U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Hezbollah Officials Accused of Supporting Iran

U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Hezbollah Officials Accused of Supporting Iran
U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Hezbollah Officials Accused of Supporting Iran

The Trump administration imposed sanctions on three senior Hezbollah officials in Lebanon on Tuesday, accusing them of having a “malign agenda” to support the Iranian government.

 

U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Hezbollah Officials Accused of Supporting Iran
U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Hezbollah Officials Accused of Supporting Iran

 

The sanctions were the first to directly target members of Lebanon’s Parliament and underscored the White House’s intention to ratchet up pressure on Iran by punishing groups with ties to its government.

The United States considers Hezbollah a terrorist organization even though members of the group have embedded into legitimate parts of the Lebanese government. Amin Sherri and Muhammad Hasan Ra’d, who are members of Parliament, and Wafiq Safa, a senior Hezbollah security official in Lebanon, were added to the Treasury Department’s sanctions list.

“Hezbollah uses its operatives in Lebanon’s Parliament to manipulate institutions in support of the terrorist group’s financial and security interests, and to bolster Iran’s malign activities,” Sigal Mandelker, the Treasury Department’s under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement.
Tension between the United States and Iran has been rising as Iran violated a key provision of the 2015 international accord to restrict its nuclear program this month. Tehran has also warned that it would begin enriching its nuclear fuel to a purer level, potentially moving it closer to developing a nuclear weapon.

Since President Trump withdrew from the nuclear accord in 2018, the United States has renewed sanctions on Iranians and warned other countries not to do business with Iran. In June, the Trump administration issued a new sanctions order barring Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, and his office from access to the international financial system. The administration also levied sanctions on eight Iranian military commanders last month.

Senior administration officials said that the sanctions announced on Tuesday were meant to emphasize to the world that the United States saw no distinction between the political and military wings of Hezbollah, which is supported by Iran. They urged Lebanon’s leaders to sever ties with anyone affiliated with Hezbollah.

 

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