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Iran slams UK for adding Hezbollah to terrorist list

Tehran, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman strongly condemned the UK government's act to add Lebanese Hezbollah to list of terrorist organizations.

UK's irresponsible measure not only fails to help improve stability and security in Lebanon but also tends to ignore a large group and its legal representative in an independent country, Bahram Qasemi said.

This is while Hezbollah is a social and popular body which enjoys constructive and active presence in Lebanon, like the country's other parties, participates in elections and conducts official activities.

He further referred to Hezbollah's numerous seats in Lebanese parliament and cabinet and noted that thanks to its brilliant background in defending Lebanon's territorial integrity and national sovereignty against Israel's aggressions, it receives support from a wide range of Lebanese people.

Qasemi also advised UK government to review the number of votes cast in favor of Hezbollah in recent parliamentary elections and other electoral activities to get a better view of realities.

Referring to Hezbollah as a victim of Takfiri and Zionist terrorism, he said that the group in addition to its recent positive and effective role in preserving territorial integrity of Lebanon, has acted as one of the main pillars in fighting terrorist groups like ISIS and defeating them in the region.

The Iranian foreign ministry spokesam went on to express his confidence that the UK's wrong move will fail to undermine Hezbollah or weaken the determination of Hezbollah and its supporters in fighting terrorism and Zionism in the region.

He went on to say that Iran considers Lebanon as a legitimate force which has had undeniable and effective role in maintaining political peace and security in Lebanon.

UK government in a statement on Friday said it has started to implement the prohibition rule of Hezbollah activities already announced by Home Secretary , stressing that supporting Hezbollah is a crime.

Based on the statement, Ansar alIslam, Nusrathul Islam and Hezbollah have been listed as terrorist groups and supporting them will be an offence carrying a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

In the meantime, US Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said 'It is clear the distinction between Hezbollah's military and political wings does not exist, and by banning Hezbollah in all its forms, the government is sending a clear signal that its destabilizing activities in the region are totally unacceptable and detrimental to the UK's national security.'

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency IRNA

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