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The Arab world negatively assesses the EU initiative on recognition as a terrorist organization the military wing of Hezbollah
Material posted: Publication date: 06-08-2013

The European Union on July 22 adopted a decision to include the armed wing of the Lebanese Shiite organization Hezbollah on the list of terrorist organizations. Assets Hezbola in the European Union will be frozen, and some individuals may be denied entry to the territory of the EU.

The bus explosion in Bulgaria in 2012, killing five Israelis and the Bulgarian driver, the support that Hezbollah supporting the government of Bashar al-Assad, were the main reasons for making this decision. The United States, where Hezbollah is listed in the list of terrorist organizations since 1999, and Israel welcomed the EU's decision, however, the latter expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that the decision also does not apply to the political wing of the organization.

Estimates show that the EU decision is intended, primarily, to influence the balance of power in the Syrian war, where government forces with Hezbollah to return the lost positions. Also the fight takes place in the political space of Lebanon, where the timing of the planned June parliamentary elections are constantly changing, since the parties cannot come to an agreement regarding the law on elections and fear losing their positions and even electoral defeat. This is especially noticeable in the camp of the coalition "14 March", whose leader is gradually losing the trust of the Lebanese[1]. In addition, Lebanon is not popular supported the Hariri family and Sunni extremist preacher Ahmed al-Assir, recently calling on Lebanese Sunnis to defect from the government army.

The likelihood of a split in the ranks of Hezbollah as a consequence of the decision is small, however, and this option should be taken into account as a possible means of destabilization of the situation within the group of interested stakeholders. The real danger is a factor in the European military presence in southern Lebanon, to whom may be committed provocations with the subsequent accusation of Hezbollah terrorism. On the other hand, the possibility of such a scenario and provocations becomes an additional factor and a trump card for Shiite factions in the ongoing political dialogue with their opponents and partners in the EU.

Thus, the EU decision is complex, vague and ambiguous, thereby creating additional space for maneuvers and provocations. The experience of political action and military campaigns of the last decades in the middle East shows that state and non-state actors in the region, including Hezbollah, be more agile and adapt faster to the changing context, rather than the more regional and power centers.

The Western experience in this kind of antagonisms in the middle East is hard to call successful. The ongoing U.S. and EU policy and take steps, including the last, have the chance to be successful if carried out consistently and to unfold within the framework of a coherent and well-articulated strategy. what still was not. In any case, to talk about the obvious and unconditional preferences the EU or Hezbollah can not speak and, probably, we will witness the continuation of the middle East game, which acquires new dynamics, while remaining, as before, unpredictable consequences and the results achieved to all parties.


Armine Hakobyan, an expert on the Middle East, orientalist-Arabist


Tags: Iran , assessment , Syria , Europe

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