Two MP’s and one security official from Lebanon sanctioned for its involvement with terror organization Hezbollah; US Treasury announces officials were evading US sanctions and using Lebanese institutions to support Hezbollah: Hezbollah claims sanctions are an assault on Lebanon and its government.
The United States Department of the Treasury announced new sanctions on three Iranian-backed Lebanese officials on Tuesday, operatives of Hezbollah who have used “Lebanon’s parliament to manipulate institutions in support of the terrorist group’s financial and security interests, and to bolster Iran’s malign activities.” Two of the three are Lebanese Members of Parliament, Amin Sherri and Muhammad Hasan Raad, the third a security official, Wafiq Safa. Sanctions were placed on all three under the United States’ Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, “which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.”
According to the US State Department, the latest sanctions are part of the United States’ efforts to “counter Hezbollah’s corrupting influence in Lebanon, and to support Lebanon’s stability, prosperity, and sovereignty. The United States’ maximum pressure campaign against the Iranian regime… and its proxies have already succeeded in limiting the financial support Hezbollah receives.” Both Iran and Hezbollah have accused the United States of economic warfare.
It directly accused all three officials of exploiting their positions to “smuggle illicit goods into Lebanon, pressure Lebanese financial institutions to assist Hezbollah, undermine Lebanese institutions, and evade US sanctions against Hezbollah facilitators and financiers.”
Lebanon’s Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri was quoted by Reuters stating in response that the sanctions are “an assault on the parliament and as a result an assault on all of Lebanon.”