Katz: sanctions against the leadership of Hezbollah - the right step

The US Treasury had previously designated Nasrallah for disrupting the Middle East peace process in 1995 and for actions in Syria in 2012. EPA  AL-MANAR TV GRAB

US sanctions Hezbollah leader in joint action with Gulf states

The U.S, along with Gulf states, designated Wednesday the senior leadership of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah with the aim of "disrupting" its operations.

The treasury said in a statement that the latest action, taken with its Gulf allies, or the other six members of the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center (TFTC), designated Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah, its Deputy Secretary General Naim Qasim and four other individuals and one group.

The Shura Council is Hizbollah's supreme decision-making body responsible for religious, military, and strategic matters and asserts control over administrative, planning, and policy-making authorities.

The joint action also targeted four other individuals and entities that the US had previously sanctioned.

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 Treasury Department also made changes to Hezbollah chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah's status, making him a specially designated global terrorist.

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The U.S. sanctioned the leader of Hezbollah for destabilizing actions with Iran in the Middle East in a joint action with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and three other Gulf partners.

Hezbollah has seen its popularity sharply rise in recent years due to its successful counter-terrorism role, something that helped its political bloc make significant gains in Lebanon's parliamentary elections this month much to the dismay of the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia, which are angry at the group's victories against the terrorists they support in Syria.

In particular, the black list includes the leader of "Hezbollah" Hassan Nasrallah and Qassem, and several members of the Executive Committee of the group.

During that speech, Trump accused the Islamic Republic of Iran of supporting terrorism and called its role in region "sinister".

President Donald Trump's government pulled out of the Iran nuclear agreement on May 8th.

The day before, the US Treasury already sanctioned the head of Iran's central bank and Iraq-based Al-Bilad Islamic Bank over alleged ties to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the Hezbollah movement, which Washington considers to be a terrorist group.

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