Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

US Targets Hezbollah Leaders With Sanctions

US Targets Hezbollah Leaders With Sanctions

The United States hit a raft of Hezbollah leaders with new sanctions on Wednesday in a crackdown carried out with the cooperation of Gulf states including Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

"Today, the seven member nations of the Terrorist Financing and Targeting Center (TFTC) took significant actions to disrupt an Iranian-backed terrorist group by designating the senior leadership of Lebanese Hizballah", the Treasury Department said in a statement.

Nasrallah, Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Naim Qasim, and three other Shura Council members were listed under the joint sanctions, which aim at freezing vulnerable assets of those named and blocking their access to global financial networks. In addition, the sanctions reject the "false distinction" between the group's political and military wings.

Supporters of Lebanon's Hezbollah terror movement parade with the party's flags and portraits of its leader Hassan Nasrallah through the streets of Baalbeck, in the eastern Bekaa valley, near the border with Syria, on general election day, May 6, 2018.

The announcement by the GCC came shortly after the US Treasury imposed additional sanctions on Nasrallah and Qassem.

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Nasrallah a year ago dismissed the prospect of tougher US sanctions against his group.

Previously, Sheikh Naim Qassem said that Hezbollah would shield Lebanon from any schemes to "subordinate Lebanon [to foreigners]", adding that the United States and Israel "spare no efforts to attack Lebanon and impose sanctions" on the Shia organization.

"What these emails show is that a number of senior Qatari government officials have developed cordial relations with senior figures in Iran's Revolutionary Guard, as well as a number of Iranian-sponsored terrorist organizations", a senior United States security official told the Telegraph.

Wednesday's sanctions targeted members of the primary decision-making body of Hezbollah, Treasury said in a statement.

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