The six-member Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) declared Hezbollah a terrorist organisation yesterday, opening up the possibility of further sanctions against the Iran-allied group that wields influence in Lebanon and fights in Syria.
In yesterday’s announcement, GCC Secretary-General Abdullatif al-Zayani said the council would now “take the necessary measures to implement its decision ... based on anti-terrorism laws applied in the GCC and similar international laws”.
Zayani did not specify what action might follow, but Saudi Arabia, the biggest power in the grouping, last week said it had blacklisted four companies and three Lebanese men for having links to Hezbollah.
Zayani accused Hezbollah of committing “hostile acts” against GCC states, including recruiting young men to carry out “terrorist attacks, smuggling weapons and explosives, stirring up sedition and incitement to chaos and violence”.
Individual members of the Gulf Co-operation Council have already labelled Hezbollah a terrorist group.
Zayani cited “their terrorist acts and incitement in Syria, Yemen and in Iraq”, which he said were threatening Arab security.
Saudi Arabia last month halted a $3bn programme for military supplies to Lebanon in protest against Hezbollah, which has lawmakers in Beirut’s parliament.
Announcing the funding cut, a Saudi official said the kingdom noticed “hostile Lebanese positions resulting from the stranglehold of Hezbollah on the state”.
He specifically cited Lebanon’s refusal to join the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation in condemning attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran in January.
Riyadh cut diplomatic ties with Tehran after demonstrators burned its embassy and a consulate following the Saudi execution of a Shia cleric.
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