(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) The Bahrain Council of Ministers has approved adding
Hezbollah to its list of designated terrorist organizations, making Bahrain the
first Arab nation to blacklist the Lebanese group, Saudi Arabian news outlet Al Arabiya reported on Wednesday.
France recently expressed its support for the designation of Hezbollah—implicated in last summer's Burgas bus bombing that killed five Israelis and their bus driver by Bulgaria's investigation into the attack—as a terrorist organization, a decision that could play a pivotal role in persuading the rest of the European Union to blacklist Hezbollah.
Bahrain says it has proof that Hezbollah was providing logistical and material support to subversive groups in Bahrain that have been making efforts to unseat the government, including a popular uprising that was sparked in early 2011.
Bahraini MP Abdul Halim Murad, representing the Salafist Al Asalah party, told Al Arabiya that a Syrian officer informed Bahrain officials that Hezbollah and Iran were “conspiring” in Bahrain against the government.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has accused Bahrain of killing Arab protesters on the island nation and using chemical weapons against women and children.
A little over two years ago, as popular uprisings spread throughout the Arab world in Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen, among other nations, largely Shiite protesters took to the streets in the Bahraini capital of Manama calling for immediate reforms to laws they said favored the Sunni minority.
The army in Bahrain—backed by some 2,000 troops from neighboring Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates—squashed the uprising less than a couple of months after it began, killing dozens of protesters.
Manama has accused foreign elements, like Hezbollah, of sowing the seeds of discord in Bahrain and trying to spread Shiite influence throughout the largely Sunni Gulf region.
A Bahraini MP told Al Arabiya on Tuesday that Manama has evidence that Hezbollah has backed terrorist cells in Bahrain, and that the decision to blacklist the Lebanese group, a close ally of Iran and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, was to “protect Bahrain’s security and stability.”