United Kingdom: Brits move to ban Hezbollah

United Kingdom: Brits move to ban Hezbollah

The British government said in February 2019 that it plans to ban Hezbollah as a terrorist group, accusing the Iran-backed organization of destabilizing the Middle East.

An order delivered to the United Kingdom Parliament bans Hezbollah and two other groups. The order went into effect March 1. It made being a member of or inviting support for Hezbollah a criminal offense, carrying a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. Until now, the military wing of the Lebanon-based group has been outlawed in Britain, but not its political arm.

Hezbollah is a Shiite Muslim movement that emerged during the early 1980s with financial backing from Iran. It made electoral gains in Lebanon last year and now has three ministers in the government. The U.S. and others accuse the group of destabilizing the region through its military intervention in Syria on the side of President Bashar Assad’s government.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said he would take action against groups that threaten safety and security, and he accused Hezbollah of destabilizing the Middle East. “We are no longer able to distinguish between their already banned military wing and the political party,” Javid said. “Because of this, I have taken the decision to proscribe the group in its entirety.”  The Associated Press