Iranâ€™s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has criticized the European Union (EU) over its â€œshockingâ€ decision to blacklist the military wing of Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah.
â€œThis purposeful move, which was made under the pressure of certain EU members, runs contrary to all political and legal principles, and is shocking and unacceptable,â€ Salehi said late on Monday.
He added, â€œLabeling a resistance group, which has fought against aggression and invasion and has a lawful and popular presence in Lebanonâ€™s politics and government, as terrorist indicates the unsound logical basis of the action.â€
The Iranian foreign minister went on to say that EU foreign ministers believe they can influence the Middle East developments through their decision despite the fact that they have adopted a wrong approach as a result of incorrect analyses of the crises and their double standards.
Salehi noted that the Islamic Republic strongly condemns the EU decision against Hezbollah, and thinks that such a move will not change the popular and righteous nature of the Lebanese resistance movement.
He underlined that the EU move is certainly in line with the illegitimate interests of Israel, and has been made under pressure from Tel Avivâ€™s European allies.
â€œThis action is somehow an act against the respectable and resistant Lebanese nation, because Hezbollah is a resistance force, which has its roots in the Lebanese society and is widely respected and honored by various Lebanese tribes,â€ Salehi said.
On Monday, EU foreign ministers added Hezbollah’s military wing to their list of “terrorist organizations” to put pressure on the resistance movement over its influence in the Middle East.
Lebanese President Michel Sleiman expressed hope that EU could reconsider its decision against Hezbollah.
â€œWe hope the EU reconsiders its decision out of its keenness not to take hasty decisions, to preserve Lebanon’s stability,â€ Sleiman told EU Ambassador to Lebanon Angelina Eichhorst.
Prime Minister Najib Mikati said Lebanon regrets the decision to blacklist Hezbollah’s armed wing, but said Beirut will maintain its relations with EU members.
“We will follow up on the issue through diplomatic channels, while we wish the EU countries had carried out a careful reading of the facts and sought out more information,” Mikati said.
Lebanonâ€™s Supreme Islamic Shia Council has also condemned European Unionâ€™s controversial decision to blacklist military wing of Hezbollah resistance movement.