US, Gulf countries slap Hezbollah with sanctions

With an eye on Iran, the Trump administration and Arab states leveled sanctions against Hezbollah individuals and entities.

By: World Israel News Staff and AP

The US and several Gulf countries have placed new anti-terror sanctions on the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terror organization, adding pressure to fight the group’s global financial network.

The US Treasury Department stated Wednesday that Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other Gulf nations are slapping sanctions on Hezbollah’s senior leadership. The sanctions are being coordinated by a US-Gulf partnership called the Terrorist Financing and Targeting Center (TFTC), which was formed last May.

Ten officials were hit with the sanctions, including Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah and his deputy, Naim Qassem.

The Gulf states also targeted four of the terror group’s committees and ordered the individuals’ assets and bank accounts frozen, Saudi Arabia’s official news agency stated.

The Arab League branded Hezbollah a terror organization in November 2017.

Most of the Hezbollah officials were already under heavy US sanctions, so the actions will have limited practical implications in the US. The Trump administration has been targeting Hezbollah in Lebanon in order to increase pressure on its patron, Iran, following the president’s withdrawal last week from the Iran nuclear deal.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo emphasized the Trump administration’s commitment to working with all the Gulf nations to ensure that sanctions are “fully enforced” and to prevent their financial systems from being exploited by terrorists, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.