Last week the Federal government announced sanctions against three Hezbollah political and security individuals for allegedly using their influence to cause the organization to assist Iran in destabilizing Lebanon.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) says two of the three sanctioned individuals are members of Hisballah’s parliament, while the third is a security official.
The two parliament members allegedly use their office to advance Hezbollah’s objectives, which OFAC says are in direct opposition with the best interests of the Lebanese government and people. OFAC says the parliament members threatened bank employees and their families in order to compel those banks to act in conformance with their demands to unfreeze assets of another individual previously designated by OFAC.
The security official OFAC sanctioned last week allegedly used his position as a Hezbollah interlocutor to the Lebanese security forces to cause the country’s military to allow Hisballah to import contraband and individuals into the country, both of which are allegedly destabilizing the country and robbing it of lucrative import fees and tariffs. With control over the port and airport of Beirut, OFAC says Hisballah specifically sought out the port’s facilities for shipping contraband and individuals in order to avoid international scrutiny and sanctions. He also allegedly provided other Hesbollah individuals with passports enabling them to travel on long-term missions in other Mideast countries.
Hezbollah has long been in the United States government’s crosshairs, having been sanctioned by the State Department as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in late 2007 and declared a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) in the fall of 2001.