Alwaght– France has rejected the US claim that Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah has stockpiles of ammonium nitrate stashed around Europe, saying there was no evidence suggesting Hezbollah was storing chemicals to make explosives in France.
“To our knowledge, there is nothing tangible to confirm such an allegation in France today,” French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll said in response to the US State Department’s alarming claim.
On Thursday, Nathan Sales, the US State Department’s coordinator for counterterrorism, accused the Lebanese group of smuggling and storing chemicals, including ammonium nitrate, from Belgium to France, Greece, Italy, Spain and Switzerland.
“It stores these weapons in places so it can conduct major terrorist attacks whenever its masters in Tehran deem necessary,” Sales alleged in a briefing without elaborating or providing evidence of the activities.
Ammonium nitrate is an industrial chemical commonly used in fertilizers and as an explosive used for quarrying and mining. It is considered relatively safe if uncontaminated and stored properly.
It is extremely dangerous if contaminated, mixed with fuel or stored unsafely, as was seen at the Beirut port in August after 2,750-tonnes of it exploded, destroying the port and killing at least 190 people.