The Australian government announced today, Wednesday, the designation of Hezbollah in all its branches as a “terrorist organization”.
This decision extends the sanctions, which included only the military wing of the armed party that wields wide influence in Lebanon and includes the political wing of the party and its civil institutions.
According to AFP, Australian Interior Minister Karen Andrews said that the Iran-backed militant group “continues to threaten terrorist attacks and provide support to terrorist organizations”, warning Hezbollah posed a credible and credible threat to Australia.
The Australian Minister of the Interior did not explain the reasons behind this decision, which comes at a time when Lebanon is in a deep economic and political crisis, but the statements indicate the party’s involvement in planning terrorist operations inside Australia.
Australia was not the only one, as the United States and Israel have long designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, unlike other countries, which only included its military wing on their lists of terrorist organizations and kept its political wing out of sanctions, fearing that the move would complicate its links with the Lebanese authorities.
“Although it is based on foreign-backed armed militias, Hezbollah is represented in the House of Representatives and lobbies clearly in Lebanese politics, the only Lebanese armed party that did not give up its military arsenal at the end of the civil war (1975-1990)”.
“Hezbollah currently has a huge military arsenal, including precision missiles, especially since it is one of Iran’s external arms, backed by Tehran with money and weapons”.
“Hezbollah’s role as a player in Lebanon extends beyond that of Syria and Iraq to that of Yemen, and many see it as a means of Iranian subversion in the Middle East”.
“Under the resolution, Hezbollah is now banned in Australia, where a large Lebanese community lives, including those affiliated with or funding Hezbollah”.
Former U.S. treasury official Matthew Levitt, now a Middle East expert, told AFP that the decision “has been awaited for a long time”.
In a statement to the Australian Parliament in June, he said the previous designation of Hezbollah was “insufficient”, adding that “Hezbollah is organized and operates as an individual organization”.
“In recent years, a list of terrorist plots and illegal financial activities by Hezbollah has included Australian citizens and activities on Australian soil,” he said.
Because of Hezbollah’s policies, 80% of Lebanon’s population lives below the poverty line, with high inflation, scarcity of medicines and fuel, and the breakdown of the electricity system, while the government gradually lifts subsidies for medicines and fuel.
On the other hand, the Australian Minister announced that ‘’the Base’’ extremist right-wing group has been listed as a terrorist organization in Australia.
“This is a violent and racist neo-Nazi group that the security services know is planning and preparing to carry out terrorist attacks,” she said.