Supporters of Lebanon's Shiite movement Hezbollah watch a speech by its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, on a large screen in Beirut. Photo: AFP

Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement on Friday appealed to its supporters for donations because it is coming under financial pressure as a result of Western sanctions.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah’s call for support came after Britain announced on February 25 that it would seek to make it a crime to be a member of the Shiite movement or invite support for it.

It also follows Washington ramping up sanctions against the group, with its latest raft of measures in November targeting Nasrallah’s son Jawad, among other individuals.

“The sanctions and terror lists are a form of warfare against the resistance and we must deal with them as such,” Nasrallah said in a televised speech.

“I announce today that we are in need of the support of our popular base.”

He added, “It is the responsibility of the Lebanese resistance, its popular base, its milieu” to confront these measures.

Hezbollah was established in 1982 during Lebanon’s civil war and is now a major political party in the southern Mediterranean country, holding three cabinet posts.

The movement was designated a terrorist organization by Washington in 1997 and the group’s armed wing fights alongside the military of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in the country’s civil war.

– with reporting by Agence France-Presse

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