Britain’s move comes amid heightened tensions in the Middle East after the United States killed Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani.
Britain’s Finance Ministry added Lebanon’s entire Hezbollah movement to its list of terrorist groups subject to asset freezing.
The ministry previously only targeted the Shia organisation’s military wing but, as of January 17, included the entire group on its terror list. The designation requires any individual or institution in Britain with accounts or financial services connected to Hezbollah to suspend them or face prosecution.
“Hezbollah itself has publicly denied a distinction between its military and political wings,” the Treasury said in a notice posted on its website.
“The group in its entirety is assessed to be concerned in terrorism and was proscribed as a terrorist organisation in the UK in March 2019,” it added. “This listing includes the military wing, the jihad council and all units reporting to it, including the external security organisation.”
Britain’s move comes amid heightened tensions in the Middle East after the United States killed Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani in an air strike January 3. Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah threatened Iran’s enemies with retaliation.
Britain proscribes 75 international terrorist organisations under terrorism legislation passed in 2000.
Iranian general sanctioned
The US State Department said January 17 that it imposed penalties on Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps General Hassan Shahvarpour for directing a massacre of nearly 150 demonstrators in south-western Iran in November.
Washington officials said the designation was the result of photographic and video tips submitted by Iranians.