Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has censured the European Union over its decision to put the military wing of Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah on its terrorist blacklist.
“This purposeful move, which was made under the pressure of certain EU members, runs contrary to all political and legal principles, and is shocking and unacceptable,” Salehi said late on Monday.
He added, “Labeling a resistance group, which has fought against aggression and invasion and has a lawful and popular presence in Lebanon’s politics and government, as terrorist indicates the unsound logical basis of the action.”
The Iranian foreign minister went on to say that EU foreign ministers believe they can influence the Middle East developments through their decision despite the fact that they have adopted a wrong approach as a result of incorrect analyses of the crises and their double standards.
Salehi noted that the Islamic Republic of Iran strongly condemns the latest EU decision against Hezbollah, and thinks that such a move will not change the popular and righteous nature of the Lebanese resistance movement.
He underlined that the EU move is certainly in line with the illegitimate interests of Israel, and has been made under pressure from Tel Aviv’s European allies.
“This action is somehow an act against the respectable and resistant Lebanese nation, because Hezbollah is a resistance force, which has its roots in the Lebanese society and is widely respected and honored by various Lebanese tribes,” Salehi said.
On Monday, EU foreign ministers added Hezbollah’s military wing to their list of “terrorist organizations.”
Lebanese President Michel Sleiman expressed hope that EU could reconsider its decision against Hezbollah.
“We hope the EU reconsiders its decision out of its keenness not to take hasty decisions, to preserve Lebanon’s stability,” Sleiman told EU Ambassador to Lebanon Angelina Eichhorst.
Prime Minister Najib Mikati said Lebanon regrets the decision to blacklist Hezbollah’s armed wing, but said Beirut will maintain its relations with EU members.
“We will follow up on the issue through diplomatic channels, while we wish the EU countries had carried out a careful reading of the facts and sought out more information,” Mikati said.