British Parliament Votes To Fully Blacklist Iranian-backed Hizbullah
Britain’s parliament voted to fully designate Lebanon-based Hizbullah a terrorist group, breaking with many other European countries that differentiate between the Iranian proxy’s so-called political and military wings. Notably, the Labour Party allowed its lawmakers to vote with their conscience, claiming there is “not sufficient evidence” that the organization meets proscription criteria. Labour head Jeremy Corbyn previously referred to members of Hizbullah and Hamas as his “friends” and accused the British home secretary of taking the decision based on “leadership ambitions.” By contrast, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt stressed that “it is clear the distinction between Hizbullah’s military and political wings does not exist,” a position long held by the Israeli government. Hizbullah has come under increasing scrutiny after making major gains in Lebanon’s elections last May, which the terror group used as a springboard to greater influence in the cabinet. Hizbullah and its political allies now control the finance and health ministries, which has raised Western concern that state funds could be diverted towards terror purposes.