Argentina brands Hezbollah terrorist organization
People mark the anniversary of the bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires. (Reuters)
Date: 2019-07-19 12:30
Argentinian authorities designated Hezbollah, which it blames for two attacks on its soil, a terrorist organization on Thursday (July 18) and ordered the freezing of the Lebanese group’s assets in the country.
The announcement coincided with a visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as Argentina marks the 25th anniversary of the deadly bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in which 85 people died. Argentina blames Iran and Hezbollah for the attack. Both deny any responsibility.
Argentina also blames Hezbollah for an attack on the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires in 1992 that killed 29 people.
The Argentine government’s Financial Information Unit, ordered the freezing of assets of members of Hezbollah and the organization a day after the country created a new list for people and entities linked to terrorism. The designation of Hezbollah as a terrorist group was the first by any Latin American country.
“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 unit said in a statement.
Last year, Argentina froze the assets of 14 members of the Barakat Clan, an extended family that officials say has close ties to Hezbollah.
US and Argentine officials say Hezbollah operates in what is known as the tri-border area of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, where an illicit economy funds its operations elsewhere.
Based on Reuters