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Copyright © 2019 The American Israel Public Affairs Committee

U.S. Sanctions Iranian-Backed Hizballah Officials in Lebanon

For the first time, the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control on Tuesday sanctioned two Hezbollah members of Lebanon’s parliament. (AP/Hussein Malla)

On July 9, the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned three senior Hizballah officials in Lebanon, marking the first time OFAC has imposed sanction on members of Lebanon’s parliament.

The U.S. administration specifically designated Hizballah Members of Parliament Amin Sherri and Muhammad Hasan Ra’d, as well as Hizballah security official Wafiq Safa, for acting for or on behalf of the Iranian-backed terrorist organization.

According to the U.S. Department of Treasury, Sherri uses his political clout to advance Hizballah's objectives while Ra’d spearheads Hizballah’s Parliamentary Council. Meanwhile, Safa acts as a Hizballah interlocutor to the Lebanese security forces. This recent move showcases the administration’s increased pressure on Iran and its regional proxies.

“Hizballah 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,” said Sigal Mandelker, Treasury’s Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. “Hizballah threatens the economic stability and security of Lebanon and the wider region, all at a cost to the Lebanese people. 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.”

These individuals were designated under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which focuses on terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.

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