US welcomes Latvia’s decision to designate Lebanon’s Hezbollah as terrorist group

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The United States Monday praised Latvia’s decision to consider Lebanon’s Hezbollah as a terrorist organization in its entirety.

“Latvia supports US implementation of sanctions related to Hezbollah and has expressed a readiness to place national travel bans on individuals associated with Hezbollah,” said Cale Brown, Principal Deputy Spokesperson at the US State Department.

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An increasing number of European countries, as well as Latin American countries, have followed the trend of designating Hezbollah as a terrorist organization in recent months with the Trump administration’s maximum pressure campaign on Iran and its proxies.

“The continued announcements by countries in Europe, Latin America, and other regions of actions against the terrorist organization send a strong message to Hezbollah and its backers in Iran that a new day is coming,” Brown said.

He added: “On this new day, Hezbollah operatives will no longer be able to operate from European soil, and the European Union will follow the lead of a number of European governments by closing the loopholes opened up by the false distinction between Hezbollah’s so-called military and political wings.”

France is among the few major European nations that differentiate between what it says are Hezbollah’s political and military wings.

Washington has pushed France to change its position on the Lebanon-based group but to no avail.

“The simple fact is that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization, root and branch,” Brown said.

Hezbollah was formed in Lebanon in 1982, by the Iranian regime, in an effort to counter Israeli gains in the tiny Mediterranean country.

Hezbollah has continuously increased its capabilities to attack Israel and its political influence in Lebanon, where it is one of the few non-state actors that continue to possess weapons outside of the government’s control.

It has also spread its military interventions in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

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