GCC declares Iranian backed Hezbollah as Terrorist organization

Riyadh: The Six-Nations Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) declared Iranian backed Lebanon’s Hezbollah headed by Hassan Nasrallah a “terrorist” organization on Wednesday. It is second worst action against Hezbollah after about 19 years; in 1997 United States State Department had included the Hezbollah into foreign terrorist organizations (FTO).

GCC Secretary General Abdullatif al-Zayani said in a statement that the actions are taken against Hezbollah because of “hostile actions of the militia who recruit the young people (of the Gulf) for terrorist acts. Gulf nations have taken a series of measures against Hezbollah since Saudi Arabia last month halted a $3bn programme funding French military supplies to Beirut.

According to Al-Arabia News, Hezbollah is backed by Saudi Arabia’s regional Shiite rival Iran, with whom relations have worsened this year. The two are on opposing sides in conflicts in Syria and Yemen.

Announcing the military funding cut last month, a Saudi official said the kingdom had noticed “hostile Lebanese positions resulting from the stranglehold of Hezbollah on the state”.

Riyadh would be conducting “a comprehensive review of its relations with the Lebanese republic”, the unnamed official said. He specifically cited Lebanon’s refusal to join the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in condemning attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran in January.

Riyadh cut diplomatic ties with Tehran after demonstrators burned its embassy and a consulate following the Saudi execution of a prominent Shiite cleric. The Sunni-dominated GCC comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

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