In U.S., Bazzi Says Sanctions on Hizbullah MPs a 'Threat to Democracy'
MP Ali Bazzi of the Development and Liberation bloc on Tuesday described the recent U.S. sanctions on two Hizbullah MPs as a “threat to democracy.”
Bazzi voiced his remarks in Washington where he is leading a parliamentary delegation at an invitation from the U.S. Congress. He is representing Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri.
“When a state imposes sanctions on MPs from another state, this is a threat to democracy and a categorization of people according to the interests of a certain country, which contradicts with the principles of democracy,” Bazzi said, addressing parliamentary delegations from more than 20 countries, in the presence of members of the U.S. Congress.
He added: “George Washington fought the British occupation for the sake of freedom and independence, and also in my country there are people who resisted and are resisting occupation and terrorism, because they are fond of freedom, national dignity and independence.”
The US Treasury placed two Hizbullah members of Lebanon's parliament on its sanctions blacklist last Tuesday -- the first time Washington has taken aim at the Iran-allied group's elected politicians.
Stepping up its effort to build global pressure on Hizbullah, the Treasury named MPs Amin Sherri and Mohammed Raad to a terror-related blacklist, saying that Hizbullah uses its parliamentary power to advance violent activities.
Also placed on the blacklist was Wafiq Safa, a top Hizbullah official close to the movement's Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. targeted three officials "who leverage their positions to facilitate Hizbullah and the Iranian regime's malign efforts to undermine Lebanese sovereignty."