U.S. imposes fresh sanctions on Hezbollah leaders

Lebanon's Hezbollah suppoters wave flags

The United States, in a joint action with its Persian Gulf Arab allies, has imposed a new round of "terrorism-related" sanctions on the leadership of Lebanon's Hezbollah resistance movement, citing the group's involvement with Iran.

"The US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in partnership with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the co-chair of the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center (TFTC), and the other TFTC member states - the Kingdom of Bahrain, the State of Kuwait, the Sultanate of Oman, the State of Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) - designated members of Hezbollah's Shura Council, the primary decision-making body of Hezballah", the press release said. He is the current leader of the Judicial Council and has overseen a military command in central Lebanon that provides logistical and training support to "Hezbollah". In addition, the sanctions reject the "false distinction" between the group's political and military wings.

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

This is the second TFTC designation action since the centre was announced on May 21, 2017. They call the Shia group a terrorist organization. The group has repeatedly clashed with Israel, and more recently has intervened in the Syrian civil war, fighting on the side of President Bashar al-Assad and his allies Iran and Russian Federation. It also plans to reinstate all the sanctions that had been lifted under the nuclear deal. Haley blames Iran, Hamas for Gaza violence US adds head of Iran's central bank to terrorist list, imposes sanctions Trump offers hope for peace in recorded remarks at US Embassy opening in Jerusalem MORE said.

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The Trump administration calling for Qatar to end such ties is among their latest efforts to put economic pressure on the regime in Tehran after President Trump announced the United States' exit from the Iran nuclear deal.

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.

Hezbollah, which was founded after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and is classified as a terrorist organization by the USA, has faced off with Israel across the decades, including in a month-long war in 2006.

Updates with additional details from seventh paragraph.

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