Hezbollah (lit. “Party of God”), is a Shi'a Islamist group that emerged in Lebanon in 1982 and gained the status of a cohesive organization when it formally stated its goals in 1985. While U.S. and Israeli policymakers consider Hezbollah a terrorist organization, in Lebanon it is known not only for its political and militant activities but also for providing charitable social services and operating hospitals and schools.

Led since 1992 by Hasan Nasrallah, its secretary-general, Hezbollah's spiritual leader is the Supreme Leader of Iran, previously Ayatullah Khomeini, and currently Ayatullah Khamenei. The organization has two parts: the first composed of those playing an official governing role and the second of Lebanese Shi'i who are loosely affiliated with Hezbollah and support its causes. A legitimate political party ...

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