New US law could sanction Hezbollah ministers, MPs: Treasury

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A file photo of the US Treasury Department in Washington, DC.

A US Treasury Department official says Lebanese officials who are members of the resistance movement Hezbollah could be sanctioned under a new US law.

The US Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act (HIFPA) passed in December targets Hezbollah’s financial institutions and threatens sanctions against anyone who finances the resistance movement.

The Treasury's Assistant Secretary Daniel Glaser said the new law could be applied to Hezbollah ministers and MPs in Lebanon.

“We don't make a distinction among Hezbollah members,” he said in an interview with television channel LBC.

US officials and the Lebanese central bank have stressed that the measure does not target ordinary Lebanese citizens.

“We are implementing this law worldwide. Obviously it has specific impact here in Lebanon because Hezbollah has a big presence here in Lebanon,” Glaser said.

“But Hezbollah is the target of this legislation, not the Shia. And I can't say that strongly enough,” he added.

Hezbollah played a major role in forcing Israel to withdraw from southern Lebanon in 2000 and enjoys widespread support in the country. Its members include government ministers, MPs, and local councilors.

The resistance movement has been classified as a terrorist organization by the United States.

The group’s military wing has been engaged in fierce fighting with Daesh terrorists in Syria.


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