On March 1, 2019, the British Parliament approved the decision to recognize Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization. According to the decision, any person charged with belonging to or supporting Hezbollah in British territory is liable to imprisonment for up to 10 years. This is a significant decision as up to now only Hezbollah’s military wing (since 2001) and foreign security unit (since 2008) have been designated in Britain as a terrorist organization. This means that from now on, Hezbollah’s political wing, including Hezbollah members serving as ministers in the recently formed Lebanese government, will be designated as terrorists.
Among its reasons for passing the law in Parliament, the British government noted that Hezbollah continues to stockpile weapons in contravention of a UN Security Council Resolution (i.e., Resolution 1701). According to British Home Secretary Sajid Javid, the reason for this step is Hezbollah’s attempts to destabilize the already fragile situation in the Middle East. According to the Home Secretary and other ministers, it is now difficult to distinguish between the organization’s military wing and its political wing, (a distinction) which no longer exists in practice. Therefore, it was decided to declare Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization (British government website, Home Secretary Sajid Javid’s Twitter account, February 25, 2019).