US presses Europe to act against Hezbollah

hezbollah flag gunThe United States on Tuesday pressed Europe to help choke off funds and aid to Hezbollah after Bulgaria blamed the militia group for an attack that killed five Israeli tourists in July.

“We strongly urge other governments around the world — and particularly our partners in Europe — to take immediate action to crack down on Hezbollah,” new Secretary of State John Kerry said.

“We need to send an unequivocal message to this terrorist group that it can no longer engage in despicable actions with impunity,” he added in one of his first statements since taking up the reins of US diplomacy.

The Lebanon-based Muslim Shiite group Hezbollah has been on a US terror blacklist since 1995 after a series of anti-American attacks, including the bombing of the US embassy and Marine barracks in Beirut in the 1980s.

However, the militia — which is an ally of Syrian leader President Bashar al-Assad and funded by Iran — is also the most powerful faction in Lebanon’s cabinet, controlling 18 out of 30 seats, and is the country’s most powerful military force.

Washington has been actively pushing the European Union to also take steps to ban Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

The US fears that as it has been “squeezing” Hezbollah the group has looked for “other places to do their banking, to do their plotting,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

“Our concern has been that Europe has been one of the places that they have exploited.”

Kerry, who discussed the issue during talks Tuesday with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said the Bulgarian finding was “clear and unequivocal: Lebanese Hezbollah was responsible for this deadly assualt on European soil.”

The bus bombing, in which five Israeli tourists and their Bulgarian driver were killed at Burgas airport, was part of “a stepped-up terrorist campaign by Hezbollah… around the world over the past year,” Nuland warned.

President Barack Obama’s top counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan, his nominee to lead the CIA, also called on European states to take “proactive action” to uncover Hezbollah’s infrastructure, financing and networks.

US officials also praised Bulgaria for its professional and comprehensive investigation into the attack, vowing Washington would stand with the government in Sofia as it fights terrorism.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also said the European Union should draw the “necessary conclusions” about Hezbollah following the investigation, hinting the group should be placed on a terror watch list.

Nuland acknowledged however there were differences among EU states about how to deal with Hezbollah, given that it is part of an elected government.

“There are varying views about whether… there’s a difference between the military wing and the political wing. You know that our view is that we don’t recognize a distinction, but different governments have different views,” she said.

GP

  • guss043

    Nasrallah is managing not only to accumulate all the world hate against him also the Lebanese immigrants too , what he’s trying to achieve by this stupid bus attack, is he such puppet of Najjad that he needs to fulfill their plots !! to revenge from Israeli cyber virus attack on the nuclear plant in Iran and the mossad killing of the Iranian nulclear program guy , can iran do this and let them leave us alone ,or the way it is if you dont execute their orders you will be shot the next day? do you have any Lebanese blood in you or you are sold out totally by religious affiliation to Iran ,
    Hes making the Lebanese immigrants life abroad a hell , i guess he’s losing his clear thinking by living in hiding all time like Hitler in his last days, and the fear of being assassinated by the Mossad . Do we need to be all miserable like him and pay for his frigin mistakes and his mafioso ministers sitting in the government and his lousy party, that party that make no longer sense to exist,, but the contrary as his party is going to be the excuse for israel to hit Lebanon in the coming war with such brutal force that the devastation will be beyond imagination . It is time for him to pack his bags and go,too much assassination inside and outside,, too much bad drugs that he’s involved in, too much corruption and stealing in Lebanon. The PM and the Army should have guts and nab the guy who did the bombing in a night with no moon and hand him to the Interpol and Bulgaria , he’s not a hero ,he ;s a mercenary killer who belong to Najjad brigade. The Hizbollah is no longer a resistance movement , the control of the government exposed them and show that they are no more than common mafia thugs!!!and terrorist

  • Guss Gibs

    Nasrallah is managing not to accumulate all the world hate against him also the Lebanese immigrants too , what he’s trying to achieve by this stupid bus attack, is he such puppet of Najjad that he needs to fulfill their plots !! to revenge from Israeli cyber virus attack on the nuclear plant, Hes making the Lebanese immigrants life abroad a hell, is he becoming a disillusion by living in hiding all time like Hitler. Do we need to be all miserable like him and his party. It is tim for hm ot pack his bags and go,too much assasination inside and outside, too much bad drugs that he’s involved in, too much corruption and stealing in Lebanon. The PM and the Arm should have guts and nab the guy who did the bombing in a night with no moon and hand him to the interpol and Bulgaria , he’s not a hero ,he ;s a mercenary killer who belong to Najjad brigade. The Hizbollah is no longer a resistance movement , the control of the governement exposed them and show that they are no more than common mafia thugs with turban on their heads !!!