What Happened: Paraguay has designated Hezbollah a terrorist organization, while Brazil is reportedly considering following suit, Infobae reported Aug. 19. Paraguay's move comes one month after Argentina became the first South American country to designate Hezbollah a terrorist organization and took measures to freeze its assets.
Why It Matters: Paraguay's decision comes amid increasing tensions between Iran — which continues to support Hezbollah — and Western countries, including the United States. Washington is attempting to shore up support among its allies in confronting Tehran and its proxy groups by freezing global assets. Paraguay's move could significantly damage Hezbollah's financial operations in South America if countries in the region cooperate on the issue and obtain U.S. backing for additional measures.
Background: Hezbollah has extensive operations in South America and reportedly generates between $200 million and $300 million a year in revenue from its activities in the region. At a counterterrorism conference last month, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo exhorted regional countries to take measures against the group in the latest such move by Washington.