Gulf states ‘may place Hezbollah on terror list’
Gulf Arab states will consider placing Lebanon’s Shiite party Hezbollah, which is openly involved in the Syrian conflict, on its terror list, Al-Rai daily quoted highly placed diplomats on Thursday as saying.
Bahrain will ask foreign ministers of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council to discuss “placing Hezbollah on the terror list” at a meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Sunday, the newspaper said.
Bahrain currently holds the GCC’s rotating presidency.
The paper did not say whether this referred to the party as a whole or just its militia, whose men are fighting alongside government troops in a fierce battle to retake the Syrian town of Qusayr from rebels.
The ministers will also discuss Gulf security, “continued Iranian threats, especially the busting of Iranian spy rings,” in a number of GCC states.
The GCC includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Kuwait has already convicted several Iranians and one of its own citizens for operating a spy ring for Tehran, while Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have said they busted cells working for the Islamic republic.
On Monday, Bahrain on Monday banned opposition groups from all contact with Hezbollah, a month after branding the movement as a “terrorist organisation.”
Hezbollah, like Iran, is a close ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Gulf states have repeatedly accused Iran of meddling in their affairs, a charge the Islamic republic categorically denies.
More than 94,000 people have died in Syria since protests erupted more than two years ago and morphed into an armed conflict after being brutally repressed.