What Motives Lie Beneath Riyadh’s Move to Label Hezbollah Terrorist Group?

© AP Photo / Aya Batrawy, FileFILE -- In this Dec. 14, 2015 file photo, images of King Salman, center, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef , left, and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman hang at the entrance of a shopping center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to mark the country's 85th anniversary
FILE -- In this Dec. 14, 2015 file photo, images of King Salman, center, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef , left, and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman hang at the entrance of a shopping center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to mark the country's 85th anniversary - Sputnik International
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The decision by the Gulf Cooperation Council to declare Hezbollah a terrorist group will be used by Saudi Arabia to destabilize the region, including boosting its support for terrorists, Iranian political analyst and diplomat Seyed Hadi Afghahi told Sputnik.

Lebanese Hezbollah supporters march during a religious procession to mark Ashoura in Beirut's suburbs November 4, 2014 - Sputnik International
Gulf States Declare Hezbollah a Terrorist Group Amid Saudi-Iranian Tensions
Recently, Riyadh designated the Lebanon-based Hezbollah militant group a terrorist organization and urged Saudi citizens to leave Lebanon.

On Wednesday, the Gulf Cooperation Council, comprising Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman, labeled Hezbollah a terrorist organization.

According to the Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten, it was the first time when Gulf states have collectively stood against Hezbollah which is regarded by Riyadh as an instrument of Shia leadership in Iran.

Saudi Arabia’s goal can be clarified if regarded from a historic perspective, Afghahi pointed out.

Saudi Arabian city view with the 'Kingdom Tower', background, and 'Al-Faislia Tower' in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - Sputnik International
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"The Saudi regime was established under the auspices of the British Empire. Since then, its ideology has been based on propagating the principles of Wahhabism. Riyadh is also a reliable Western ally. It is no secret that Saudi Arabia promotes Western interests in the region. Today, it is trying to reinforce its positions in the Middle East, including via proxy wars or open conflicts," he explained.

According to the analyst, Saudi Arabia is sponsoring numerous terrorist groups in the Middle East, including those fighting in Syria. Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria is aimed at fighting terrorism, as part of a coalition with the Syrian government and Iran.

At the same time, he added, Saudi Arabia is trying to spark a conflict in Lebanon so that Hezbollah has to withdraw its forces from Syria.

"This move is absolutely absurd. Perhaps, Riyadh is trying to regain its positions and compensate political and military losses in the Middle East," Afghahi said.

He added that another possible goal is to damage Iran’s reputation in the region.

"Teheran openly supports Hezbollah and its fight against terrorism. It is also part of an anti-terrorist coordination center including Russia, Syria and Iraq. Iran’s actions are in full compliance with the UN Security Council. Tehran is committed to fighting terrorism," the analyst concluded.

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