Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah delivers a televised speech to Lebanese supporters in February. (Anwar Amro/AFP/Getty Images)

Hizbullah Seeks Donations to Make Up for Sanctions

Lebanon’s Hizbullah asked its supporters on Friday to donate funds to the group following increased pressure from Western sanctions. “I announce today that the resistance is in need of its popular base,” Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised speech, adding that donations were necessary to support the group’s activities. The United States designated the entirety of Hizbullah a terrorist organization in 1997 and has recently been increasing financial sanctions against it. On February 25, the United Kingdom followed suit, labeling the Iranian proxy a terrorist organization and criminalizing support with a prison sentence of up to 10 years. The European Union refers only to Hizbullah’s military wing as such. In the same speech, Nasrallah referred to the sanctions and listings as “a form of war,” saying “we should deal with them as such.” The heavily-armed group and its political allies won 71 of the Lebanese Parliament’s 128 seats in the May 2018 election and controls three of the country’s 30 ministries. The militant group, founded in 1982 by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, has expanded its influence in Lebanon and across the region, currently supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in that country’s civil war.

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