The US State Department Coordinator for counterterrorism declared that Hezbollah was a single organism which by definition, is a terrorist organization. Ambassador Nathan Sales also rejected the group’s political wing, stressing that it sole purpose was to serve the terror group’s patron, the Islamic Republic of Iran, as a tool to exert its influence to assure Tehran’s interests are preserved in Beirut. Ambassador Sales said, “Make no mistake, Hezbollah has no political wing. It is a single organization a terrorist organization and it is rotten to its core,” while adding that “It’s important to recall that Hezbollah hasn’t developed its military and terrorist capabilities on its own. It has become the global threat it is today for one reason. Tehran’s deep and abiding assistance. The Iranian regime has built and bankrolled Hezbollah to foment instability throughout the region and across the world. This has all come at the expense of the Iranian people, whose resources are being diverted to support Hezbollah’s bloody cause. And at the expense of Lebanon which has suffered grievously from Iran and Hezbollah’s deadly partnership. The people of Iran and the people of Lebanon deserve better than this,” the US State Department coordinator of counterterrorism declared.
Senior counter-terrorism officials further pointed to growing concerns with regard to Hezbollah’s aspiration to develop a capacity to strike inside the United States, warning that the Iranian-proxy continues its activities to that end, with the backing of the Islamic Republic. Nicholas Rasmussen, the Counterterrorism Center Director at the US State Department revealed that “With respect to the homeland here in the United States, let me say this, while much of our work in the government since 9/11 has focused on al-Qaeda and more recently on ISIS, in the 20 years since Hezbollah’s designation as a foreign terrorist organization we have never taken our focus off of Hezbollah. And, on the threat it represents to the homeland. And while I’m not here today to speak publicly about any specific or credible or imminent threat to the homeland, we in the intelligence community do in fact see continued activity on behalf of Hezbollah here inside the homeland. And as you would expect, as the American people would expect we are watching very closely for additional signs of that activity here in the homeland,” he said.