US and Gulf Sanctions: A Message to Lebanon, Iran, Europe

US and Gulf Sanctions: A Message to Lebanon, Iran, Europe

Friday, 18 May, 2018 - 07:15
Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah is seen on a video screen as he addresses his supporters in Beirut, Lebanon May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Aziz Taher
Beirut - Nazeer Rida
Sanctions imposed by Saudi Arabia and other GCC members, in partnership with the United States, on Lebanon’s “Hezbollah,” have targeted senior officials and did not distinguish between the party’s political and military wings.
 
Researchers opposed to the Iranian-backed group said that the latest sanctions “carried important messages to Tehran, Beirut and the Europeans on the seriousness” in dealing with the party.
 
For the first time in Hezbollah’s history, all the group’s political leaders have been included in the sanctions list, which was issued by Saudi Arabia and its partners from the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center (TFTC).
 
Among the sanctions is the freezing of the assets of the leaders, mainly Hassan Nasrallah, Mohammad Yazbeck, Hussein al-Khalil, Ibrahim al-Amin al-Sayyed and Talal Hamiyah.
 
Director of Umam Research and Documentation Center Luqman Salim said the new list of sanctions was “highly symbolic” as it carries several messages.
 
First, it systematically confirms that the US-Gulf alliance on counterterrorism and against Hezbollah was steadfast for the years to come, Salim told Asharq Al-Awsat.
 
The second is a clear message to Tehran that no senior official is immune, meaning “targeting Nasrallah means that the sanctions may also target the heads of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, and reach the structure of the Quds Brigade.”
 
“The third message is addressed to the Europeans, who are still trying to take a moderate stance with regards to the Iranian nuclear file and the issue of separating between Hezbollah’s political and military wings,” Salim said, adding that the message “is of some importance to the Lebanese, as Hezbollah’s victory in the parliamentary elections, “does not mean that dealing with [Hezbollah] is ‘halal’ and permissible.”
 
The announcement by the GCC came shortly after the US Treasury imposed additional sanctions on Nasrallah and Qassem.

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