Middle East

Iran condemns German ban on Hezbollah, warns of consequences

A day after Germany designated Hezbollah a terrorist organization, Iran has “strongly condemned” the move and threatened Germany with consequences. They accused Germany of pandering to the US and Israel.

Iran slammed Germany’s ban on the activities of Lebanon’s Hezbollah on Friday. The Iranian foreign ministry warned that Germany would face the consequences of its decision to give in to the wishes of the US and Israel.

German authorities designated Hezbollah a “Shiite terrorist organization” and banned its activity on German soil on Thursday. Police conducted four raids linked to the Islamist group.

Iranian government spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi “vehemently condemned” the move in a statement published early on Friday morning. The foreign ministry described it as a “measure serving the objectives of the US and the Zionist regime of Israel,” on Twitter.

The foreign ministry statement also says the ban “ignores the realities in West Asia,” and claimed that Hezbollah “is a formal and legitimate part of [Lebanon]’s government and parliament” and has played a “key role in fighting Daesh [the so-called Islamic State] terrorism in the region.”

Why did Germany ban Hezbollah?

“Hezbollah openly calls for the violent elimination of the State of Israel and questions the right of the State of Israel to exist,” the German interior ministry said in Thursday’s statement.

The US and Israel have long designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. They have both welcomed the move.

On Friday morning, shortly before Iran’s response, Syria reported that Israel has targeted Hezbollah outposts in Syria, with potential casualties and disruption.

Hezbollah is a Shia Islamist political party and militant group in Lebanon, with close ties to Iran. Established during the Lebanese civil war in 1982, the group was key in a 2006 war with Israel.

Germany, following the European Union’s example, has outlawed only the military wing of the group. The political wing remains allowed in Germany.


Image: (Reuters/H. Hanschke)

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