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Severe penalties for anyone backing Hezbollah: Saudi Arabia

(Press TV) ~ Saudi Arabia says those linked to the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah will be punished in accordance to anti-terrorism laws.

According to an Interior Ministry statement published by the state-run SPA news agency on Sunday, Saudi nationals and foreigners living in the kingdom will face “severe penalties” if they sympathize with, financially support, or harbor any of the group’s members.

“Any citizen or resident who supports, shows membership in the so-called Hezbollah, sympathizes with it or promotes it, makes donations to it or communicates with it or harbors anyone belonging to it will be subject to the stiff punishments provided by the rules and orders, including the terrorism crimes and its financing,” read the statement, adding that expatriates would also be deported.

Riyadh’s move appears to be part of the monarchy’s anti-Shia campaign, including a severe crackdown on nationals residing in Eastern Province. Last year, the kingdom executed prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, which drew widespread condemnation from rights groups and various states.

The Sunday announcement also follows recent decisions by pro-Saudi Arab factions, the Arab League and the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council, to brand Hezbollah as a “terrorist” group.

On Saturday, Hezbollah described such measures as a “declaration of aggression” by Riyadh, which is “putting pressure on others at the Arab foreign ministers meeting to do the same,” said Sheikh Naim Qassem, the deputy secretary general of the resistance movement.



Saudi Delegation Walks out of Arab League Meeting
as Iraqi FM Praises Hezbollah

(al-Manar, 11 March 2016) ~ A Saudi delegation withdrew from an Arab League meeting on Friday, after Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari praised Hezbollah, refusing to consider the Lebanese resistance movement a terrorist group.

Iraqi media reported that Jaafari defended Hezbollah and Iraqi Popular Mobilization forces (PMF) who are fighting against Takfiri group, ISIL (so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Levant).

“PMF and Hezbollah preserved the dignity of the Arabs and whoever accuses them of terrorism they are themselves terrorists.”

The Iraqi FM rejected attempts to distort the image of Hezbollah, saying that the party’s Secretary-General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah “is an Arab hero.

Following Jaafari’s remarks, the Saudi delegation walked out of the meeting, al-Iraqiyyah TV quoted an official at the foreign ministry as saying.

Submitted by Cem Ertür 
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