Iran condemns UK decision to declare Hamas a terrorist organization

November 20, 2021 - 19:4

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian has reacted to a controversial UK decision to declare the Palestinian resistance group Hamas as a “terrorist organization.”

“We condemn the UK's decision to declare the popular resistance movement of HAMAS a terrorist organization,” the foreign minister said on Twitter, adding, “Rights of Palestinians cannot be trampled on by distorting facts. The only political solution for Palestine lies in holding a referendum among all indigenous residents.”

UK Home Secretary Priti Patel on Friday announced the move, sparking outrage and condemnation around the world. In blacklisting Hamas, the UK joined the European Union and the United States which designated Hamas a terror group in 1995.

“Priti Patel has today (19 November) laid before Parliament an order to outlaw the militant Islamist terrorist movement Hamas in its entirety from the UK,” the UK government said in a statement. 

It added, “The organisation’s military wing is already banned in the UK but following a new assessment the Home Secretary has concluded it should be proscribed in its entirety.”

The UK government further said, “Hamas’ military wing was proscribed by the UK in March 2001. At the time it was the Government’s assessment that there was a distinction between the political and military wings of the group. This distinction is now assessed to be artificial, with Hamas as an organisation involved in committing, participating, preparing for, and encouraging acts of terrorism.”

The British move drew criticism from many groups in the region, including the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah.

the Palestinian Foreign Ministry condemned the British government's decision to designate the Hamas movement as a terrorist organization, describing it as an “unjustified attack on the Palestinian people.”

In a statement, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry underlined that the British government, with this decision, placed obstacles in the way of achieving peace and obstacles in the way of efforts to consolidate the truce and rebuild the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian statement said, “Unfortunately, this British decision comes a week after the Israeli Prime Minister asked his British counterpart on the sidelines of the climate summit meeting in Glasgow to designate Hamas as a terrorist organization. We believe that in line with this request, the British Home Secretary (Priti Patel) announced this decision during her visit to Washington.”

The statement put the spotlight on Patel’s track record in supporting Israeli occupation.

“The same minister who, in previous years, visited the settlements of the Golan Heights in coordination with the settlements council there and without obtaining the approval of her government,” the statement said, adding, “This time, there is approval for this step by her government and a reflection of a dangerous shift in the traditional British policy towards the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, by adopting Israeli positions under flimsy justifications and arguments.”

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry called on the British government to stop “the policy of double standards” and “immediately retract this decision,” warning that it will study with the concerned authorities “the effects and consequences of this decision on the Palestinian-British bilateral relations and its impact on Britain’s traditional role in the region.”

In addition, a parliamentary group in Iran also condemned the British decision. International Conference on Palestinian Intifada, a parliamentary group in the Iranian parliament, described the move as inhumane. 

“We condemn the British government's inhumane move to designate the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas as a terrorist entity,” the Conference said in a statement. 

It added, “Undoubtedly, this cowardly act is a move to continue the betrayal of Balfour's statement on the occupation of Palestinian land and the displacement of millions of Palestinians and the massacre of thousands of innocent men, women and children.”

The Balfour Declaration was a public statement issued by the British government in 1917 during the First World War, which laid the foundations for the entity of Israel.

Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, a member of Yemen's Supreme Political Council, also pointed to the same thing. “The decision is not surprising at all as Britain is the founder of the (Israeli) occupation,” he said, adding, “"The move coincides with the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, and underscores Britain's continued support for the criminal regime.”

Khalil al-Hayya, deputy head of the Hamas political bureau, also denounced the British move, saying, “We had hoped that Britain would not commit a new crime against the Palestinian nation following the Balfour Declaration.”

He added, “We hope to obtain our rights without any bloodshed. However, there is no one in the world to have won their freedom without resistance. Britain will bear the brunt of any Israeli escalation as a result of its decision.”

He pointed out, “We are not ashamed to say that we are resisting the occupation. Resistance is a right guarantee in accordance with international law and regulations.”

A coalition of Palestinian factions also denounced the move. They called on the British Parliament to overturn the government's decision.

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