Britain freezes Hezbollah’s assets following ‘terror’ designation

Palestinian militants of the Islamist movement Hamas' military wing Al-Qassam Brigades, attend the funeral of seven Palestinians, killed during an Israeli special forces operation in the Gaza Strip, on November 12, 2018, in Khan Younis. - A clash that erupted during an Israeli special forces operation in the Gaza Strip and killed eight people threatened on Monday to derail efforts to restore calm to the Palestinian enclave after months of unrest. (Photo by SAID KHATIB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images)

Britain has subjected Lebanon’s entire Hezbollah movement to asset-freezing amid continued tensions with its main sponsor Iran.
Parts of the movement have been banned since 2001, with its military wing outlawed in 2008, but Friday’s announcement means anyone who has financial links to the organisation must sever them or risk prosecution.
The change followed an annual review of the asset-freezing register, bringing it in line with a decision in March to blacklist the group, a treasury spokesman said.
“The UK remains committed to the stability of Lebanon and the region, and we continue to work closely with our Lebanese partners,” the spokesman added.
Hezbollah has “publicly denied a distinction between its military and political wings”, the treasury said in a notice posted on its website.
“The group in its entirety is assessed to be concerned in terrorism and was proscribed as a terrorist organisation in the UK in March 2019,” it added.
“This listing includes the Military Wing, the Jihad Council and all units reporting to it, including the External Security Organisation.”
Home Secretary Sajid Javid said in a tweet: “We will take whatever action is necessary to tackle terror groups that threaten our security. Hizballah (sic) itself makes no distinction between its military and political wings. Nor do we.”
Founded by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in 1982 during the Lebanese civil war, the group has become a key part of Iran’s strategy for regional influence.
It remains one of Lebanon’s biggest political parties and has been a major thorn in the side of Israel for a generation.
Notably, Hezbollah’s intervention in Syria’s civil war served to strengthen President Bashar al-Assad’s grip on power and has also helped secure Iranian and Russian interests in the region.–DT

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