Iran condemns Britain for listing ally Hezbollah as ‘terrorist’ group

The Lebanese Hezbollah group has strongly rejected the British government's move to ban the group as a terrorist organization.(AP)
Updated 02 March 2019
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Iran condemns Britain for listing ally Hezbollah as ‘terrorist’ group

  • Britain said on Monday it planned to ban all wings of Hezbollah
  • Hezbollah’s influence has expanded at home and in the region

DUBAI: Iran criticized Britain for its decision to list Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, saying on Saturday it ignored both the will of a large portion of the Lebanese people and the Tehran-backed group’s role in fighting Daesh.
Britain said on Monday it planned to ban all wings of Hezbollah, which is deemed a terrorist organization by Washington, due to its destabilising influence in the Middle East, having previously proscribed its external security unit and its military wing.
“This British measure signifies deliberately ignoring a large part of the Lebanese people and the legitimacy and the legal position of Hezbollah in Lebanon’s administrative and political structure,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA.
Long the most powerful group in Lebanon, Hezbollah’s influence has expanded at home and in the region. It controls three of 30 ministries in the government led by Western-backed Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri, the largest number ever.
“In addition to ... helping preserve Lebanon’s territorial integrity over recent decades, Hezbollah has been one of the pillars of the fight against terrorism and terrorist groups such as Daesh in the region,” Qasemi added.
Iran and Hezbollah, founded in 1982 by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, are major players in the war in Syria and the fight against militant groups opposed to President Bashar Assad, which include Daesh.


US deploys 1,500 more troops to Middle East as Pentagon blames Iran's guards for tanker attacks

Updated 10 min 48 sec ago
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US deploys 1,500 more troops to Middle East as Pentagon blames Iran's guards for tanker attacks

  • Donald Trump says the additional troops would serve a 'mostly protective' role
  • The US began reinforcing its presence in the Arabian Gulf region earlier this month

WASHINGTON:  Donald Trump said Friday the US will send 1,500 extra troops to the Middle East in a "mostly protective role" amid heightened tensions with Iran.

"We want to have protection in the Middle East. We're going to be sending a relatively small number of troops, mostly protective," Trump said as he left the White House for a trip to Japan.
"Some very talented people are going to the Middle East right now. And we'll see what happens."

Officials said earlier that members of Congress were notified following a White House meeting Thursday to discuss Pentagon proposals to bolster the US force presence in the Middle East.
Earlier this week, officials had said that Pentagon planners had outlined plans that could have sent up to 10,000 military reinforcements to the region. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan later said planners had not settled on a figure.
The US began reinforcing its presence in the Arabian Gulf region this month in response to what it said was a threat from Iran.

More to follow...