- They called for a full ban of the organization, as there was no difference between the political body and the military arm.
- Germany completely banned any Hezbollah activity in its territory in May.
- Iran quickly condemned Germany's ban on Hezbollah, but Lebanon has remained silent.
In an open letter to the European Union, 236 lawmakers from Europe and the United States called on the EU Friday to impose a full ban on the Lebanese militant group and political party, Hezbollah, throughout its territory. The lawmakers said in their letter that banning Hezbollah’s military arm was not enough.
Lawmakers described Hezbollah as “the deadliest tool of the Iranian government,” that “poisons the violent and anti-Semitic ideology of those pluralistic societies.” They called for a full ban of the organization, as there was no difference between the political body and the military arm.
The European Union (EU) has banned “Hezbollah’s military arm” following a suicide bombing in Bulgaria in 2012 that killed six people.
Hezbollah “Terrorist Records”
The signatories of the letter referred to Hezbollah’s cooperation with Bashar al-Assad’s regime, and said that the “armed organization” was violating Security Council resolutions and sending weapons to Shiite militants in Yemen and Iraq.
The letter also emphasizes that Hezbollah is a particularly serious threat to Israel, and that it has “hidden about 150,000 missiles aimed at Israel.” According to the signatories, under the direction of Hezbollah, six people— five Israeli tourists, and their Bulgarian driver— were killed in a 2012 attack on a bus in Bulgaria.
Dozens of people were also killed in the bombing of a Jewish center (AMIA) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Germany completely banned any Hezbollah activity in its territory in May.
In response to Germany’s ban of Hezbollah, Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran, tweeted:
“Sellers of chemical weapons to Saddam have become human rights defenders, fearing of their child-killing friend, called Hezbollah, terrorist. ISIS did not reach Europe because it was stuck behind the walls of Resistance. The mask fell down the face of terrorism supporters.”
Prior to Shamkhani’s reaction, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi called the ban on Lebanese Hezbollah in Germany “disrespectful to the Lebanese government and people,” and a “complete recklessness” of the German government. He added that Hezbollah opposed ISIS.
Lebanon’s Silence about Hezbollah’s Publicity
Unlike Iran, which reacted immediately to Hezbollah’s ban in Germany, Lebanon has remained silent so far. Lebanese Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah did not mention his party’s ban in Germany.
The German Interior Ministry banned all Hezbollah-affiliated forces from operating in the country in May. German police raided rallies and mosques in several German states.
The offices of Hezbollah-affiliated associations in Berlin, Dortmund, Bremen, and Münster were also searched by police. German officials said the number of Hezbollah supporters and activists in the country reached 1,500.
The Reaction of the German Authorities
German Interior Ministry spokesman Steve Alter tweeted that Germany’s move to ban Hezbollah in Lebanon showed that the government was able to carry out its duties even in critical situations.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also said that Hezbollah does not recognize Israel’s right to exist, threatens violence and terror, and is developing its own missile systems.