Lebanese speaker: U.S. sanctions an 'assault' on country

By REUTERS
July 10, 2019 15:28
2 minute read.
Breaking news

Breaking news. (photo credit: JPOST STAFF)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

 The Lebanese parliament speaker said new US sanctions against Hezbollah officials were an "assault" on Lebanon as the move weighed on the heavily indebted state's sovereign bonds on Wednesday.

The sanctions targeting two Hezbollah MPs and one of the Shi'ite Muslim movement's top security officials widen a US campaign that Washington says has designated 50 Hezbollah-affiliated individuals and entities since 2017.
It marks the first time the United States has targeted Lebanese Hezbollah lawmakers. "It is an assault on the parliament and as a result an assault on all of Lebanon," Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, a Shi'ite ally of Hezbollah, said in a statement.


The newly designated Hezbollah members are MPs Amin Sherri and Muhammad Raad and Wafiq Safa, whose role includes coordinating with Lebanon's security agencies.


Hezbollah, heavily armed and backed by Iran, is designated a terrorist movement by the United States. Its political clout in Lebanon has widened since an election last year yielded a parliamentary majority for the group and its political allies.


Hezbollah has not issued a formal statement in response to the latest sanctions. Hezbollah MP Ali Ammar told Lebanese broadcaster LBC on Wednesday the sanctions were a "medal of honor."


"The American action is an attack on national sovereignty and it is a government duty to defend this sovereignty and protect it," he said.


US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the sanctions were part of efforts to counter Hezbollah's "corrupting influence" in Lebanon. The United States has also reimposed sanctions on Iran since withdrawing from world powers' nuclear deal with Tehran in 2018.


Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil, a senior Berri aide, said late on Tuesday the sanctions against Hezbollah were "unwarranted and do not serve financial stability."


"Lebanon and its banks are committed to all the legislation and there is no justification at all for escalating these sanctions," he said.


Lebanon's dollar-denominated sovereign bonds fell and the cost of insuring exposure to its debt rose on Wednesday after the sanctions move.


Meanwhile, 5-year credit default swaps (CDS) jumped 17 basis points (bps) from Tuesday's close to 925 bps, according to IHS Markit. CDS last traded at these levels in January, when fears of a potential debt restructuring rattled Lebanon investors.


"It's the sanctions, but the market has been a bit weaker this week. As we go into the summer holidays, liquidity is also likely to worsen so outsized moves might also occur," said Anthony Symond at Aberdeen Standard in London.


Lebanon is saddled with one of the heaviest public debt burdens in the world. The government aims to ward off a looming financial crisis with long-delayed reforms to put state finances on a sustainable path. 

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Breaking news
July 20, 2019
Bosnia buries 86 victims of 1992-95 war recovered from grisly ravine

By REUTERS

Cookie Settings