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West uses ‘terror designations’ as tool to criminalize grassroot support for Palestine: Iran

Hamas was formed in 1988 after the outbreak of the first Palestinian uprising.

Tehran says Western countries resort to “terrorist designations” as a tool to criminalize support for the Palestinian people, stressing that such acts primarily target civil societies in the West.

“‘Terrorist designations’ by Western countries have become a tool to criminalize grassroots support for the Palestinian cause,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said via Twitter on Monday evening.

Khatibzadeh also said such “phony designations” do not merely target groups that resist Israeli Apartheid, noting that they primarily target civil societies in the West.

The remarks came after Instagram social networking service deleted a post by Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian that condemned the British government’s recent decision to ban the Gaza-based Hamas resistance group.

The top Iranian diplomat said that holding a referendum with the participation of the original inhabitants of Palestine (Muslims, Jews, and Christians) is the sole political solution to the Palestinian issue, adding, “The rights of the Palestinian people cannot be violated by distorting realities.”

Last Friday, British Home Secretary Priti Patel announced the decision to designate Hamas in its entirety as a “terrorist organization” during a speech for the right-wing Heritage Foundation think tank in Washington DC.

As part of the new law, wearing clothes that suggest support for Hamas, organizing meetings for the group, or publishing an image of its flag or logo, would all be in breach. 

The move will bring the UK in line with the United States, Canada, Israel, and the European Union, which have designated Hamas as a “terrorist organization” in its entirety.

Previously, Britain only outlawed the armed wing of the resistance group – the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades.

The new classification is set to be pushed through the British Parliament later this week. 

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry has denounced the designation as “an unjustified attack on the Palestinian people, who are subjected to the most heinous forms of occupation, and historical injustice established by the Balfour Declaration.”

It also criticized Britain for "acquiescing to Israeli pressure", noting that the move “comes a week after Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett demanded his British counterpart, on the sidelines of the climate summit meeting in Glasgow, approve Hamas as a terrorist organization.”

The ministry further urged the British government to stop its policy of “double standards” and to “immediately retract (from) this decision.”

Meanwhile, Israeli media revealed that the regime’s spy agency Shin Bet has worked with its counterparts in Britain in order to get London to designate Hamas.

Additionally, Hamas political official Sami Abu Zuhri said the designation showed “absolute bias toward the Israeli blackmail and dictation.”

In a separate statement, Hamas stressed that “resisting occupation by all available means, including armed resistance, is a right granted to people under occupation as stated by the international law.”

Founded in 1987, Hamas is the largest Palestinian resistance movement. Since 2007, it has ruled the besieged Gaza Strip and has since defended the impoverished enclave against four major Israeli wars, including the most recent 11-day conflict that ended in an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire in May.

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