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US targets Hezbollah Iraq network with new sanctions

Under pressure from US sanctions: Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah movement
Under pressure from US sanctions: Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah movement AL-MANAR TV/AFP
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Washington (AFP)

The US Treasury expanded its attack on Hezbollah's financial network Tuesday, hitting key representatives of the Lebanese militant group in Iraq with sanctions.

The Treasury blacklisted Shibl Muhsin 'Ubayd Al-Zaydi, Yusuf Hashim, Adnan Hussein Kawtharani, and Muhammad 'Abd-Al-Hadi Farhat under its Specially Designated Global Terrorists program, saying they moved money, acquired weapons and trained fighters in Iraq for the group.

Among the four, Al-Zaydi was a key coordinator between Hezbollah, Iran's blacklisted Revolutionary Guards, and their supporters in Iraq, the Treasury said.

He is close to alleged Hezbollah financier Adham Tabaja, and coordinated smuggling oil from Iran into Syria.

He also sent Iraqi fighters to Syria allegedly on behalf of the Revolutionary Guard, the Treasury said.

The other three were also involved in collecting intelligence and moving money for Hezbollah in Iraq, it said.

"Hezbollah is a terrorist proxy for the Iranian regime that seeks to undermine Iraqi sovereignty and destabilize the Middle East," said Sigal Mandelker, Treasury under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.

"Treasury's concerted actions aim to deny Hezbollah's clandestine attempts to exploit Iraq to launder funds, procure weapons, train fighters, and collect intelligence as a proxy for Iran," Mandelker said in a statement.

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