HomeAFPHezbollah slams Australia’s ‘terrorist’ listing

Hezbollah slams Australia’s ‘terrorist’ listing

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Lebanon’s Shiite militant movement Hezbollah denounced Australia’s decision Wednesday to list the whole group as a “terrorist organisation”, accusing Canberra of bowing to US and Israeli demands.

Hezbollah has long been targeted by US sanctions and blacklisted by the US and Israel as a “terrorist” organisation, but the Iran-backed group is also a powerful political player, with seats in Lebanon’s parliament.

Countries have avoided sanctioning the group’s political wing, fearing such a move could hamper relations with Lebanese authorities or contribute to destabilising the country.

Hezbollah in a statement “strongly denounced the Australian authorities’ decision”, saying it was “a humiliating submission to American and Zionist diktats” and served Israeli interests.

Australia’s move extended a pre-existing ban on the Shiite group’s armed wing.

The “decision and those that have preceded it will not affect Hezbollah’s position and its right to resistance”, the statement said.

Hezbollah was founded in the 1980s to fight Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon and has grown into Iran’s main regional proxy, with operatives in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

The only Lebanese faction to have kept its weapons after the 1975-1990 civil war, Hezbollah has a more powerful arsenal than the Lebanese national army.

It emphasises the movement’s role of “resistance” against Israel and says its role is to defend Lebanon.

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