U.S. imposes new sanctions on Hezbollah

U.S. imposes new sanctions on Hezbollah

Kerry Wise
February 4, 2018

The Treasury Department announced the measures against six people and seven businesses based in Lebanon, Iraq and West Africa, a move officials described as a first step in a wave of actions targeting the group's licit and illicit financial networks. Tabaja has been the target of previous US sanctions.

General Heidari said Iran supports regional states which have stood up against the terrorist groups and crises created by the USA and its allies in the region. The move is tied to President Donald Trump's position on Iran - the administration has moved to ratchet up pressure on the Islamic Republic's nuclear program without abrogating the accord with the US and five other world powers.

The company is based in "Hezbollah's" stronghold south of Beirut.

The Trump administration has made it a top priority to undermine Iran's ability to stoke unrest and spread its influence throughout the region.

The sanctions aim to squeeze Hezbollah financier Adham Tabaja, who is already designated by the U.S.as a global terrorist, by freezing out a network of companies in Lebanon, Ghana, Liberia and elsewhere.

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Hezbollah's financial situation: U.S. officials said Hezbollah was already facing financial stress due to paying for costly operations in Syria and Yemen. The U.S.is particularly concerned about Hezbollah's presence in Syria and Yemen. He said past investigations had also exposed complicity or involvement by parts of Lebanon's government in Hezbollah's money-laundering operations.

The Justice Department said January 11 that it would establish a "financing and narcoterrorism" team to target Hezbollah, which the US considers a terrorist organization.

"Rather than use its resources to improve Iranian lives", Trump said of the regime, "its oil profits go to fund Hezbollah and other terrorists that kill innocent Muslims and attack their peaceful Arab and Israeli neighbors".

The six sanctioned individuals included five Lebanese and one Iraqi, majority linked to Al-Inmaa Engineering and Contracting, the Treasury Department said. Most of the individuals targeted had not been publicly known to be Hezbollah financiers and are not prominent names in Lebanon.

It will be a "very bad day for" Tabaja, said a senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity.