Europe

Hezbollah Politicians Threaten E.U. With Retaliation Over Blacklisting Decision

Hezbollah and Hezbollah-linked officials are reacting poorly to the European Union’s decision, made yesterday, to blacklist what the E.U. calls the group’s ‘military wing’ as a terrorist organization. Lebanon’s sitting, Hezbollah-affiliated foreign minister, Adnan Mansour, had already pointedly brought up the matter of E.U. contributions to the U.N. peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon (UNIFIL). Fear that Hezbollah would retaliate against those troops had contributed to the reluctance of E.U. nations to take action against the Iran-backed terror group.

Mansour wanted to remind the bloc of the issue:

Caretaker Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour told As-Safir that he personally believes Hezbollah will not be blacklisted despite the tremendous pressure exerted by the United States, Great Britain, France and the pro-Israel lobby.

Minister Mansour said some countries still have reservations on the matter with UNIFIL contributors more likely than others to review their calculations. Minister Mansour revealed that such a decision would embarrass the Lebanese state and that some Lebanese politicians intentionally colluded with European and foreign ambassadors in order to blacklist Hezbollah.

As if by way of emphasis, Hezbollah yesterday took action against UNIFIL forces:

 

Other Hezbollah-affiliated politicians were more explicit:

Hezbollah member of Parliament Walid Sukkarieh told reporters: “Hezbollah isn’t a terrorist group with plans to commit acts of terror in Europe – that is religiously forbidden. Our resistance is different.” “Europe, by taking this decision, puts itself into confrontation with a segment of people – with Hezbollah and its supporters and even all the forces of confrontation in the region,” Sukkarieh continued.

The moves and threats were not lost on Lebanon observers:

 

Badran’s reference was to the E.U.’s decision to only blacklist Hezbollah’s military wing, leaving its political wing as a legitimate organization. The distinction has been rejected as meaningless by Hezbollah officials and the U.S. intelligence community.

[Photo: Giorgio Montersino / Flickr]