U.S. Sanctions Head of Hezbollah in Joint Action With Qatar

(Bloomberg) -- 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.

Hassan Nasrallah was designated for acting on behalf of Hezbollah, which he has led since 1992, the Treasury Department said Wednesday. Members of the newly created Terrorist Financing and Targeting Center, which includes Oman and Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, joined in the sanctions. Treasury previously designated Nasrallah for disrupting the Middle East peace process in 1995 and for actions in Syria in 2012.

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

“The TFTC again demonstrated its great value to international security by disrupting Iran and Hezbollah’s destabilizing influence in the region,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. “By targeting Hizballah’s Shura Council, our nations collectively rejected the false distinction between a so-called ‘Political Wing’ and Hezbollah’s global terrorist plotting.”

Mnuchin announced the TFTC cooperation with six Gulf states in 201y. The group shares financial intelligence to target terrorist financing networks.

Hezbollah is a Shiite militia based in Lebanon, where its political arm recently expanded its influence by making gains in parliamentary elections. 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 Russia.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.