US President Barack Obama's counterterrorism chief John O. Brennan (file photo)
The chief counterterrorism adviser to the US President Barack Obama is putting pressure on the European Union to label the Lebanon resistance movement Hezbollah as a “terror group”.
John O. Brennan on Friday criticized the European for its failure to join the United States in designating the Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.
Brennan also said that Iran and Syria should be punished for supporting Hezbollah.
On July 24, the European Union flatly rejected an Israeli call to blacklist Hezbollah as a terrorist group, despite being under pressure from the US.
The EU regards Hezbollah as an active political party in Lebanon. It says there is not enough evidence to warrant listing the Lebanese group as a “terror group” like the United States.
Led by France, European countries argue that their relations with Lebanon, where Hezbollah provides extensive social services and its political wing holds government power, would be damaged by the designation.
Currently, among the 27-EU member states, only the UK and Netherlands are in favor of adding Hezbollah to the EU list of terror which would freeze the group's Europe-held financial assets.
The renewed pressure from the US comes only weeks after Hezbollah Secretary-General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah confirmed that the Lebanese resistance movement had sent a drone into the Israeli airspace.
The aircraft crossed hundreds of kilometers above the sea and entered the occupied territories from southern Palestine and flew over several Israeli strategic sites without being detected by Israeli Air Force’s radars, he said.
Security analysts say the incident indicates that the Israeli military is incapable of handling a surprise attack despite the numerous military maneuvers regularly conducted by the regime.