U.S. imposes Sanctions on Hezbollah financial network

05 February, 2018, 07:07 | Author: Becky Perry
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin greets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow Jan. 29

In a statement, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin described the group as "responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans". The entities include companies based in Lebanon, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Liberia.

Treasury levied sanctions against six individuals and seven entities the USA says are tied to the group, according to a statement released Friday.

Senior Trump administration officials claim that the sanctions were part of an aggressive move against Hezbollah to try to limit what they called as Iran's growing influence in the region.

More such targeted sanctions are expected in the months ahead, they said.

According to the statement, the sanctioned individuals included five Lebanese and one Iraqi. USA officials said Hezbollah is also helping train and advise Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen who are being pummeled by a Saudi-led coalition supported by the United States.

The first wave of penalties target Al-Inmaa Engineering Contracting, a company run by Tabaja and based in Hezbollah's stronghold south of Beirut.

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"The Treasury Department will continue to sever Hizballah from the worldwide financial system, and we will be relentless in identifying, exposing, and dismantling Hizballah's financial support networks globally". The U.S.is particularly concerned about Hezbollah's presence in Syria and Yemen. As a result of the Treasury designations, all of Hezbollah's assets subject to USA jurisdiction are blocked and Americans are prohibited from participating in transactions with them.

During a speech at the United Nations previous year, Trump accused the Iranian regime of funneling money away from its people and towards terrorists like those in Hezbollah.

Who are Hezbollah? The group was formed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in 1982 to fight Israel's invasion of Beirut, but Hezbollah has since become a powerful political player in Lebanon.

The U.S. Treasury broadened sanctions on Friday targeting Hezbollah's financial network in the Middle East and Africa in a bid to crack down on revenue streams the U.S. says the group uses to fund terrorist activities.

In addition, Washington has in the past imposed sanctions on Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and two other members of the organization, for their alleged role in aiding the Syrian government in its crackdown on opposition forces.

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