Iran’s deputy foreign minister says a decision by a Saudi-led bloc of Gulf states to label the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah a terrorist organization is a “mistake.”
Iranian state TV Thursday quoted Hossein Amir Abdollahian as saying the Gulf Cooperation Council’s move was a “new mistake” that would undermine peace in the region and the unity of Lebanon. He said Iran was “proud” of Hezbollah.
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On Wednesday, a statement from GCC Secretary-General Abdullatif al-Zayani said the bloc decided to implement the terrorist designation because of hostile acts by Iran-backed Hezbollah within its member states.
The decision reflects rising tensions between Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia and Shiite powerhouse Iran, Hezbollah’s patron.
The GCC ruling brings Gulf states in line with the U.S., who also consider Hezbollah a terrorist group.