Arab nations are growing more united in their opposition to Hezbollah, and Iran isn’t happy about it. An influential collection of six Arab nations, known as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), voted last week to designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization according to The Jerusalem Post. And one of the leaders of those nations, King Hamad bin Isa al Khalifa of Bahrain, reportedly wants the 22-nation Arab League to take the same approach. The article said the GCC terrorist designation could pave the way for sanctions on the Lebanese group.
Not surprisingly, Iran was furious about the GCC decision. The Fars News Agency quoted an Iranian military leader as calling the decision “ill-advised” while boasting that the move would have limited effect. “Despite efforts by the House of Saud and its regional and trans-regional allies, Hezbollah’s deep-seated position will remain intact. It will not shift the balance of power in the region,” said Iranian Armed Forces Chief of Staff Major General Hassan Firouzabadi in the Fars report. A spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry also slammed the GCC move, while a key American lawmaker lauded it.
“I am glad GCC nations are stepping up efforts to combat Hezbollah,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce said in a press release. “We cannot allow these terrorists, flush with cash from an emboldened Iran, to increase aid to Shia militias in Iraq and Yemen or strengthen efforts to prop up the murderous Assad regime in Syria.”
Hezbollah has long fought the West and Israel inside and outside Lebanon, include terror attacks in European Union nations, South America, and plots in other nations. They have fought a major war with Israel in the last decade and more recently have been a critical force supporting the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria’s civil war. Hezbollah has also long been supported by Iran and acted as Iran’s proxy as a result.
Last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu highlighted Iran’s support for terror, including Hezbollah. “Iran, even after the nuclear agreement, is continuing to aid terrorism, including Palestinian terrorism, Hezbollah terrorism and its assistance to Hamas,” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office. “This is something that the nations of the world must confront and condemn and assist Israel—and other countries, of course—in repelling.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, March 6, 2016)