Australia to list Hezbollah as ‘terrorist organization’

The Australian government said the militant group poses a “real” and “credible” threat to country. The group is already banned in the US, Israel, and Germany. Australia said on Wednesday it intended to list all of Hezbollah as a “terrorist organization,” becoming the latest country in the world to ban the Iran-backed Shiite group. Several Western governments have designated the group as a terrorist organization. But some have been reluctant to sanction its political wing, fearing it could complicate ties with Lebanon, where the group wields considerable influence. Australia’s decision means membership of the organization or providing funding for it will now be a criminal offense in the country, which has a large Lebanese community. “The government has zero-tolerance for violence, and there is no cause — religious or political — that can justify killing innocent people,” Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said in a statement. Hezbollah “continues to threaten terrorist attacks and provide support to terrorist organizations” and poses a “real” and “credible” threat to Australia, she said. Canberra also extended the ban on an existing ban on armed units of Hezbollah, which has been in place since 2003.

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