U.S., Gulf States Slap Sanctions on Nasrallah, Qassem, Hizbullah Officialsإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The United States and the Arab Gulf countries on Wednesday imposed new sanctions targeting Hizbullah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, his deputy Sheikh Naim Qassem and other senior officials of the Iran-backed Lebanese group.
“Today, the seven member nations of the Terrorist Financing and Targeting Center (TFTC) took significant actions to disrupt an Iranian-backed terrorist group by designating the senior leadership of Lebanese Hizbullah,” the U.S. Treasury said in a statement.
“The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in partnership with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the co-chair of the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center (TFTC), and the other TFTC member states – the Kingdom of Bahrain, the State of Kuwait, the Sultanate of Oman, the State of Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – designated members of Hizbullah’s Shura Council, the primary decision-making body of Hizbullah,” the statement added.
It identified the targeted officials as Nasrallah, Qassem, Mohammed Yazbek, Hussein al- Khalil and Ibrahim Amin al-Sayyed.
In addition, TFTC member states also designated “key Hizbullah-affiliated individuals and entities,” identifying them as Talal Hamiyeh, Ali Youssef Sharara, Spectrum Group, Hassan Ibrahimi, Maher Trading, Hashem Safieddine, Adham Tabaja, Al-Inmaa Group, and Al-Inmaa Engineering and Contracting, all of whom were previously designated by the U.S.
“The TFTC again demonstrated its great value to international security by disrupting Iran and Hizbullah’s destabilizing influence in the region. By targeting Hizbullah’s Shura Council, our nations collectively rejected the false distinction between a so-called 'Political Wing' and Hizbullah’s global terrorist plotting,” said U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin.
“Under the dictates of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF), Secretary General and head of the Shura Council Hassan Nasrallah is prolonging the human suffering in Syria, fueling the violence in Iraq and Yemen, putting the Lebanese state and the Lebanese people at risk, and destabilizing the entire region,” Mnuchin charged.
The U.S. Treasury noted that this is the second TFTC designation action since the center was announced on May 21, 2017.
It said that the TFTC is “a bold and historic effort to expand and strengthen the seven member states’ cooperation to counter the financing of terrorism,” adding that the TFTC “facilitates coordinated disruptive actions, sharing of financial intelligence information, and member state capacity-building to target terrorist financing networks and related activities that pose national security threats to TFTC members.”
The Treasury added that these designations “are in furtherance of the goal of addressing the totality of Iran's malign activities and regionally destabilizing behavior, including that of Hizbullah.”