Pompeo: We Stand with People of Lebanon against Corruption, Terrorism
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday announced that the U.S. stands by the Lebanese people in the face of “corruption and terrorism,” shortly after Washington slapped sanctions on three individuals and several firms allegedly linked to Hizbullah.
“We stand with the people of Lebanon to fight against corruption and terrorism. Today we designated two prominent Lebanese businessmen whose illicit financial activity supports Hizbullah,” Pompeo tweeted.
“We will continue to use all the tools at our disposal to counter the threat Hizbullah poses,” he added.
Earlier on Friday, the U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions against three alleged Hizbullah money launderers and financiers, including a diamond trader who collected art.
It accused Lebanon-based Nazem Said Ahmad, whose art collection includes works by Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol, and his companies of helping to launder large sums of money for the group.
"Ahmad, who has a vast art collection, is one of Hizbullah's top donors, generating funds through his longstanding ties to the 'blood diamond' trade," it said.
A second man based in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Saleh Assi, was sanctioned for laundering money through Ahmad's diamond business and supporting another alleged financier already under sanctions.
The U.S. Treasury also slapped sanctions on Lebanon-based accountant Tony Saab, saying he “provided support to Assi.”