Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

China's growth slows to lowest level since 2009

Read more

PERSPECTIVE

Broken promises: UK filmmaker on fate of unaccompanied minors in Calais

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Cameroon's constitutional court hears post-election litigation

Read more

IN THE PRESS

'Johnny lives!' Posthumous Hallyday album reignites fan fever

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

India's #MeToo moment

Read more

THE DEBATE

India's #MeToo moment: Why women are now calling out sexual harassment

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Objective 'Zero Hunger' 2030: Lambert Wilson and UN's FAO tell us how

Read more

FOCUS

Bosnians help out as migrants pour in

Read more

ENCORE!

Masego: Meet the 'TrapHouseJazz' musician getting 55 million hits on YouTube

Read more

US, Gulf Arab states place sanctions on Hezbollah leadership

© AL-MANAR TV/AFP | New US and Gulf Arab state sanctions target the Shura leadership council of Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, seen here in a recent image grab from al-Manar TV

WASHINGTON (AFP) - 

The United States and six Gulf Arab states announced sanctions Wednesday on the leadership of Hezbollah, as Washington seeks to step up economic pressure on Iran and its allies in the region.

The US and Saudi-led Terrorist Financing and Targeting Center said the sanctions were aimed at Hezbollah's Shura Council, the powerful Lebanese militia's decision-making council, led by the Shiite group's secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah.

Nasrallah, Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Naim Qasim, and three other Shura Council members were listed under the joint sanctions, which aim at freezing vulnerable assets of those named and blocking their access to global financial networks.

At the same time, the six Gulf members of the TFTC -- Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates -- declared sanctions on another nine individuals and firms part of or linked to Hezbollah that were already blacklisted by the US Treasury.

It was the second time the year-old TFTC came together to announce sanctions on groups they call threats to regional peace.

Last October, the group announced joint sanctions on top Islamic State and Al-Qaeda figures in Yemen.

"The TFTC again demonstrated its great value to international security by disrupting Iran and Hezbollah's destabilizing influence in the region," said US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin in a statement.

"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."

The move came 10 days after Hezbollah gave a strong showing in Lebanon's elections, garnering enough seats in parliament to block any attempt by its political foes to make it disarm its militia, which rivals the Lebanese army in size and firepower.

The announcement followed two US 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.

Coming after the Trump administration withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal on May 8, the Treasury said Wednesdays actions are part of a efforts to go after "the totality of Iran's malign activities and regionally destabilizing behavior, including that of Hezbollah."

© 2018 AFP