U.S bill looks to block all aid to Hezbollah-controlled government

Hezbollah was first designated by the U.S as a terrorist organization in 1995 and the western power has been adamant that no differentiation should be made between its political and military wing.
by Georgi Azar

15 May 2020 | 10:52

Source: by Annahar

  • by Georgi Azar
  • Source: Annahar
  • Last update: 15 May 2020 | 10:52

A file photo of U.S Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas (AP)

BEIRUT: A U.S senator introduced this week a bill to prohibit United States Government assistance to any Lebanese government that is influenced or controlled by Hezbollah.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Ted Cruz [R-TX], has been referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.

To become law, the bill should pass the Senate and House before making its way to President Donald Trump's office for his signature. 

Hezbollah was first designated by the U.S as a terrorist organization in 1995 and the western power has been adamant that no differentiation should be made between its political and military wing.

The European Union put the armed wing of Hezbollah on its terrorism blacklist in 2013, due to Hezbollah’s alleged role in blowing up an Israeli tour bus in Bulgaria. But unlike the United States, European countries had until now differentiated between the group’s military and political wings.

Germany, the U.K and Holland have all broken rank in recent years, designating the entire group as a terrorist group and banning all its activities. 

Last month, Germany became the latest European country to ban the Iranian-backed Hezbollah on its soil while police conducted early morning raids to detain suspected members of the Lebanese group. 

"The activities of Hezbollah violate criminal law and the organization opposes the concept of international understanding," the German interior ministry said in a statement.

The ban prohibits any gatherings or publications promoting the group while their assets can now be confiscated. 

Months earlier, the U.K also announced that it classified the Iranian-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah as a terrorist organization in a move that will freeze the group's assets in Britain.

Lebanon's current Prime Minister Hassan Diab formed earlier this year a 20-member government after ceding to the demands of his backers by adding two posts for the Marada Movement, allies of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah.

The government is mostly entirely backed by Hezbollah and its Christian allies the Free Patriotic Movement, headed by the President's son-in-law Gebran Bassil. 

Reeling under a financial, monetary and banking crisis, the small Mediterranean country kicked off discussions this week with The International Monetary Fund as it seeks some $10 billion of aid to limit its freefall. 

Show Comments

An-Nahar is not responsible for the comments that users post below. We kindly ask you to keep this space a clean and respectful forum for discussion.