US sanctions Hezbollah chief in joint action with Gulf allies

US sanctions Hezbollah chief in joint action with Gulf allies

The U.S. and its Gulf allies on Wednesday announced sanctions against Islamist militant political party Hezbollah, citing its involvement with Iran. 

The U.S. sanctions, which were also implemented by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates, targeted longtime Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. 

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"Today, the seven member nations of the Terrorist Financing and Targeting Center (TFTC) took significant actions to disrupt an Iranian-backed terrorist group by designating the senior leadership of Lebanese Hizballah," the Treasury Department said in a statement. 

“The TFTC again demonstrated its great value to international security by disrupting Iran and Hizballah’s destabilizing influence in the region. By targeting Hizballah’s Shura Council, our nations collectively rejected the false distinction between a so-called ‘Political Wing’ and Hizballah’s global terrorist plotting,” Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinMnuchin: Trump supports Fed's independence, not trying to provide 'pressure' Mnuchin: US open to removing Russian aluminum producer from sanctions list GOP tax writer introduces bill to reduce capital gains taxes MORE said. 

The move comes one day after the Treasury Department slapped sanctions on the governor of Iran's central bank, alleging it had funneled funds to Hezbollah, which the U.S. considers a terrorist group.

Tensions have increased among the U.S., Iran, and Shiite Muslim groups in the Middle East over the past week after President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff: Surveillance warrant docs show that Nunes memo 'misrepresented and distorted these applications' Chicago detention facility under investigation following allegations of abuse of migrant children Ex-Trump aide: Surveillance warrants are 'complete ignorance' and 'insanity' MORE announced he would pull the U.S. from the multination Iran nuclear deal. 

Meanwhile, the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem has enraged the Palestinian Authority, as well as militant group Hamas, which has ties to Iran and Hezbollah. 

The White House condemned Iran last week after its military launched a barrage of rocket fire from Syria at Israeli military targets, prompting retaliatory strikes from Israel.