Last December, the US government passed the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act, which aims to sanction international financial institutions that knowingly facilitate Hezbollah’s activities. Now, Lebanese officials could be targeted as well.
A US Treasury official says Lebanese government ministers and members of parliament belonging to the Hezbollah terror organization could be sanctioned under a new law targeting the Shiite group’s finances.
The US bill seeks to “prevent Hezbollah’s global logistics and financial network from operating in order to curtail funding of its domestic and international activities,” and to “utilize diplomatic, legislative, and executive avenues to combat Hezbollah’s criminal activities in order to block that organization’s ability to fund its global terrorist activities.”
Israel Radio reported Sunday that when asked in a television interview if the law could be applied to Hezbollah ministers and legislators in Lebanon, the US Treasury’s Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing Daniel Glaser said: “We don’t make a distinction among Hezbollah members.”
He stressed the measure would not impact the broader Shiite community. The Lebanese central bank and US officials have repeatedly said the law does not target ordinary Lebanese citizens, or the Shi’ite community in particular, and will not adversely affect the country’s financial sector.
In the meantime the powerful Banque du Liban (BDL), Lebanon’s central bank, has begun to shut down accounts linked to Hezbollah, and Riad Salameh, governor of Lebanon’s central bank, said that he will comply with the International Financing Prevention Act .
Hezbollah denounced the bill when it was passed by the Senate, describing the decision as a “crime” against it and all liberals in the world.
Hezbollah is listed as a terrorist group by the United States.
By: United with Israel Staff
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