US Sanctions Target ‘Hezbollah’ Chief, Deputy, Other Officials and Entities

US Sanctions Target ‘Hezbollah’ Chief, Deputy, Other Officials and Entities

Wednesday, 16 May, 2018 - 19:30
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. (Reuters)
Asharq Al-Awsat
The US Treasury Department announced on Wednesday fresh sanctions on the Iran-backed Lebanese “Hezbollah” party. The sanctions target Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, his deputy Naim Qassem and other figures and entities.

The sanctions were imposed by the Treasury and seven-member nations of the Terrorist Financing and Targeting Center (TFTC) that is co-chaired by Saudi Arabia and is comprised of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The move comes a week after US President Donald Trump announced his country’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and that he would be re-imposing sanctions on Tehran.

“The TFTC took significant actions to disrupt an Iranian-backed terrorist group by designating the senior leadership of Lebanese ‘Hezbollah’,” said the Treasury in a statement.

The sanctions target “Hezbollah’s” Shura Council, the party’s primary decision-making body.

Besides Nasrallah and Qassem, the sanctions also target Mohammead Yazbeck, Hussein al- Khalil, and Ibrahim al-Amin al-Sayyed for their terrorism links, said the Treasury.

Talal Hamiyah, Ali Youssef Charara, Spectrum Group, Hasan Ebrahimi, Maher Trading, Hashem Safieddine, Adham Tabaja, Al-Inmaa Group, and Al-Inmaa Engineering and Contracting, all of whom were previously designated by the US, were also included in the latest sanctions.

“By targeting ‘Hezbollah’s’ Shura Council, our nations collectively rejected the false distinction between a so-called ‘Political Wing’ and ‘Hezbollah’s’ global terrorist plotting,” said Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin.

“Under the dictates of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds 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.”

The Shura Council is “Hezbollah’s” supreme decision-making body responsible for religious, military, and strategic matters and asserts control over administrative, planning, and policy-making authorities

Nasrallah was designated for acting for or on behalf of “Hezbollah”, which he has led since 1992. As the Secretary General and head of the Shura Council, Nasrallah is Hezbollah’s highest-ranking official and exercises direct command over Hezbollah’s military and security apparatus as its supreme commander, including its involvement in the war in Syria.

Yazbeck is one of “Hezbollah’s” original founders. He is the current leader of the Judicial Council and has overseen a military command in central Lebanon that provides logistical and training support to “Hezbollah”. He has supervised training camps and the smuggling of weapons, and hosted experts from Iran’s IRGC to train “Hezbollah” fighters on weapons systems. He has also managed “Hezbollah’s” bank accounts.

Khalil, Nasrallah’s political advisor, was one of several senior “Hezbollah” commanders who shared responsibility for the group’s special operations in Europe.

Sayyed is the head of “Hezbollah’s” Political Council. He was “Hezbollah’s” first official spokesperson and was involved in the formation of “Hezbollah”.

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