Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Saudi Arabia Adds 10 Hezbollah Militia Leaders to Terror List

Saudi Arabia Adds 10 Hezbollah Militia Leaders to Terror List

Besides Nasrallah and Qassem, the sanctions also target Mohammead Yazbeck, Hussein al- Khalil, and Ibrahim al-Amin al-Sayyed for their terrorism links, said the Treasury.

The Shura Council is Hizbollah's supreme decision-making body responsible for religious, military, and strategic matters and asserts control over administrative, planning, and policy-making authorities.

The action was part of a coordinated push by the U.S. - and Saudi-led Terrorist Financing Targeting Center, which listed five additional Hezbollah members and four companies tied to the group who had already been named by the U.S. Treasury. On May 15, the administration announced that they would be slapping Iran's central bank with sanctions for being used as a vehicle to funnel funds between Iran's Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah.

"By targeting "Hezbollah's" Shura Council, our nations collectively rejected the false distinction between a so-called "Political Wing" and "Hezbollah's" global terrorist plotting", said Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin.

"Under the dictates of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF), Secretary General and head of the Shura Council Hassan Nasrallah is prolonging the human suffering in Syria, fueling the violence in Iraq and Yemen, putting the Lebanese state and the Lebanese people at risk, and destabilizing the entire region", Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said.

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Hezbollah was formed following the Israeli regime's invasion of Lebanon and the ensuing occupation of its southern parts in 1980s, and now constitutes Lebanon's de facto military power.

The announcement followed two United States moves in the past week to put pressure on Iran's financial networks, including sanctions announced Tuesday that aimed at an alleged financial pipeline that moved "hundreds of millions of dollars" from Iran's central bank through an Iraqi bank to Hezbollah.

Besides Hezbollah and Russia, Iran has also been providing military advisory support to the Syrian army in its battles against foreign-backed terror groups.

The move expands USA sanctions against Nasrallah, who was sanctioned by Washington in 1995 for threatening to disrupt the Middle East peace process and again in 2012 over Syria.

During that speech, Trump accused the Islamic Republic of Iran of supporting terrorism and called its role in region "sinister". That electoral success has geopolitical implications because of heightened concern in the U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia about Iran's growing influence in the Middle East. President Donald Trump cited that influence as a reason to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal with other world powers this month.

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