Trump officials sanction Lebanese bank over ties to Hezbollah

Trump officials sanction Lebanese bank over ties to Hezbollah

The Trump administration on Thursday announced sanctions on a Lebanese bank with ties to Hezbollah in the latest effort to target the Iranian-backed organization.

The Treasury Department announced sanctions on Jammal Trust Bank and its subsidiaries, which it accused of knowingly facilitating banking activities for Hezbollah. The U.S. labeled the bank a specially designated global terrorist for its actions.

The financial institution is the 26th largest bank in Lebanon, officials said.

ADVERTISEMENT

“It’s role in Lebanon’s economy and financial system is limited, but its role as Hezbollah’s bank of choice is prominent,” a senior administration official said.

The administration on Thursday also targeted four individuals with sanctions who it alleges moved tens of millions of dollars between Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and an arm of Hamas in Gaza.

Senior administration officials said Thursday’s actions targeting Jammal Trust Bank should be viewed as a “warning shot” for Hezbollah and Iranian actors to keep out of Lebanon. 

The officials argued that the sanctions on Jammal Trust will not interfere with efforts to work with Lebanon, citing the U.S. relationship with the country’s central bank. 

The Trump administration has sought to crackdown on Iran and its affiliated groups, sanctioning those with ties to Hezbollah and Tehran in an effort to cripple both financially.

The U.S. considers Hezbollah a terrorist group. The Trump administration announced sanctions in July targeting three senior Hezbollah officials who are members of the Lebanese parliament.

The Trump administration in April labeled the Revolutionary Guard a “foreign terrorist organization,” the first time the United States has applied the label to an entire government entity.