Argentina orders freezing of Hezbollah assets, effectively designating it a terror group

July 19, 2019 by JNS
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Argentina ordered the freezing of Hezbollah assets yesterday, effectively designating it as a terrorist entity, being the first Latin America country to do so.

The aftermath of the 1994 AMIA Jewish centre bombing. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

The move occurred on the 25th anniversary the bombing of the AMIA community centre in Buenos Aires. Hezbollah member Ibrahim Hussein Berro was identified as the AMIA bomber, killing the 85 people and injuring hundreds.

Additionally, a Politico bombshell in December 2017 exposed the network of money-laundering and other crimes done by Hezbollah, including operations in Latin America, for which the Obama administration let pass in order to reach the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.

“Argentina took a very important step today,” Emanuele Ottolenghi, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told JNS. “By designating Hezbollah [as such], it showed leadership in the fight against terrorism and terror finance.”

“Now others must follow Argentina and show they are ready to tackle this threat,” he added. “Hezbollah’s presence in Latin America is well-documented, and this is a welcome change in a part of the world where governments, including Argentina’s neighbours, have for too long looked the other way.”

World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder welcomed Argentina’s move.

“The Argentine government has taken a long-awaited and principled step today in the international fight against global terror by including Hezbollah on its list of terrorist entities,” Lauder said. “For more than 35 years, Hezbollah has terrorized the globe, under the long arm of its patron Iran, and yet continues to be granted immunity and impunity by several nations and international organizations.”

“We are standing now at a poignant time in history, as we mark the 25th anniversary of the deadly attack on the Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires – AMIA. This bombing was carried out by Hezbollah and masterminded by Iran, and yet, none of the perpetrators has yet been brought to justice,” Lauder said. “We must never grant leniency or impunity to those who wish to undermine our core values of freedom, democracy, and liberty for all. It is imperative that Hezbollah be recognized in its entirety by the international community as the terrorist organization that it is.”

JNS/J-Wire

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