Argentina brands Hezbollah terrorist organisation, freezes assets

Clay Curtis
July 19, 2019

Authorities in Argentina have ordered the freezing of Hezbollah assets in the country and effectively designated the Lebanese Islamist group - which it blames for two attacks on its soil - a "terrorist" organisation.

The designation of Hezbollah as a terroristic organization is the first in Latin America, where the Lebanon-based group has been active over the decades.

The attack on the Amia centre - which Argentina said was planned and financed by Iran, and carried out by Hezbollah - was the South American country's deadliest terrorist attack.

"At present, Hezbollah continues to represent a current threat to security and the integrity of the economic and financial order of the Argentine Republic", the financial information unit of the Argentinian government said in a statement.

People hold up pictures of victims at a commemoration ceremony 25 years after the terrorist attack on the Jewish community's AMIA building in Buenos Aires, July 18, 2019.

"The most important thing is to designate Hezbollah a terrorist organization".

Hezbollah, which has denied any involvement in the 1994 bombing on the AMIA Jewish centre in Buenos Aires, was placed on a national list that was created Wednesday specifically for the goal of giving the government a legal framework to take hostile action against the group.

Dutch Supreme Court upholds Srebrenica liability
The court said the state had 10% liability, as this was the probability that its soldiers could have prevented the killings. In 2002, a report into the Netherlands' role at Srebrenica caused the entire Dutch government to resign.

Argentina's investigation into the 1994 truck bomb attack on the Argentine Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA), meanwhile, has made little progress. No-one has ever been brought to trial in connection with the bombing.

Ex-president Carlos Menem, who was the country's leader at the time of both attacks, was acquitted of involvement in the cover-up, but his former intelligence chief Hugo Anzorreguy was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in jail for his role in obstructing the probe.

Further, Argentina placed Hezbollah on a new list of people and groups with terrorism ties.

Argentina's decision to join the United States in designating Hezbollah a "terrorist" group is a significant win for the administration of President Donald Trump - and it could put pressure on Brazil and Paraguay to follow suit, Gedan said.

Pompeo is also expected to meet with Argentinian President Mauricio Macri on Friday, according to Israel Hayom.

"But at least it gives the impression that the Trump administration is not standing alone", he said.

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