0657 GMT April 21, 2019
'Like his outrageous statements regarding recognition of Israel’s illegal occupation and annexation of Syria’s Golan Heights, I believe Secretary of State Pompeo’s arrogant statement about Hezbollah and Iran was designed more to influence the Israeli leadership and population in advance of the upcoming election than it was to change the relationship between Hezbollah and fellow Lebanese. Indeed, even this Christian Zionist zealot must be aware of Hezbollah’s broad national support and the futility of trying to incite conflict and division over its political and military role, which is critical to maintaining Lebanon’s stability and sovereignty. The negative responses he received from President Aoun, Foreign Minister Bassil, and many others should have made this abundantly clear if it wasn’t already,' David Yaghoubian history professor at California State University, San Bernardino told the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) in response to a question whether Pompeo's arrogant statement could influence the Lebanese leadership and people and change their relationships with Hezbollah, IRNA reported.
Commenting on the reason why the US government is unhappy with the role of Hezbollah, he said 'United States policies regarding Hezbollah are dictated from Tel Aviv and the powerful Israel Lobby in the United States, serving the interests of Israeli occupation, expansionism, and hegemony in the region, and having nothing whatsoever to do with genuine US national security concerns. If US policies in the region were motivated by international law and truly promoted representative government, religious tolerance, national sovereignty, and stability rather than centering on the promotion of Zionist colonialism, the United States government would see Hezbollah as a natural ally in Lebanon, and thus a stabilizing force for the broader Levant.'
Elsewhere in his remarks, Yaghoubian referred to Britain’s decision to label the political wing of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, saying, 'Since the Balfour Declaration of 1917 Great Britain has arguably done more than even the United States to advance the Zionist colonial project in Palestine. After World War II Britain became a vassal to the United States, which took over the mantle of global empire and to a large extent the nurturing of the newly-established apartheid state of Israel.'
He added 'as such, it is no surprise that Britain is colluding with Israel and the United States to attempt to weaken Lebanese political cohesion and national unity by labeling Hezbollah’s political wing as a terrorist organization. Especially in the wake of their failure to destroy Syria as national entity and turn it into a haven for ISIS and al-Qaeda takfiri terrorists (what the U.S. State Department in 2012 anticipated as a “Salafist principality”) Israel, the United States, and their British lackeys are attempting to weaken Hezbollah, which played a major role along with the SAA, Iran, and Russia in eradicating the terrorist proxies and reversing the process of Syria’s territorial dismemberment.'
In response to another question whether, the British action could influence the EU’s position concerning Hezbollah, he said 'Despite pressure from the United States and Britain I do not think that the EU will change its position and outlaw Hezbollah’s political wing, which would serve no logical or beneficial purpose relative to EU interests in Lebanon or more broadly in the region. It was the EU that originally formulated the distinction between Hezbollah’s political and military wings in 2013 to enable relations to continue. Especially in light of the US pulling out of the JCPOA and other sources of instability and potential conflict in the region, such as the kidnapping of Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in another failed attempt to hinder Hezbollah, a large majority of members of European Parliament remain opposed to any change in the EU position.'
He reiterated 'beyond criminalizing resistance to illegal Israeli occupation this decision essentially criminalizes freedom of social and political association, insofar as Hezbollah’s political wing is responsible for countless needed social services and is engaged in wide variety of political activities, which collectively serve the interests of Lebanese development, stability, and security.'