U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hailed “the guilty verdict handed down by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) against Hizbollah operative Salim Ayyash for his role in the February 14, 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri”. He further reiterated that “Hizbollah and its members are not defenders of Lebanon as they claim to be but constitute a terrorist organisation dedicated to advancing Iran’s malign sectarian agenda… Hizbollah’s terrorist and illicit activities in Lebanon and throughout the world demonstrate that it is more concerned with its own interests and those of its patron, Iran, than what is best for Lebanon and the Lebanese people”. On a similar note, Israel’s Foreign Ministry argued that “Hizbollah has taken the Lebanese people’s future hostage on behalf of foreign interests. The world must unite against this terror organization… Hizbollah’s armament, precision guided missile project and belligerent actions across the region threaten the entire Middle East”.
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