The U.S. Treasury Department and Qatar have jointly imposed sanctions on members of networks financing the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah.
In a statement on September 2, Andrea M. Gaki, director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), said Hezbollah had “insulted.”[ed] The international economy pays its rent by building a global network of financiers and supporting its terrorist activities.
“The cross-border nature of this Hezbollah financial network underscores the importance of our continued cooperation with international partners, such as the Qatari government, to protect the United States and the international financial system from terrorist abuse,” Gakki added, using an alternative spelling.
The Foreign Assets Control Office has imposed sanctions on seven Gulf residents, including Al Banai, a financial backer for Hezbollah, and Aldar Properties, a Qatari company.
According to the statement, Ali al-Banai met regularly with Hezbollah officials in Lebanon and Iran and handed over millions of dollars to Hezbollah through Kuwait-based donors and the Kuwait-based branch of the Shaheed Foundation. Financial assistance to the families of terrorists killed or imprisoned, including suicide bombers in the Palestinian territories.
Sulaiman Al-Banai, the owner of the approved Aldar Properties, was Al-Banai’s initial manager of business and financial activities in Qatar and abroad.
OFAC will block any financial transactions involving the assets of authorized parties who will no longer have access to the U.S. financial system. Similar measures will apply in Qatar.
U.S. Secretary of State Anthony J. Blinken said the sanctions were “one of the most important joint steps we have taken so far with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) partners.”
Blinken called on other governments to follow suit and to nominate, limit or ban the Hezbollah movement.
The United States designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization in 1997, and the Gulf Co-operation Council followed suit in 2016.
Earlier this month, the OFAC imposed similar sanctions on Hezbollah financiers in Lebanon and Kuwait.
Prior to the joint embargo, Qatar coordinated with the United States earlier this month when Qatari officials helped evacuate Americans from Afghanistan.
Hezbollah’s fuel imports a ‘violation of Lebanon’s sovereignty’
Last month, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah blamed Lebanon’s deteriorating economic crisis for US sanctions.
The economic downturn has seen Lebanon face food and fuel shortages and 400 percent inflation. The World Bank estimates in its Spring 2021 report that more than half of the country’s population is probably below the national poverty line.
Hezbollah, meanwhile, is importing Iranian fuel shipments to Lebanon, in violation of Lebanon’s sovereignty.
Asked about Hezbollah’s imports in an interview with CNN, Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati said, “I am saddened by the violation of Lebanese sovereignty, but there is no fear of sanctions on Lebanon because the operation was carried out in isolation from the Lebanese government.” . ”
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times