan Nasrallah, the current secretary-general, for destroying the country.
“Today, Hezbollah Secretary-General is above the Lebanese President, Parliament Speaker, and Prime Minister. He is the key man in Lebanon, and [Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei is behind him… They argue that these are weapons for the ‘Resistance.’ This is not the Resistance. There has been no resistance since 2000… They are destroying Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Lebanon. These weapons blew up Beirut,” he said.
Listen to Subhi al-Tufaily, the first secretary-general of Lebanese #Hezbollah. "Nasrallah is the real ruler of #Lebanon, Hezbollah's weapons destroyed #Syria, #Iraq, #Yemen, #Lebanon and blew up #Beirut," he said.#Iran regime funds Hezbollah by $700M per year.#HezbollahMustGo pic.twitter.com/xAFRIrvojd
— Iran News Update (@IranNewsUpdate1) August 10, 2020
Notably, in June 2016, Nasrallah had ‘transparently’ admitted, “We are open about the fact that Hezbollah’s budget, its income, its expenses, everything it eats and drinks, its weapons, and rockets, are from the Islamic Republic of Iran.”