The U.S. Treasury Department on Tuesday imposed sanctions on 7 Lebanese nationals it said were tied to the Iran-backed militant Hezbollah movement and its financial firm, Al-Qard al-Hassan (AQAH).
In a statement, the Treasury announced that it had blacklisted Ibrahim Ali Daher, the chief of Hezbollah’s Central Finance Unit, as a specially designated global terrorist alongside 6 people it accused of using the cover of personal accounts at Lebanese banks to evade sanctions targeting AQAH.
Andrea Gacki, director of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, said in the statement that “Hizballah (Hezbollah) continues to abuse the Lebanese financial sector and drain Lebanon’s financial resources at an already dire time.”
The U.S. Treasury also blacklisted Abbas Hassan Gharib, Ahmad Mohamad Yazbeck, Wahid Mahmud Subayti, Ezzat Youssef Akar, Mostafa Habib Harb and Hasan Chehadeh Othman in connection with the militant group and its financial firm.
This move freezes any U.S. assets of the ones blacklisted and in general, it bans U.S. citizens from dealing with them. Those who engage in certain transactions with the designated people also risk being hit with secondary sanctions.
On Tuesday, the U.S. urged governments worldwide to tackle the Iranian-backed Hezbozllah group as the High Court sanctioned 7 Lebanese citizens who said they had a link with the group and their financial company, Al-Qard al-Hassan (AQAH).
In a statement on the group’s action, U.S. State Secretary Antony Blinken declared Washington a terrorist organization “The threat Hezbollah poses to the United States, our allies, and the interests of the Near East and globally calls on countries around the world to take action to limit its activities and disrupt its networks of support.”
Officials in Hezbollah had no immediate comment.
Tuesday’s move freezes any U.S. assets of those blacklisted and generally bars Americans from dealing with them. Those who engage in certain transactions with the designated individuals also risk being hit with secondary sanctions.
“Hezbollah continues to abuse the Lebanese financial sector and drain Lebanon’s financial resources at an already dire time,” Andrea Gacki, director of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, said in the statement.
The economic collapse of Lebanon was exacerbated by an impasse in Cabinet negotiations. There have been only 18 months since mass protests against a single government brought down by the Middle East country’s political class and almost eight months since the huge explosion devastated Beirut port and overthrew a successor government.