U.S. President Barack Obama demanded Thursday that foreign governments blacklist Hezbollah as a “terrorist organization," slamming the Shiite Lebanese militia for attacks on Israelis.
“Every country that values justice should call Hezbollah what it truly is -- a terrorist organization,” the U.S. president said in remarks aimed at the European Union, which has declined to put the group on a blacklist of terrorist movements.
Obama added that the “world cannot tolerate an organization that murders innocent civilians, stockpiles rockets to shoot at cities, and supports the massacre of men, women and children in Syria.”
Obama also issued a new call for Hezbollah’s embattled ally Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to leave power amid a bloody uprising that has claimed an estimated 100,000 lives.
“The fact that Hezbollah’s ally – the Assad regime – has stockpiles of chemical weapons only heightens the urgency. We will continue to cooperate closely to guard against that danger.” Obama said.
“I have made it clear to Bashar al-Assad and all who follow his orders: we will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people or the transfer of these weapons to terrorists. The world is watching, and we will hold you accountable,” he added.
The U.S. president used his speech in Jerusalem to seek to bolster a sense of security among Israelis, and to touch on regional turmoil raging around the Jewish state.
“When I consider Israel’s security, I also think about a people who have a living memory of the Holocaust, faced with the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iranian government that has called for Israel’s destruction,” Obama said.
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