Bahram Qassemi

Iran condemns Britain’s blacklisting of Hezbollah

Tasnim – Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi strongly condemned a recent move by the British government to list Lebanon’s Hezbollah as a terrorist group and said the movement, which itself is a victim of terrorism, is highly popular in Lebanon.

“Currently, Hezbollah not only has a number of seats in the parliament, but also is present in the Lebanese cabinet, and is supported by a wide range of people in Lebanon and the region for its brilliant record of defending the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity against the Zionist regime’s occupation and aggression,” Qassemi said in a statement on Saturday.

“This move by Britain is tantamount to turning a blind eye to a large section of the Lebanese people and the legitimacy and legal position of Hezbollah in the Lebanese administrative and political structure,” he added.

Hezbollah, which itself has been a victim of “Takfiri-Zionist terrorism”, played a positive and effective role in preserving the territorial integrity of Lebanon over the past decades, and has been one of the pillars of the fight against terrorist groups like Daesh (ISIS or ISIS), the Iranian spokesman stated.

Earlier this week, the UK proscribed the Lebanese Shiite group’s political wing as a terrorist organization, after previously distinguishing it from its military branch.

Hezbollah said in a statement that the decision was motivated by “servile obedience to the US administration,” and said that “the British government is but a mere follower in service of its American master.”

“The British government has insulted the sentiments and the will of the Lebanese people by adopting this decision,” it added.