US Imposes Sanctions on Seven Lebanese Men Linked to Hezbollah

US Imposes Sanctions on Seven Lebanese Men Linked to Hezbollah

The United States Treasury Department has sanctioned seven Lebanese linked to Hezbollah and its banking arm for illegally transferring $ 500 million on behalf of the Iran-backed group.
The US Treasury on Tuesday appointed Ibrahim Ali Daher, Hezbollah’s chief financial officer and six other men who allegedly used personal accounts at Lebanese banks, including the Jammal Trust Bank, to evade US sanctions.

Les six autres personnes citées sont: Ahmad Mohamad Yazbeck, Abbas Hassan Gharib, Wahid Mahmud Subayti, Mostafa Habib Harb, Ezzat Youssef Akar et Hasan Chehadeh Othman.

The US action locks up any assets individuals may hold in US financial institutions and prevents future interbank transactions involving the US banking system and correspondent banks around the world.

The sanctions came as Lebanon, where Hezbollah is an established political party, suffers a continuing economic and political crisis. A Hezbollah spokesperson could not be reached immediately for comment.

A member of the Kataib Hezbollah paramilitary group holds a Hezbollah flag ahead of the annual Quds Day, or Jerusalem Day parade during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in Baghdad, Iraq on May 6 [Thaier Al-Sudani/Reuters]

The seven men “all participated in elusive ‘ghost’ banking activities” through Hezbollah finance company Al-Qard al-Hassan, the Treasury said in a statement on Tuesday.

“From the highest levels of Hezbollah’s financial apparatus to working-level individuals, Hezbollah continues to abuse the Lebanese financial sector and drain Lebanon’s financial resources at an already difficult time,” said Andrea Gacki, director control of foreign assets of the US Treasury. declaration.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued a statement in support of sanctions, saying Hezbollah posed a threat to the United States and its allies in the Middle East.

“By accumulating money that the Lebanese economy desperately needs,” Secretary Blinken said, Hezbollah seeks “to build its own base of support and undermine the stability of the Lebanese state.”

In February, Lokman Slim, a prominent Lebanese activist known for his opposition to Hezbollah, was found dead in his car in the south of the country. He had been shot twice in the head.

In 2020, the United States extended its sanctions against Hezbollah, blacklisting former transport and finance ministers for providing financial assistance to the group, which for years has found ways to circumvent American restrictions.

The United States has sanctioned leading Lebanese politician and Hezbollah ally Gebran Bassil for alleged corruption, making him the most high-profile target of anti-Hezbollah sanctions to date.

Bassil, a former foreign minister, is the son-in-law of Lebanese President Michel Aoun and also the leader of the party with the largest bloc in parliament, the Free Patriotic Movement. He is considered one of the top potential presidential candidates in the next election two years from now.

Hezbollah has been designated by the United States and 12 other countries as a “terrorist” organization for its radical operations. Ten countries, including China, Russia, Iran and Syria, have said they do not consider Hezbollah a terrorist organization.


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