Germany Blacklists Iranian Proxy Hizbullah
German authorities have blacklisted the “political” wing of Iranian proxy Hizbullah, the major power broker in Lebanon that has been designated a terrorist group by numerous Western countries. Until now, Berlin had bifurcated between the organization’s political and military wings, a distinction that allowed an estimated 1,000-plus Hizbullah operatives to freely operate on German soil. A spokesman for Germany’s interior minister confirmed via social media that raids on Hizbullah assets were taking place in various locations across the country, and insisted that “even in times of [the coronavirus] crisis the rule of law can be upheld.” The German government has come under heavy pressure, foremost from the United States and Israel, to clamp down on Hizbullah, which continues to wage war on behalf on the Assad regime in Syria and is actively involved in training and directing the activities of other Iranian proxies in Middle Eastern countries such as Iraq and Yemen. Israel’s foreign minister welcomed the decision as a “very important step and a significant moral move in the global war against terrorism.” Israel Katz added that he was “confident” that Sunni regional states were supportive of the initiative and urged the European Union as a whole to follow suit. Brussels has banned Hizbullah’s military wing but not its political activities.