US issues Hezbollah-related sanctions in coordination with Qatar | Business and Economy News
Coordinated measures between the United States and Qatar target Hezbollah’s “big” funding network in the Arabian Peninsula, according to the US Treasury.
The Biden administration, in coordination with Qatar, imposed sanctions on several suspected Hezbollah financiers based in the Gulf region, accusing them of providing and facilitating material support to the Lebanese group.
The US Treasury Department on Wednesday announced sanctions against what it called a “major” Hezbollah financial network based in the Arabian Peninsula.
The administration targeted seven people – citizens of Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, as well as a Palestinian national – and a real estate company that it said funneled millions of dollars to Hezbollah and related institutions. to the group.
They include Ali al-Banai, Ali Lari and Abd al-Muayyid as well as AlDar Properties, based in Qatar.
US sanctions freeze their assets in the US and make it a potential crime for US citizens to do business with them.
Later Wednesday, Doha also confirmed that it had imposed sanctions in coordination with Washington against seven people and one entity, without identifying them.
“This decision (…) comes in the light of cooperation with the United States in the framework of Qatar’s fulfillment of its obligations and its relentless efforts in the fight against terrorism at the local, regional and international levels” Qatar’s official news agency QNA said in a statement. declaration.
This was echoed by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who hailed the sanctions as an example of the Biden administration’s cooperation with international allies.
The United States and the government of Qatar have taken coordinated action against a major Hezbollah financial network based in the Gulf. We will continue to cooperate with international partners to protect the United States and international financial systems from terrorist abuse.
– Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) September 29, 2021
Andrea M Gacki, director of the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, accused Hezbollah of abusing the international financial system to finance “terrorist activities”.
“The cross-border nature of this Hezbollah financial network underscores the importance of our continued cooperation with international partners, such as the government of Qatar, to protect the United States and international financial systems from terrorist abuse,” Gacki said. in a press release.
Washington has stepped up its efforts against Hezbollah’s funding network, with former President Donald Trump increasing pressure on the Iran-linked group as part of his maximum pressure campaign against Tehran.
The US Treasury said last year it had targeted 90 individuals and entities affiliated with Hezbollah since 2017.
Earlier this month, the Biden administration sanctioned suspected Hezbollah financiers in Kuwait and Lebanon.
The United States designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization in 1997, but the group rejects the label, posing as a resistance force against Israel.
Hezbollah has also blamed U.S. sanctions, including measures against neighboring Syria, for the worsening economic crisis in Lebanon, where the collapse of the local currency has resulted in shortages of fuel and medicine, among other commodities. based.
On Wednesday, the US Treasury said it would continue to target the funding of “terrorist groups.”
“Through sustained information sharing and collaboration across this and other network of Lebanese Hezbollah financial facilitators operating in the Arabian Peninsula, the US government will continue to disrupt the financial support flowing to terrorist groups such as Hezbollah,” including through multilateral and bilateral initiatives, ”he said in a statement.