The Arab League, a 22-member organization, comprised mainly of Sunni Muslim countries, voted Friday to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization.
The vote was near unanimous, with only Lebanon and Iraq expressing “reservations.”
Hezbollah is a Lebanese Shiite group which was labeled by the United States as a terrorist organization in 1997. It has similarly been classified by Canada, France, the Netherlands and Israel. The rest of the European Union, along with Australia and New Zealand have banned the military wing of the organization.
Founded in the 1980s and funded by Iran, the group, whose name literally means “Party of God,” is the only party that did not agree to put down its weapons after the end of the civil war in Lebanon in 1990. Hezbollah, which is dedicated to destroying Israel, has also sent fighters to Syria to bolster embattled Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. The party controls a broad political bloc in Lebanon and has been an obstacle in preventing Lebanon from electing a president for over two years.
The six Gulf States similarly declared Hezbollah a terrorist organization last week. The declaration by the Arab League came at a meeting in Cairo of the foreign ministers of each member state.
Saudi Arabia cancelled a $4 billion military aid package to Lebanon due to Hezbollah in February. Following the move, the desert kingdom called on all its citizens to leave Lebanon and all others not to travel there. The United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait issued similar calls.
This latest declaration is a continuation of the proxy war being fought by Saudi Arabia and Iran in a number of locations including Syria and Yemen over Iran’s bid for regional hegemony.
View a short film on the Iranian-Hezbollah axis of terror: