Hezbollah denounces US sanctions bill targeting its cash flow

Hezbollah denounces US sanctions bill targeting its cash flow, Israel Hayom, October 27, 2017

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah | Photo: Reuters

Washington considers Hezbollah a terrorist organization and has previously imposed sanctions on the group and its top commanders. The expected new sanctions come at a time when the Trump administration is increasing pressure on Iran, Hezbollah’s main backer that has been supplying the group with weapons and money for more than three decades.

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Hezbollah on Thursday denounced new U.S. measures designed to thwart the militant group’s cash flow, calling a bill targeting its finances an “aggression” against Lebanon.

In a statement, the Iranian-backed Shiite terrorist group said the new measures are a “blatant intervention in Lebanese internal affairs, a violation of Lebanese sovereignty and an unacceptable targeting of the Lebanese people.”

The statement was issued following a weekly meeting of Hezbollah’s parliamentary bloc. It came a day after the U.S. House approved legislation to block the flow of illicit money to the group and to sanction it, with lawmakers calling it Iran’s leading terrorist proxy.

The bill targeting Hezbollah’s finances, sponsored by Reps. Ed Royce and Eliot Engel, directs the Trump administration to sanction people and businesses engaged in fundraising and recruitment activities for the group.

Hezbollah is a member of Lebanon’s coalition government, and the House measure touched off alarms in Beirut, where officials feared major damage to the country’s banking sector if the bill is signed into law.

Joseph Torbey, head of the Association of Banks in Lebanon, told reporters earlier this week that U.S. officials reassured a Lebanese banking delegation who visited Washington recently that the sanctions will not target Lebanese banks as long as they abide by American regulations.

Washington considers Hezbollah a terrorist organization and has previously imposed sanctions on the group and its top commanders. The expected new sanctions come at a time when the Trump administration is increasing pressure on Iran, Hezbollah’s main backer that has been supplying the group with weapons and money for more than three decades.

A Hezbollah official earlier this month said that U.S. sanctions will not affect the operational activities of the group, calling it part of ongoing efforts to “demonize” Hezbollah.

In its statement Thursday, Hezbollah said the new measures “camouflaged” in legislation aims at subjugating Lebanon and warned against subservience or fear of such policies.

Explore posts in the same categories: Hezbollah sanctions, Iran and Hezbollah, Lebanon, U.S. Congress

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