October 13, 2019

Argentina Takes Step Closer to Naming Hezbollah a Terrorist Group

Released Hezbollah prisoners marching in a parade in their honor in Beirut, 2008. Photo by Salah Malkawi/Getty

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — Argentina took a step closer to declaring Hezbollah a terrorist group.

The government announced Tuesday that it was creating “a public registry of persons and entities connected to acts of terrorism and its financing.” While neither Hezbollah nor any other group or person being considered for blacklisting are listed, Security Minister Patricia Bullrich indicated that Hezbollah will be added.

The announcement comes two days before the 25th anniversary of the deadly bombing of the AMIA Jewish center that Argentina and other countries say was carried out by Hezbollah.

President Mauricio Macri said last week that Argentina will consider Hezbollah a terrorist organization.

The Argentine government and judiciary had been using the U.N. Security Council registry, which does not include the Iran-linked Shiite Muslim group. The United States considers Hezbollah a terrorist organization, even though members of its political wing serve in the Lebanese government.

“The decree allows for organizations that attacked in Argentina, like Hezbollah, and are not on the lists of the United Nations to be considered by us as terrorists because they perpetrated an attack on our national territory,” the news site Clarin quotes Bullrich as saying.

Both Iran, which is Hezbollah’s patron, and the Shiite group deny any involvement in the bombing, in which 85 were killed and 300 were injured.