US Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell has acknowledged that the US pressurised Germany into banning the Lebanese resistance movement, Hezbollah.
Berlin banned Hezbollah in its entirety in April, with the Interior Ministry spokesman Steve Alter, describing the movement as a "Shia terrorist organisation".
However, Lebanese journalist and political commentator Marwa Osman yesterday revealed that Grenell had openly stated in a video posted on 18 August that the US put pressure on Germany into making the move.
Exclusive footage of @richardgrenell US ambassador to #Germany via Zoom on Aug 18 openly declaring: US pressured Germany to ban #Hezbollah and demonize it.
"We pushed the Germans very hard, they were not happy but we pushed them to ban Hezb, we think the French should do it & EU" pic.twitter.com/q6daVsn9jT
— Marwa Osman || مروة عثمان (@Marwa__Osman) September 1, 2020
"We pushed the Germans very hard- they were not happy, but we pushed them to ban Hezbollah. We think the French should do it, and the EU", he said.
Hezbollah Secretary-General, Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah, at the time, accused Germany of kowtowing to the US and Israel. Previously, Germany had only considered Hezbollah's armed wing as a terrorist organisation, making distinctions with its political wing. Hezbollah and its allies have a parliamentary majority. Nasrallah said on Sunday that Hezbollah was open to discussing a new political order in Lebanon amid deepening uncertainty following the government's recent resignation.
Last week it was reported that Switzerland is considering banning Hezbollah, which could lead to the movement's access to bank accounts and assets being seized or frozen. Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Britain, the US, Canada, Israel, the Arab League and some Latin American countries have banned the movement outright.