US Sanctions Six People, Seven Firms Under Rules Targeting Hezbollah

  • US Sanctions Six People, Seven Firms Under Rules Targeting Hezbollah

US Sanctions Six People, Seven Firms Under Rules Targeting Hezbollah

The United States on Friday levied sanctions against six individuals and seven business with alleged links to Hezbollah financier Adham Tabaja, the White House said, according to AFP.

Created to damage Hezbollah's financial network, the new sanctions apply to five Lebanese nationals and one Iraqi, most of whom have links to Al-Inmaa Engineering and Contracting, a company run by Hezbollah financier Adham Tabaja, the US Treasury Department said in a statement.

Senior Trump administration officials claim that the sanctions were part of an aggressive move against Hezbollah to try to limit what they called as Iran's growing influence in the region.

During a speech at the United Nations previous year, Trump accused the Iranian regime of funneling money away from its people and towards terrorists like those in Hezbollah.

Officials said the United States hoped to get European allies to join them in increasing pressure on Hezbollah.

The Treasury Department said the sanctions are "the first wave" of penalties created to weaken Hezbollah financier Adham Tabaja, who has been designated by the U.S.as a global terrorist, by targeting companies based in Lebanon, Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone. It is also a member of the Mediterranean nation's coalition government.

Trump's officials said "Hezbollah" was already under financial strain as it continued to pay for expensive operations in Syria and Yemen. US officials say Tehran provides Hezbollah an estimated $700 million a year. The officials weren't authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. The construction company is mostly active in predominantly Shi'ite areas in Lebanon such as Beirut's southern suburbs and the southern town of Nabatiyeh.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders took to Twitter saying, "We will no longer allow corrupt Hezbollah and other Iranian regime cronies to hide their crimes behind front companies".

The sanctions freeze any assets in the USA and bar Americans from dealing with those being sanctioned. The officials described Tabaja as among the top five Hezbollah financiers at the moment, according to the report.

The anonymous administration official denied this would be the case, telling The Daily Star the USA government was mindful of the Lebanese economy.