Slovenia designated Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization, rejecting the false distinction between Hezbollah’s political and military wings. As the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated, Hezbollah is a criminal and terrorist organization posing a global threat to peace and security.
The United States commends Slovenia for taking this step to help prevent Hezbollah from operating in Europe.
Slovenia follows in the footsteps of a number of other European governments, including the United Kingdom, Lithuania, Latvia, Kosovo, and Estonia, which have all taken significant steps to designate, ban or restrict Hezbollah in the past several years.
Established in 1982 by the Iranian regime, Hezbollah developed a malign network encompassing political, military, terrorist, and criminal dimensions. Hezbollah established a powerful terrorist force with tens of thousands of combatants, reportedly armed with some 130,000 rockets and missiles. In addition, Hezbollah set up an international terror and criminal network spanning from Latin America to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
Hezbollah has a long history of terror and terror-related strikes against European interests. Since the 1980s, it has conducted a series of terror attacks against European targets in Lebanon and in Europe, including in France, Spain, Germany, Bulgaria, and Cyprus. Hezbollah has established an extensive infrastructure for terror activities on European soil and operated criminal-financial networks across Europe, including drug trafficking, money laundering, and cybercrime. Hezbollah even deployed its operatives to fight in the Bosnian War in the early 1990s.
The Trump Administration has engaged diplomatically to persuade the international community to take a clear-eyed look at Hezbollah’s malign activity and take action to prevent Iran-backed Hezbollah from operating in their territories.
“We’ve placed particular emphasis on Europe,” noted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a statement. And the State Department-led diplomatic campaign has yielded results, with six European countries imposing restrictions on Hezbollah over the past year, and other European governments considering new measures.
The United States welcomes these steps by Slovenia and other European countries as progress towards ultimately eradicating Hezbollah’s presence on the European continent.