In first, U.S. sanctioning Hezbollah leaders who are Lebanese MPs

The move to boost pressure on the group comes at a time of growing US concern about its role in the Lebanese government.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
July 9, 2019 19:35
1 minute read.
Supporters of Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah carry pictures of Hezbollah's late

Supporters of Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah carry pictures of Hezbollah's late military leader Imad Moughniyah as Nasrallah appears on a screen to speak at an event to commemorate the deaths of six Hezbollah fighters and an Iranian general killed by an Israeli air strike in Syri. (photo credit: REUTERS/KHALIL HASSAN)

 
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The US announced on Tuesday that it will sanction three Hezbollah members, two of which are Lebanese MPs, representing the first time Lebanese MPs were added to the sanctions list.

The Treasury said that OFAC [Office of Foreign Assets Control] designated the Hezbollah Members of the Lebanese Parliament, Amin Sherri and Muhammad Hasan Ra’d, and Hezbollah security official Wafiq Safa as under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists.
As a result, all property and interests in property in the United States, or in the possession or control of US persons, of these individuals must be blocked and reported.

Since 2017, 50 people who are connected to the terrorist group had been placed under the Executive Order. 


In April, Belgium-based Wael Bazzi was placed under the order because he acted on behalf of his father, Mohammad Bazzi, a Hezbollah financier, Reuters reported.  OFAC also took action against two Belgian companies and a British-based firm controlled by Bazzi.


In addition, the US Treasury designated Lebanon-based Hassan Tabaja, who it said had acted on behalf of his brother Adham Tabajha, also a Hezbollah financier. 


The US State Department offered a reward of up to $10 million for information that could help disrupt Hezbollah's financing.


The move to boost pressure on the group comes at a time of growing US concern about its role in the Lebanese government.

Hezbollah's regional clout has expanded as it has sent fighters to Middle East conflicts, including the war in Syria, where it supported President Bashar Assad.

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