Argentina has joined the US in designating Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement as a terrorist group over trumped-up charges of posing a “threat” to the economy of the South American country.
In a statement on Thursday, the Argentine government’s Financial Information Unit branded Hezbollah a terrorist organization and ordered the freezing of its assets in the country.
“At present, Hezbollah continues to represent a current threat to security and the integrity of the economic and financial order of the Argentine Republic,” the statement said.
The announcement coincided with a visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Argentina as it marks the 25th anniversary of the Jewish center bombing, known as the AMIA.
In July 1994, a car bomb exploded at the building of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association in the Argentinean capital, Buenos Aires, killing 85 people and injuring 300 others.
Argentina accuses the Lebanese movement of carrying out the bombing, an allegation that Hezbollah describes as “categorically false.” However, Buenos Aires has so far failed to provide substantial evidence and prove that Hezbollah was behind the attack.
Back in 2017, Argentina’s former Foreign Minister Hector Timerman said the protracted investigation into the 1994 AMIA bombing incident lacked any convincing evidence against alleged suspects.
The decision to put Hezbollah on the terror list was finalized during a recent regional summit in Argentina attended by Argentinean President Mauricio Macri and US officials.
Israel has long been seeking to pin the bombing on Iran.
Following the announcement by Argentina, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the move by the Argentine government and said, “It is time the entire enlightened world understand the grave danger Iran and Hezbollah pose. It is time the entire world stand up against it”.
Hezbollah was formed following the Israeli regime’s invasion of Lebanon and the ensuing occupation of its southern parts in the 1980s. It currently constitutes Lebanon’s de facto military power.
Since then, the movement has helped the Lebanese national army retake the occupied regions from Tel Aviv and thwart two Israeli acts of aggression in 2000 and 2006.
The resistance movement has also been playing a significant role in the Syrian army’s fight against Takfiri terror groups, including Daesh, and preventing the spillover of the foreign-backed war into Lebanon.
Some 50 Hezbollah individuals and entities have been blacklisted by the US since 2017.