Britain’s finance ministry said it had added Lebanon’s entire Hezbollah movement to its list of terrorist groups subject to asset freezing.
The ministry previously only targeted the Shi’a organisation’s military wing but has now listed the whole group after the government designated it a terrorist organisation.
The change requires any individual or institution in Britain with accounts or financial services connected to Hezbollah to suspend them or face prosecution.
The group had “publicly denied a distinction between its military and political wings,” the Treasury said in a notice posted on its website.
“The group in its entirety is assessed to be concerned in terrorism and was proscribed as a terrorist organisation in the UK in March 2019,” it added.
“This listing includes the Military Wing, the Jihad Council and all units reporting to it, including the External Security Organisation.”
Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan welcomed the move, calling it an “important step” and urged the EU and others to follow London’s example.
“Hezbollah and its Iranian backers are behind numerous attacks which have murdered innocent civilians all over the world. Europe is waking up to Iran’s terrorist activities and their murderous proxies,” Erdan said.
The Treasury in London said the change followed its annual review of the asset freezing register, and brought it into line with the 2019 decision by the interior minister to blacklist all of Hezbollah.
Hezbollah is a Shi’a movement established in 1982 during the Lebanese civil war by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.
Britain currently proscribes 75 international terrorist organisations under terrorism legislation passed in 2000.