Sunday, September 09, 2012

It's A Start: Canada Cuts Off Relations With Iran as Great Britain Labels Hezbollah As Terrorists

Over the last few days, there have been a couple of hopeful signs that maybe, just maybe, the West is coming around to the novel idea that those who support terrorism should be labeled as such.

For example -- on Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper cut off diplomatic relations with Iran. Benjamin Weinthal writes in Why Canada branded the Iranian regime as terrorists that Foreign Minister John Baird explains:
The Iranian regime is providing increasing military assistance to the Assad regime; it refuses to comply with UN resolutions pertaining to its nuclear program; it routinely threatens the existence of Israel and engages in racist anti- Semitic rhetoric and incitement to genocide.
Also of concern to Canada, according to the article:
  • Tehran’s attempts to illicitly obtain Canadian technology for its nuclear program
  • The need to designate the Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization
  • Iran’s embassy efforts to extend its radical ideology in Canada
  • Iranian outreach to radical elements in the Iranian diaspora in Canada, as well as to other potentially sympathetic Muslims in the country
Weinthal concludes with the hopeful note that since Europe tends to identify with Canada, perhaps the EU might follow Canada’s lead and similarly cut off relations with Iran.

Meanwhile, there has been progress in dealing with Iran's proxy in Lebanon -- Hezbollah.

There has long been a reluctance in Europe to react to Hezbollah terrorism by taking the appropriate action of openly recognizing it as a terrorist organization.

Now, in a welcome change Britain joins campaign to label Hezbollah a terrorist organization:
British government officials said on Saturday they would work to have Lebanese-based Hezbollah added to a list of terrorist organizations maintained by the European Union. The officials called on other EU members to join the campaign, after years in which European nations refused to act because of their insistence that Hezbollah was an important political party in Lebanon.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Saturday that the EU had to reassess its position in light of the July 18 terrorist attack in Burgas, Bulgaria, that killed five Israelis and a Bulgarian bus driver.

"We have worked on this issue in Britain and I would like to see the EU take action against the military wing of Hezbollah," Hague said at a conference of EU foreign ministers in Cyprus.

A similar call to have Hezbollah blacklisted came from The Netherlands over the weekend.
One can only hope that Hezbollah's dependence on Iran as its proxy may lead to the next logical step of recognizing Iran as a major facilitator and supporter of global terrorism.

That is a step that cannot be taken too soon.

Ahmadinejad and Nasrallah

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