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Washington D.C. – House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) released the following statement on the 10th anniversary of the assassination Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri:

“Saturday, February 14, 2015 marks ten years since the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and more than twenty other Lebanese by a car bombing in central Beirut.  The attack marked the beginning of a campaign of assassination of Lebanese political leaders dedicated to an independent, democratic, and multi-sectarian Lebanon, free from Syrian occupation and opposed to the erosion of the state by Iranian-backed Hizballah.  Despite the existence of a UN Special Tribunal, justice for the victims of these attacks remains elusive.

“Today, Hizballah and its Iranian patrons continue to pose a threat to Lebanon’s sovereignty, just as they continue to pose a threat to Israel, to regional peace and stability, and to United States interests.

“Hizballah continues to subvert state institutions in Lebanon.  Iran and Syria have re-armed Hizballah since the group’s 2006 war with Israel and Hizballah continues to plot and conduct attacks against Israel.  Hizballah is also a co-belligerent in Assad’s war against the Syrian people that has left more than 200,000 dead and fueled sectarian radicalism, and brought the scourge of ISIL to Lebanon itself.

“Hizballah is not a rogue force; it is an appendage of the Islamic Republic of Iran.  It is Tehran’s arms and hands in the Levant.

“Tragically, too little is being done to confront the spread of Iran’s malign influence throughout the region.  The radical, sectarian aggression of Iran and its agents has stoked the underlying conflicts in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, giving rise to terrorist groups like ISIL and making it impossible to defeat the threat of radical Islamist terrorism without a strategy to address Iran’s malign role in the region.”