On February 2, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that the US had imposed new sanctions on six figures and seven firms allegedly linked to Lebanese Hezbollah. The sanctioned figures included five Lebanese and one Iraqi who are linked to Al-Inmaa Engineering and Contracting. The seven sanctioned firms are based in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Lebanon and Ghana.
“The administration is determined to expose and disrupt Hezbollah’s networks, including those across the Middle East and West Africa, used to fund their illicit operations,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in an official statement, according to Reuters.
An unnamed US official told reporters at the White House that the new sanctions are a part of the more aggressive policy against Hezbollah that has been adopted by US President Donald Trump Administration, according to Reuters.
The official also claimed that the Lebanese party is currently facing financial pressure due to its “costly” operations in “Syria and Yemen” and hoped that European countries will join the Trump administration and “increasing pressure” on Hezbollah.
The Trump administration imposed several sanctions on Hezbollah on October 26, 2017. The US also has been recognizing the Lebanese party as a terrorist group since 2005 although that the political wing of Hezbollah has twelve representatives in the Lebanese Parliament and two ministers in the country’s government.
Lebanese experts also believe that Hezbollah represents most of over one million Lebanese Shiite. Due to this, many Lebanese believe that the US policy against the entire Hezbollah party, not only its military wing, is aimed against a specific religious sect in the Lebanese community.
From its side, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has said on many occasions that while these US sanctions could affect the Lebanese economy, they have no effect what so ever on Hezbollah as the group “receives its money the way it receives its weapons.”