Hegemonic powers behind labeling Hezbollah terrorist body: Iran
A senior Iranian official says hegemonic powers and reactionary countries in the Middle East are behind the branding of Lebanon’s resistance movement, Hezbollah, as a terrorist organization by some Arab states.
In a meeting with Syrian ulema in Tehran on Saturday, Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, said Muslims and Arabs are proud of Hezbollah.
“While intellectual affiliation and origin of regional extremists, terrorists and Takfiris are quite obvious, we are witnessing that [in a move] led by certain colonial powers and supported by some regional reactionary regime, Hezbollah, which is the symbol of resistance and a source of honor for the Muslim and Arab world, is introduced a terrorist group,” Velayati said.
He emphasized that all enemies’ plots would be thwarted in the region.
At a meeting of the Arab League’s foreign ministers in Cairo on Friday, the group declared Hezbollah a terrorist organization. The measure was approved by a majority of the Arab League ministers except those from Lebanon and Iraq.
The decision came after the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council officially added Hezbollah to its so-called list of “terrorist” organizations on March 2. The GCC comprises Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait.
The move by the six-nation Arab bloc came days after Riyadh halted USD 4bn in aid to Lebanese security forces. The decision came following recent victories by the Syrian army, backed by Hezbollah fighters, against Takfiri militants fighting to topple the Damascus government.
Algeria refused to classify the movement as a terrorist organization. Palestinian resistance movement, Islamic Jihad, also praised Hezbollah as a resistance movement, which has a history in the struggle against the Zionist entity as well as in supporting the Palestinian cause. Iran, Syria and Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement have also slammed the move by the GCC.
Velayati further said that terrorist and extremist groups are not confined to the region, stressing that they can also jeopardize stability and peace of all world countries, including their supporters.
He warned of enemies’ plots to create chaos and discord in the Muslim world and added that Iran has always made efforts to help maintain unity among Shia and Sunni Muslims.
Pointing to the latest developments in Syria, the Leader’s adviser said only the Syrian people must make a decision about their country’s future without any foreign interference.
He expressed hope that the Syrian nation and government would emerge victorious.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. According to a February report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders. However, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the war has left around 270,000 people dead.