Banks Start Implementing U.S. Anti-Hizbullah Lawإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Lebanese banks began taking measures against persons or institutions in accordance to a U.S. law that imposes sanctions on banks that knowingly do business with Hizbullah, banking sources said on Wednesday.
The sources told al-Mustaqbal daily that the measures are being taken on accounts in Lebanese Liras and foreign currencies.
U.S. President Barack Obama signed the Hizbullah International Financing Prevention Act on Dec. 18. Since then, Lebanese officials and bankers have been flying to Washington to discuss the move with American officials.
Last week, the U.S. treasury department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, issued regulations aimed at implementing the Hizbullah financing prevention act.
Many in Lebanon are worried that the U.S. legislation will have negative effects on the Lebanese banking sector, which is one of the most active industries in the country.
Assistant Secretary for the Department of the Treasury Daniel Glaser is expected to visit Beirut next week to discuss with Lebanese officials the details of the regulations, said al-Mustaqbal.
The regulations say Washington will target those "knowingly facilitating a significant transaction or transactions for" Hizbullah and those "knowingly facilitating a significant transaction or transactions of a person identified on the List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked persons."
OFAC's list includes names of officials, businessmen and institutions that the U.S. says are linked to Hizbullah. The list includes the Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasarallah and top military commander Mustafa Badreddine as well as some businessmen. The list also includes the group's al-Manar TV and Al-Nour Radio.
Nasarallah said in December 2015, when the law was signed, that his group does not deal with Lebanese or foreign banks.