U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Hezbollah Officials Accused of Supporting Iran

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Picasso

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U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Hezbollah Officials Accused of Supporting Iran

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration imposed sanctions on three senior Hezbollah officials in Lebanon on Tuesday, accusing them of having a “malign agenda” to support the Iranian government.

The sanctions were the first to directly target members of Lebanon’s Parliament and underscored the White House’s intention to ratchet up pressure on Iran by punishing groups with ties to its government.

The United States considers Hezbollah a terrorist organization even though members of the group have embedded into legitimate parts of the Lebanese government. Amin Sherri and Muhammad Hasan Ra’d, who are members of Parliament, and Wafiq Safa, a senior Hezbollah security official in Lebanon, were added to the Treasury Department’s sanctions list.

“Hezbollah uses its operatives in Lebanon’s Parliament to manipulate institutions in support of the terrorist group’s financial and security interests, and to bolster Iran’s malign activities,” Sigal Mandelker, the Treasury Department’s under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement.

Tension between the United States and Iran has been rising as Iran violated a key provision of the 2015 international accord to restrict its nuclear program this month. Tehran has also warned that it would begin enriching its nuclear fuel to a purer level, potentially moving it closer to developing a nuclear weapon.

Since President Trump withdrew from the nuclear accord in 2018, the United States has renewed sanctions on Iranians and warned other countries not to do business with Iran. In June, the Trump administration issued a new sanctions order barring Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, and his office from access to the international financial system. The administration also levied sanctions on eight Iranian military commanders last month.

Senior administration officials said that the sanctions announced on Tuesday were meant to emphasize to the world that the United States saw no distinction between the political and military wings of Hezbollah, which is supported by Iran. They urged Lebanon’s leaders to sever ties with anyone affiliated with Hezbollah.

“Hezbollah threatens the economic stability and security of Lebanon and the wider region, all at a cost to the Lebanese people,” Ms. Mandelker said. “The United States will continue to support efforts of the Lebanese government to protect its institutions from exploitation by Iran and its terrorist proxies, and to secure a more peaceful and prosperous future for Lebanon.”

The new sanctions are sure to irritate Lebanon. When Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Beirut in March, and denounced Hezbollah as a terrorist group, he faced resistance.

“For us, Hezbollah is a Lebanese party, not terrorists,” said Gebran Bassil, Lebanon’s foreign minister. “Its members of Parliament were elected by the Lebanese people, with high popular support.”

The Trump administration’s sanctions on Iran have affected Hezbollah’s finances — the group has had a harder time paying its members.

Mr. Pompeo noted in a statement on Tuesday that Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, made a plea for financial support for the first time ever this year.

The Trump administration has been frustrated that Europe continues to support the nuclear agreement and has threatened secondary sanctions against allies that continue to buy Iranian oil.

The broader use of sanctions by the United States has struck some critics of its approach as overreach.

“The notion of simply listing people and freezing their accounts without evidence of their specific financial support to Iran or specific terrorist activities, that is a reach,” said George A. Lopez, a professor at Notre Dame and an expert in economic sanctions. “But it is consistent with the use — some would say misuse — of sanctions by this administration. The emphasis is less on direct causal linkage and more guilt by association.”

The Trump administration has also considered imposing economic penalties against militias in Iraq that are supported by Iran. Similarly, however, the militias have members in Parliament, similar to Hezbollah in Lebanon. The Iraqi government officially recognizes the militias, which are grouped under the umbrella of the Popular Mobilization Forces, and pays their salaries. The militias fought against the Islamic State, with the help of the Iranian military.

Administration officials said on Tuesday that more sanctions against Iran were in the pipeline.

In late June, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that sanctions targeting Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, were forthcoming. While they have yet to be announced, an administration official described Mr. Zarif as a figure of key interest and said that additional sanctions were being explored.

Speaking in the Oval Office on Tuesday, Mr. Trump said he was keeping a close eye on Iran’s enrichment activities.

“Well, we’re going to see what happens with Iran,” Mr. Trump said. “Iran is doing a lot of bad things right now, and they better be very careful.”

NYTimes
 
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  • LVV

    LVV

    Well-Known Member
    @LVV ma3 meen inta? :)
    Trump the Crusader in Chief is Lebanon best friend
    Lebanon government is protesting and that understandable but Lebanon covering
    Biggest American embassy in the ME built
    Hamat American military presence
    USA supporting and training LAF
    Banks are applying Crusaders sanctions on HA
    So yes I support any action on Iran policy and I refuse any actions which are against Lebanon interests
     
    TayyarBeino

    TayyarBeino

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    طرأ تعديل على موعد المقابلة التي يجربها الاعلامي عماد مرمل مع الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله عبر قناة المنار، بحيث اصبحت عند التاسعة مساء الجمعة في 12 تموز بدل التاسعة والنصف
     
    SeaAb

    SeaAb

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    Trump the Crusader in Chief is Lebanon best friend
    Lebanon government is protesting and that understandable but Lebanon covering
    Biggest American embassy in the ME built
    Hamat American military presence
    USA supporting and training LAF
    Banks are applying Crusaders sanctions on HA
    So yes I support any action on Iran policy and I refuse any actions which are against Lebanon interests
    You still didn't answer me. Are you siding with Tramb or GMA regarding the sanctions on Lebanese MPs? Meen l crusader l 2asle fiyon? Bala laff w dawaran. :)
     
    LVV

    LVV

    Well-Known Member
    You still didn't answer me. Are you siding with Tramb or GMA regarding the sanctions on Lebanese MPs? Meen l crusader l 2asle fiyon? Bala laff w dawaran. :)
    My position on HA is simple
    If HA is defending Lebanon from Agression and terrorist under state authority I understand him
    When HA is Iran hand fighting all over the Middle East I m against him understanding USA sanctions
    It is not easy to see other Lebanese under sanctions but USA is right because this will push HA to be under state authority
    On this issue I m kind of neutral
     
    SeaAb

    SeaAb

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    Super Penguin
    My position on HA is simple
    If HA is defending Lebanon from Agression and terrorist under state authority I understand him
    When HA is Iran hand fighting all over the Middle East I m against him understanding USA sanctions
    It is not easy to see other Lebanese under sanctions but USA is right because this will push HA to be under state authority
    On this issue I m kind of neutral
    You 'understand' and 'agree' with everything USA is doing against HA, yet still you are neutral? Shu hal crusader l khese3 inta? Shidd 7alak shway. :)
     
    LVV

    LVV

    Well-Known Member
    You 'understand' and 'agree' with everything USA is doing against HA, yet still you are neutral? Shu hal crusader l khese3 inta? Shidd 7alak shway. :)
    Not everything
    I told you if this is against an Israel agression; I m against it
    If to stop HA spreading Iran terrorist I m with USA ??
    God Save America and the Crusaders
    Minha al khese
    But I m like Richard the Lion ? Heart
     
    Last edited:
    LVV

    LVV

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    Resign

    Resign

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    Orange Room Supporter
    Honestly
    I thought those people were already under sanctions

    Nothing to see here,
    Those people belong to an Iranian organization by choice
    If they care about American sanctions they would’ve left the group they belong to.

    I encourage the President not to bother releasing pointless statements and just ignore the whole thing.
     
    LVV

    LVV

    Well-Known Member
    MTV guy is happy
    Anyway sanctions against officials in Lebanon will destroy moderation and stability and push the whole country under HA authority
    Weakening President and Army means the balance with HA will swing in HA favor
    Iran will control Lebanon if FPM is sanctioned because today FPM while Supporting HA is more closer to USA than Iran
    If Lebanon crumble with the arsenal of HA and refugees USA will lose a lot ; Lebanon will turn into a mega Gaza ; a radical nation with 200,000 missiles on Israel frontier
    Bassil next visit to USA in the next few weeks will be very interesting
    Anyone with logic know that PMA will never give up on his alliance with HA for various reasons
    Also PMA and FPM want excellent relation with USA ; sanctions against them will turn most Lebanese against ??
     
    Last edited:
    Ice Tea

    Ice Tea

    Active Member
    My position on HA is simple
    If HA is defending Lebanon from Agression and terrorist under state authority I understand him
    When HA is Iran hand fighting all over the Middle East I m against him understanding USA sanctions
    It is not easy to see other Lebanese under sanctions but USA is right because this will push HA to be under state authority
    On this issue I m kind of neutral

    How can Hezbollah 'defend' Lebanon from terrorism if it's a terrorist and criminal organization itself?
     
    LVV

    LVV

    Well-Known Member
    How can Hezbollah 'defend' Lebanon from terrorism if it's a terrorist and criminal organization itself?
    Look terrorist according to whom
    Europe and the UN don’t consider HA terrorists only USA
    Lebanon doesn’t consider HA terrorist
    Having said that some members of HA are working for Iran
    But HA members who died defending Lebanon from agression and terrorists are not terrorists in the eyes of most Lebanese and the world
    HA fighted ISIS and Islamic terrorists in Syria and Iraq on the ground when US and Russia planes were bombing the terrorists
     
    LVV

    LVV

    Well-Known Member
    ولمّحت المصادر الى بعض منها قد يظهر على شكل «تجميد للمساعدات الأميركية للبنان، والتي أصلاً ستكون موازنتها في العام المقبل ما يعادل نصف الموازنة الحالية». وبحسب المعلومات المؤكدة، فإن الفترة المقبلة ستشهد فرض المزيد من العقوبات على شخصيات لبنانية، منها نواب وربما وزراء في الحكومة. وهي لن تقتصِر على الحزب، بل ستطال حلفاءه! وقد لا تستهدف شخصيات كبيرة، لكن حتماً تلكَ الفاعلة في السياسة والاقتصاد، وهي أسماء موجودة وجاهزة لدى الأميركيين، بانتظار التوقيت المناسب، فيما استبعدت، أقله حتى الآن، المس بالمساعدات للجيش اللبناني، إذ لا تزال واشنطن تُصرّ على تحييد المؤسسة العسكرية.
    في هذا الإطار كان للرئيسين ميشال عون ونبيه برّي جواب واضح تعليقاً على القرار، إذ صدر عن مكتب الإعلام في رئاسة الجمهورية بيان اعتبر أن «هذا التدبير الذي يتكرر من حين الى آخر يتناقض مع مواقف أميركية سابقة تؤكد التزام لبنان والقطاع المصرفي فيه بالاتفاقيات الدولية المتعلقة بمكافحة تبييض الاموال ومنع استخدامها في اعتداءات إرهابية أو في غيرها من الممارسات التي تعاقب عليها القوانين». وأضاف البيان إن «لبنان اذ يأسف للجوء الولايات المتحدة الأميركية الى هذه الاجراءات، لا سيما لجهة استهداف نائبين منتخبين، سوف يلاحق الموضوع مع السلطات الأميركية المختصة ليبنى على الشيء مقتضاه»، فيما اعتبره رئيس مجلس النواب «اعتداءً على البرلمان و كلّ لبنان». وقال: «باسم المجلس النيابي اللبناني أتساءل: هل أصبحت الديمقراطيّة الأميركيّة تفترض وتفرض الاعتداءات على ديمقراطيّات العالم؟». وتوجّه برّي إلى «الاتحاد البرلماني الدولي لاتخاذ الموقف اللازم من هذا التصرّف اللامعقول»، فيما أشار رئيس الحكومة إلى أن «العقوبات تدل على توجه جديد»، مؤكداً أنها «لن تؤثر على عمل الحكومة، وسنتعامل معه كما نراه مناسباً، وسيصدر عنّا موقف بشأنه». وتعليقاً على هذه المواقف، تطرقت المصادر الى الزيارة المرتقبة لوزير الخارجية جبران باسيل الى الولايات المتحدة «حيث سيكون التعاطي معها مؤشر على ردود الفعل الأميركية تجاه المسؤولين اللبنانيين في المرحلة المقبلة».
     
    LVV

    LVV

    Well-Known Member
    ى الاشارة الى الضغط الاميركي على «حزب الله» في لبنان، فبعد إعلان قرب صدور قرارات المحكمة الدولية بدءاً من الخريف المقبل، مع توجيه الاتهام الى أفراد من «حزب الله»، جاءت العقوبات لأول مرة في حقّ نائبين من الحزب، اضافة الى مسؤول من طراز رفيع هو وفيق صفا.
    في البيان الاميركي، الذي جاء بعد قرار العقوبات، توضيح لخلفيات الخطوة عبر اتهام «حزب الله» باستغلال النظام السياسي والمالي اللبناني لصالح «حزب الله» وايران. بما يعني انّ الخطوة التي تعتبر معنوية اكثر منها عملية لأنّ المسؤولين الثلاثة لا علاقة لهم بالنظام المالي العام، إنما تهدف الى ردع النفوذ الكبير الذي حَظي به الحزب بعد الانتخابات النيابية الاخيرة. لكنها خطوة ضغط معنوية، ما يعني انّ واشنطن ترفع مستوى ضغطها في لبنان وفق مسار حَذر ومدروس ووفق درجة واحدة لا أكثر. فهدفها ان تحاكي ايران مع تمسّكها بالاستقرار الداخلي اللبناني.
    وفي تأكيده على ذلك، ووفق المعلومات فإنّ الديبلوماسية الاميركية اهتَمّت برَصد ردود الفعل، خصوصاً بعد الاعلان عن قرب صدور أحكام المحكمة الدولية، وسَعت لسماع التوقعات من شخصيات لبنانية معنية ومن مختلف الاتجاهات حيال ردود الفعل التي يمكن ان تحصل، وما اذا كانت ستصل الى مستوى قوي او انها ستبقى في الاطار الاعلامي.
    هو المناخ الجديد الذي استفاد منه وليد جنبلاط وسمح بإعادة تلميع دوره واحتضانه، وهو ما قد يسمعه وزير الخارجية جبران باسيل خلال زيارته لواشنطن الاسبوع المقبل لحضور المؤتمر السنوي للحريات الدينية حيث طلب موعداً للقاء وزير الخارجية مايك بومبيو على هامش أعمال المؤتمر، مع العلم انّ ذلك لم يحصل العام الفائت بحجّة ضيق وقت بومبيو.
     
    V

    Viral

    Member
    You 'understand' and 'agree' with everything USA is doing against HA, yet still you are neutral? Shu hal crusader l khese3 inta? Shidd 7alak shway. :)
    Take it easy on our Ghoulam de salon. He as potential. Baddou, bas bisir;)
     
    • Haha
    Reactions: LVV
    V

    Viral

    Member
    So what do you suppose the objective is behind the hint of sanctioning elected Christian law makers in the Lebanese government? I know you're smart enough not to believe this will lead to disarming Hezbollah.
    How about the timing and the chain of events (Bassil's assignation attempt) following Lebanon's unity (Sunnis, Shia and Christians minus Jumblatt Druze), against Palestinians naturalization and boycotting Bahrain Trump's Deal of the century $6b bribe?
    I'm sure you're knowledgeable enough to understand Lebanon's 15 years civil war that was financed by the same powers that financed Syria's civil war was aimed at dividing Lebanon into cantons so the Palestinians can be settled in one and history is repeating itself as we speak. You also know the main losers from such project are the Christians before the Shiites. In other words, blackmailing and assassination attempts against Christian elected officials is nothing other than forcing them to sign off on the $6b naturalizing deal of the century.
    So the question to you and those who care about Lebanon's integrity and identity, do you support Trump's deal of the century that dictates the naturalization of the Palestinians on Lebanon?
    BTW, may I suggest Junblatt takes orders (assassinations) from outside Lebanon?
     
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