Obama vows to stand up to Hezbollah over ‘assassination’

Barack Obama
© AFP Mandel Ngan

AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US President Barack Obama pledged Sunday that the United States will stand up to the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militant group which he accused of carrying out political assassination.

“Iran continues to support terrorism across the region, including providing weapons and funds to terrorist organizations,” Obama said in a speech to the pro-Israel lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

“So we will continue to work to prevent these actions, and will stand up to groups like Hezbollah who exercise political assassination, and seek to impose their will through rockets and car bombs,” Obama said.

In February, Obama marked the sixth anniversary assassination of Lebanese ex-premier Rafiq Hariri by reaffirming his support for a UN-backed probe into the slaying.

For the past two years, a bitter political battle has revolved around the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), a controversial UN-backed court expected to implicate members of Hezbollah in the Hariri murder.

Hariri and 22 other victims were killed in a car bombing February 14, 2005.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton months ago called on the next Lebanese government to honor its obligations to the tribunal.

Hezbollah and its allies on January 12 withdrew their ministers from the unity government led by Rafiq Hariri’s son Saad, forcing its collapse, and tapped Sunni billionaire Najib Mikati to head the next government.

Four months later, arduous negotiations on forming a new cabinet that will exclude the pro-Western camp are ongoing, with no clear end to the talks in sight.

The militant party had been pressing Saad Hariri to disavow the tribunal, which it worries will implicate Hezbollah members.

© AFP — Published at Activist Post with license

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