EU 'Succumbed' to U.S., Israeli Pressure, Hezbollah Says

Iran also condemns the decision to blacklist the group's military wing, saying 'this action will benefit the illegitimate Zionist regime and its supporters.'

Jack Khoury
Reuters
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Jack Khoury
Reuters

Hezbollah on Tuesday accused the European Union of succumbing to "American and Israeli dictates" in deciding to blacklist the Lebanese organization's military wing.

The EU decision is a poor reflection of the "values of freedom and justice" shared by the countries of Europe, Hezbollah said in an official statement, adding that some countries did not agree with the move.

"The words [of the decision] look like they were written in the United States with Israeli ink and the Europeans only signed it," the statement said.

Hezbollah also said it believes the EU decision wouldn't accomplish anything, but rather lead to hostility against the union.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah's main supporter, Iran, also condemned the EU decision on Tuesday, calling it "contrary to all political and legal norms, surprising and unacceptable."

"To label a resistance group which has campaigned against invasion and occupation and has a legal presence with the people's support in the government of Lebanon shows it is based on loose logical foundations," Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said in a statement on the ministry website.

"This action was accomplished with the direction of some influential members of the European Union and is contrary to all political and legal norms, surprising and unacceptable," he said.

"This action will be to be benefit of the illegitimate Zionist regime and its supporters."

Hezbollah was set up with the help of Iranian funds and military advisers some three decades ago and, along with Syria, is still Tehran's most important ally in the region, positioned as it is on the "frontline" with Iran's sworn enemy Israel.

Pressed by Britain and the Netherlands, the European Union blacklisted Hezbollah's military wing on Monday over accusations it was involved in a bus bombing in Bulgaria that killed five Israelis and their driver a year ago, and its deployment of thousands of fighters to help Syrian President Bashar Assad turn the tide of Syria's civil war.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah is seen speaking on a giant screen from a secret location, as supporters wave Hezbollah flags, in the southern border town of Bint Jbeil, Lebanon, May 25, 2012. Credit: AP