Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah insisted Germany’s decision to ban the group was a result of US pressure, in a televised speech yesterday.
Germany designated Hezbollah a “Shia terrorist organisation” on Thursday, in a move away from the European Union’s (EU) 2013 policy which only considers the organisation’s military wing, and not its political arm, as terrorist.
The designation came in tandem with raids on mosques and associations linked to the group by German security forces.
Nasrallah called the ban a “political decision that reflects Germany’s submission to America’s will and to pleasing Israel”, and said the militia group is not active in the European country.
“When we say we are not active in Germany, we are being 100 per cent honest.”
Nasrallah went on to condemn raids by German security forces, saying, “there was no need for these barbaric actions”.
Meanwhile, spokesman for the Iranian foreign ministry, Abbas Mousavi, claimed Germany’s decision to designate Hezbollah a terrorist organisation, stems from guilt over the Holocaust.
“We feel that the Germans consider themselves to be historical debtors to the Zionists and act within this framework,” Mousavi was quoted as saying by ISNA news agency.
An Iranian state-run newspaper has added to the furore, calling for “firm action” against the German Ambassador to Tehran, Michael Klor-Berchtol, in an article published yesterday, Al-Arabiya reported.
The piece, which ran in the state-run Vatan-e Emrooz daily, termed Klor-Berchtol as “the Zionists’ spy”, with “close ties” to Israel’s Mossad, and a “clear and thought-provoking background in espionage activities”.
Adding, “taking firm action against Germany’s ambassador can display Iran’s lack of tolerance to foreign threats that threaten the country’s national security and interests.”
The daily published a similar article on Saturday, terming German Chancellor Angela Merkel a “servant of Zionism”, while yesterday’s piece branded the longstanding European leader, “worse than Hitler”.
“Even Hitler – with his collection of crimes during World War II – did not auction off the German’s independence and reputation as much as Merkel,” Saturday’s article read.
Despite the tirade of condemnation, Hezbollah’s Nasrallah said he is expecting more EU countries to follow Germany’s lead, even though he claims the organisation has ceased activities “across the world, and in Europe especially” several years ago.
Both the Netherlands and the UK have designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation. The British government made the move in February 2019, and this year, added the organisation to a list of groups subject to asset freezes.