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US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley takes aim at Iran and its proxy militia Hezbollah

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FILE - United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley attends a meeting of the Security Council at U.N. headquarters in New York, Feb. 7, 2017. VOA
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The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations took aim at Iran and its proxy militia Hezbollah on Thursday, saying the United States would act against this “growing menace.”

At the monthly meeting of the U.N. Security Council that focuses on the Middle East, specifically the Israeli-Palestinian issue, Nikki Haley said the council should expand its attention to focus on other threats in the region.

“We need to start with the chief culprit: Iran and its partner militia Hezbollah,” she said, referring to the Lebanese Shi’ite militant group, which the U.S. has designated as a terrorist organization. She said the two have conspired together to destabilize the region through terrorist acts and military action.

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“Today they prop up Bashar al-Assad’s brutality, fighting alongside his forces, adding to the killing of thousands of civilians and the misery of millions of refugees,” Haley said of Iran and Hezbollah’s involvement in the Syrian conflict. “They train deadly militias in Iraq, and arm Houthi militants in Yemen,” she added.

“While this council has paid too little attention to this growing menace, the United States will not,” she warned. “We are going to speak up about Iran and Hezbollah, and we are going to act against their lawlessness.”

The U.S. ambassador’s strong comments come a day after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson criticized Tehran, saying that while it had abided by its obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreed between the six major powers and Iran in 2015, the deal had not stopped Iran’s ability and determination to develop nuclear weapons.

“An unchecked Iran has the potential to follow the same path as North Korea and take the world along with it,” Tillerson told reporters on Wednesday.

FILE - Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks to the media during a shared press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov following their talks in Moscow, Russia, April 12, 2017
FILE – Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks to the media during a shared press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov following their talks in Moscow, Russia, April 12, 2017 , VOA

The Trump administration said this week that it is conducting a 90-day review of the nuclear deal to evaluate whether suspending Iran sanctions are in the vital interest of U.S. national security.

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At the United Nations, Haley told council diplomats that Washington is not waiting to respond to Iran for its non-nuclear related behavior.

“Iran remains a designated state sponsor of terrorism and we continue to enforce all sanctions related to Iran’s support for terrorism and destabilizing activities in the region,” Haley said.

In February, the Trump administration designated for sanctions 25 individuals and entities for their support for Iran’s ballistic missile program, or for their support for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. (vOA)

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Facebook And Twitter Account Blocks Without Notice: Hezbollah

According to Ynet news, despite the closures, Internet users were directed to pages associated with Hezbollah.

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Facebook And Twitter Account Blocks Without Notice: Hezbollah
Facebook And Twitter Account Blocks Without Notice: Hezbollah, pixabay

Islamist political party and militant group Hezbollah said its Facebook and Twitter accounts have been terminated without any notice.

Hezbollah said on Telegram — an encrypted messaging app — that the closures came without warning and were “part of the propaganda campaign against the resistance due to the important role of the organisation’s information apparatus in various arenas”, The Times of Israel reported on Saturday.

There was no immediate explanation from either Facebook or Twitter on the decision to block the accounts.

According to Ynet news, despite the closures, Internet users were directed to pages associated with Hezbollah.

While the companies have previously blocked pages belonging to the Iran-backed terror group, the shutting down of the accounts came after recent threats by Israeli officials to take legal action against social media companies for hosting the accounts of terror groups, the report said.

Hezbollah
Hezbollah, flickr

Earlier this month, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan sent a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey warning the company could face prosecution in Israel if it does not block accounts belonging to Hezbollah and Palestinian terror groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Erdan had claimed that unlike other social media companies, Twitter in many cases had declined to remove content posted by terrorist groups.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked had also threatened Twitter with a legal action over the social media giant’s alleged refusal to crack down on posts by terror operatives.

Also read: Social Media Companies Accelerating To Remove Online Hate Speech

The blocking of the Hezbollah accounts come a day after the terror group released new footage on social media from the 2006 border attack on Israeli soldiers that sparked the Second Lebanon War. (IANS)