The head of Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement on Monday condemned Germany’s ban on his group as bowing to US pressure and insisted it was not active in the country.
Germany designated Hezbollah a “Shiite terrorist organisation” on Thursday as its security forces raided mosques and associations linked to the group.
In a televised speech, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah called it a “political decision that reflects Germany’s submission to America’s will and to pleasing Israel”.
“When we say we are not active in Germany, we are being 100 percent honest,” said the leader of the Iranian-backed group.
Hezbollah was established in 1982 during the Lebanese civil war and fought a devastating 2006 war with Israel.
The United States and Israel have long designated it a terrorist group and urged allies to follow suit.
Like the European Union, Germany had until now outlawed only Hezbollah’s military wing while tolerating its political arm, a major force in the Lebanese parliament.
Nasrallah on Monday said he expected more EU countries to follow Germany’s example, even though his movement had ceased activities “across the world, and in Europe especially” several years ago.
He condemned German authorities for raiding mosques and associations linked to the group, saying “there was no need for these barbaric actions”.
He called on the Lebanese government to protect its nationals in Germany.