Trump administration sanctions Lebanese Parliament members over Hezbollah ties

Trump administration sanctions Lebanese Parliament members over Hezbollah ties
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The Trump administration on Tuesday imposed new sanctions on two members of Lebanon’s parliament over alleged ties to the military group Hezbollah.

Amin Sherri and Muhammad Hasan Ra’d, as well as Hezbollah security official Wafiq Safa, were sanctioned by the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) under an executive order that targets individuals providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.

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“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,” Sigal Mandelker, Treasury’s under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement. “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.”

OFAC claims Sherri threatened violence against the officials of a Lebanese bank after it froze the accounts of a U.S.-sanctioned Hezbollah financier.

The department says Ra'd is a member of Hezbollah's Parliamentary Council.

The new penalties make clear OFAC does not acknowledge a distinction between Hezbollah’s political and militant activities.

The sanctions bar American citizens from dealing with the three individuals and blocks any assets they may hold in the United States. It also limits their ability to access the U.S. financial system.