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U.S. imposes fresh sanctions on Hezbollah leaders

17 May 2018

The United States and six Gulf Arab states announced sanctions Wednesday on the leadership of Hezbollah, as Washington seeks to step up economic pressure on Iran and its allies in the region.

The OFAC and TFTC nations further designated Naim Qasim, Muhammad Yazbak, Husayn Al- Khalil, and Ibrahim al-Amin al-Sayyid "pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism".

The US and Saudi-led Terrorist Financing and Targeting Center said the sanctions were aimed at Hezbollah's Shura Council, the powerful Lebanese group's decision-making body, led by its secretary general Hassan Nasrallah.

The US Treasury Department said four other individuals were also sanctioned, as was the group ISIS in the Greater Sahara.

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The sanctions were imposed jointly by the U.S. and its partners in the "Terrorist Financing and Targeting Center (TFTC)", which includes Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and United Arab Emirates.

"By targeting Hezbollah's Shura Council, our nations collectively rejected the false distinction between a so-called "Political Wing" and Hezbollah's global terrorist plotting", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. They also prohibit USA citizens and organizations from certain dealings with the designees, and largely prevent them from accessing the US -dominated worldwide banking sector.

Last October, the group announced joint sanctions on top Islamic State and Al-Qaeda figures in Yemen.

These designations follow U.S President Trump's decision last week to cease USA participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and to begin reimposing US nuclear-related sanctions on the Iranian regime.

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The move comes in line with significant actions taken by the seven member nations of the TFTC to disrupt Iran's destabilising influence in the region and its funding of armed militias.

After the announcement of Trump's position on the Iran deal, the US Treasury said in a statement on its website Thursday that it imposed fresh sanctions on six people allegedly tied to the IRGC's Quds Forces and three Iranian entities.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

The Treasury promised Tuesday that it would re-impose other sanctions related to Iran's central bank in August and November of this year.

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U.S. imposes fresh sanctions on Hezbollah leaders