The US Treasury Department issued new Hezbollah-related sanctions on Thursday against three individuals and two companies in Lebanon for allegedly providing financial services to and facilitating weapons procurement for Hezbollah.
A powerful group in Lebanon because of a heavily armed militia that fought several wars with Israel, Hezbollah was founded in 1982 by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and classified as a “terrorist organization” by the United States and other Western countries.
Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) noted that the latest sanction against the Iran-backed group target three individuals and two companies that manage and enable Hezbollah’s overarching financial apparatus – including Al-Qard Al-Hassan (AQAH) and Hezbollah’s Central Finance Unit – operating throughout Lebanon.
The latter oversees Hezbollah’s budget at the direction of its secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah but both units deal with the group’s finances.
OAFC identified the sanctioned individuals as Hassan Khalil, who worked on weapons procurement on behalf of Hezbollah; Naser Hassan Neser, who acted for or on behalf of the sanctioned Auditors and allegedly reports to senior Hezbollah’s Executive Council and Central Finance Unit; and Adel Mohamad Mansour, who led Al-Khobara, a quasi-financial institution that Hezbollah aided in dealing with Lebanon’s Finance Ministry regarding tax payments.
According to the Treasury Department, Al-Khobara is also sanctioned along with Auditors, the second Lebanese company sanctioned for providing financial services to Hezbollah’s Central Finance Unit.
The Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Brian Nelson, pointed out that men and companies like these, with a public image as financial professionals and institutions, are how Hezbollah hides its abuse of the financial system to support its destabilizing agenda.
Nelson underscored that even as Lebanon suffers a dire financial crisis, Hezbollah remains essentially a terrorist organization determined to procure weapons that undermine the country’s security and stability.
US persons and individuals within the United States are generally prohibited from all dealings that involve any property or interests in property of designated entities, in line with the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control’s regulations.