Hezbollah hit back against US condemnation of its role in Lebanon on Thursday, calling it a “violation of sovereignty”, after the United States expressed concern over the organization’s expanding influence.
After meeting Lebanon’s prime minister on Tuesday, the US ambassador said the United States was worried about the “growing role” in the cabinet of Hezbollah, an armed Shi’ite group backed by Iran and listed as a terrorist organization by Washington.
“The negative American position on Hezbollah, and which American ambassadors are eager to repeat after meeting any official in Lebanon, is rejected and condemned,” Hezbollah’s lawmakers said in a statement.
Violation of national sovereignty
They said US stance “violates national sovereignty and ignores a legitimate right in international law - the right to self defense and to resist every threat and aggression” and was biased towards “the terrorist entity” - a reference to Israel.
Hezbollah controls three of the 30 ministries in Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri’s new cabinet, the largest number it has ever held. They include the Health Ministry, which has the fourth-largest budget in the state.
Set up in 1982 by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Hezbollah last fought a major war with Israel, its life-long enemy, in 2006.
Its regional clout has expanded through deployments of fighters to other Mideast conflicts, including the war in neighboring Syria, where it has fought in support of President Bashar al-Assad.
Together with groups and individuals that see its arsenal as an asset to Lebanon, Hezbollah won more than 70 of the 128 seats in parliament in an election last year. Hariri lost more than a third of his MPs.
Hezbollah leader blasts Trump over fight against ISISThe leader of Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group is blasting President Donald Trump ahead of his expected declaration of victory against ISIS in ... Middle East
Hezbollah has active cells in Venezuela, says Pompeo in TV interviewUS Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Lebanese Hezbollah has active cells in Venezuela, in an interview with Fox Business channel on Wednesday. ... Middle East
US urges new Lebanese government to block HezbollahThe United States on Friday called on Lebanon to deprive Hezbollah of all official funds after the Shiite militant movement took a record three ... Middle East
Netanyahu warns Hezbollah chief of Israel’s ‘lethal’ powerIsrael’s prime minister warned the head of Lebanon’s Hezbollah of his army’s “lethal” power on Sunday, in reaction to ... Middle East