Argentina’s government moved closer to declaring the armed Lebanese group Hezbollah a terrorist organization on Wednesday, announcing the creation of an official terror blacklist, a day before the 25th anniversary of the AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires.
Hezbollah has been linked to the 1994 attack on the AMIA Jewish center that killed 85 as well the 1992 attack on the Israeli embassy that killed 29. Argentina and Israel believe the Iran-backed group is responsible for both attacks.
The registry will allow the South American country’s Justice Ministry to officially blacklist organizations and people linked to attacks in Argentina. It will include information on terrorism linked to Argentina while contributing to global anti-terror lists.
Local media reported that Hezbollah would be included on the registry.
Last week, Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri said he was “moving forward” with efforts to blacklist Hezbollah, calling it a “rejection of terrorism” and violence.
The creation of the blacklist comes a day before the public memorial for the AMIA bombing and a visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has stepped up pressure on Hezbollah during his tenure.
On Tuesday, a US official said that Pompeo would bring the same message that he delivered in March in Beirut — that the United States “will bring unprecedented pressure to bear on Iran until it ceases all malign behavior including that which is carried out by Hezbollah.”
The official said Latin American nations were expected to start their own system of blacklisting and imposing sanctions on “terrorists,” following the US model.
Earlier Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lauded Argentina’s step toward blacklisting Hezbollah and urged a group of visiting French MPs to do the same.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met today in Jerusalem with a delegation of senior French MPs.
PM Netanyahu: "It's very important that France and the rest of Europe do exactly what Argentina did recently, and that is to declare Hezbollah as a terrorist group." pic.twitter.com/jSlMs7CSns
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) July 17, 2019