Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

US, Gulf countries slap Hezbollah with sanctions

US, Gulf countries slap Hezbollah with sanctions

The decision on Wednesday comes as part of the seven member nations of the Terrorist Financing and Targeting Center (TFTC) which Saudi Arabia co-chairs.

The Shura Council is Hezbollah's premier decision-making body responsible for religious, military, and strategic matters and asserts control over administrative, planning, and policy-making authorities.

Ten officials were hit with the sanctions, including Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah and his deputy, Naim Qassem.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif deplored Saudi Arabia for siding with the U.S. government in imposing sanctions on leaders of Lebanon's Hezbollah, which he hailed as the first force to shatter the myth of Israeli invincibility.

The joint action also targeted four other individuals and entities that the U.S. had previously sanctioned. In addition, the sanctions reject the "false distinction" between the group's political and military wings.

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Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin said in a statement that "under the dictates of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force, Hasan Nasrallah is prolonging human suffering in Syria, fueling violence in Iraq and Yemen, putting the Lebanese state and the Lebanese people at risk, and destabilizing the entire region".

Nasrallah was designated for acting for or on behalf of "Hezbollah", which he has led since 1992.

In 2016, the six Arab Sunni powers of the Gulf Co-operation Council - Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman - designated Hezbollah a terrorist organization.

Yazbeck is one of "Hezbollah's" original founders.

The Trump administration has sought in recent days to choke off funding for Iran's overseas operations, including its backing for Hezbollah, in what Washington says are its malign activities in the Middle East. He has supervised training camps and the smuggling of weapons, and hosted experts from Iran's IRGC to train "Hezbollah" fighters on weapons systems. They also prohibit US citizens and organizations from certain dealings with the designees, and largely prevent them from accessing the USA -dominated global banking sector. He was "Hezbollah's" first official spokesperson and was involved in the formation of "Hezbollah".

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