US Treasury sanctions more individuals accused of Hezbollah links
The US Treasury Department Tuesday imposed sanctions on seven Lebanese nationals it claims are linked to Lebanese Islamist movement Hezbollah and its private financial firm.
In a statement, the Treasury said it has blacklisted Ibrahim Ali Daher, head of Hezbollah's Central Finance Unit, Al-Qard Al-Hassan, as a specially designated global terrorist.
The six others blacklisted are Ahmad Mohamad Yazbeck, Abbas Hassan Gharib, Wahid Mahmud Subayti, Mostafa Habib Harb, Ezzat Youssef Akar, and Hasan Chehadeh Othman.
The Treasury accused the individuals of using personal accounts at Lebanese banks to evade sanctions targeting Al-Qard Al-Hassan, which operates independently from the Lebanese banking system.
The US considers Iran-backed Hezbollah a terrorist organisation.
Hezbollah is a major political force in Lebanon but also operates paramilitaries that are involved in regional conflicts such as in Syria and Iraq.
Several sanctions have been imposed on the group’s members in the past.
The US also imposed sanctions on three former ministers last year for their relationship with Hezbollah. The reasons varied, from assisting the group financially to corruption.
US Congressman Joe Wilson introduced a bill last year that would sanction all banking operations in areas deemed under the influence of Hezbollah, such as in southern Lebanon, the south of Beirut and the northern Beqaa Valley.